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Transforming culture

Supporting you in developing a strong and healthy culture

The sector has faced, and will continue to grapple with, the need for rapid change in light of the external environment. Institutions, large and small, have to be strategically responsive to a multitude of external and internal factors, some of which can be forecast to a reasonable degree whilst others are hard if not impossible to predict.

Advance HE’s support encourages strategic agility in reframing your purpose and the delivery of core activities for future success. We believe transforming culture and cultural perceptions within organisations provides the true essence of sustainable strategic change.

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Complete the form by clicking the button below and we will send you an information sheet with further details. A member of our team will be in touch shortly after to discuss your requirements.

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Our approach

Our approach to supporting you in developing a strong and healthy culture recognises the complexities involved in defining, measuring and attempting to change ‘culture’, understanding it is not static, can be difficult to define, can be expressed and interpreted differently across the organisation, is rooted in personal and professional identities, involves power balances and is present and socialised at every level in an organisation.

Every solution is co-designed with you, building on a rigorous diagnostic phase, taking into account the particulars of your requirements. We always ground our design in a deeply rooted understanding of how culture evolves in organisations and the assumptions, rituals, stories and behaviours that make up cultural paradigms.

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Transforming Culture Cycle

The Transforming Culture Cycle illustrates the support that can be provided to HE institutions by Advance HE. This does not need to be undertaken in its entirety, and depending upon the initiative and the fit with other development activities being carried out by the institution, different elements may be selected either stand-alone or in combination.

Transforming Culture Cycle
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Scalable interventions

The support Advance HE can provide is very scalable, from a long-term package of support involving one or more complete development cycles through to a single workshop-style intervention, from an initiative for the whole organisation to a project focussed on a single department. As illustrative examples only, the following are three packages of support at different scales for transforming culture:

Scale one

  • One-to-one telephone interviews with a cross-section of key individuals.
  • A workshop with representative leaders and managers focussed on culture and values.
  • A short report with recommendations arising from the interviews and workshop.

Scale two

  • A mini-diagnostic survey.
  • One-to-one telephone interviews with a cross-section of key individuals.
  • A facilitated session with the leadership team for the change initiative.
  • Workshops with targeted groups on  culture and values (possible using a formal diagnostic).
  • A large group facilitated session on developing a vision for culture.
  • If appropriate, workshop-style activities focussed on diversity, inclusion, and  dignity in the workplace.
  • A feedback and review session with the leadership team for the change initiative.

Scale three

  • Survey/questionnaire activity.
  • Focus group discussions.
  • Structured interviews with key individuals.
  • A report produced based on findings from the above.
  • A facilitated session with the leadership team for the change initiative.
  • Putting in place a culture development steering group.
  • Workshops with targeted groups on culture and values, using agreed diagnostic tools.
  • One or more large group facilitated sessions on developing a vision for culture.
  • One-to-one executive coaching with key leaders.
  • If appropriate, workshop-style activities focussed on diversity, inclusion, and  dignity in the workplace.
  • Follow-up interviews and workshops after an agreed period of time (e.g. six months).
  • Specific support with, for example,  academic development or HR teams.
  • The development of organisational communication strategies.
  • Feedback and review sessions with the leadership team for the change initiative.
  • A final project report for the change initiative.

"We were looking for something a bit different - not an exploration of culture with a report and recommendations, or an off the shelf short training/development programme but a longer term, bespoke piece of work that would enable my School teams to become empowered and skilled in exploring their own culture and developing it themselves with our support.

We felt that Advance HE’s combined expertise in inclusion, culture, education and leadership made them unique in the sector and most likely to be able to deliver what we were looking for. When I spoke with the team there, they listened to our needs, learned more about our context and designed and delivered this programme. Having worked with them for over 12 months now I have learned that they also bring a flexibility and responsiveness to the context making this not only a bespoke and fit for purpose programme from the start but one that has evolved with our changing needs.”
Professor Sherria Hoskins
Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health, University of Portsmouth

Find out more about support in transforming culture

Complete the form to find out more about our support in transforming culture. Upon completion we will send you an information sheet and will be in touch shortly to discuss your requirements.

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