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building trust

RNIB - changing culture

Starting with the launch of a five-year transformational change programme, RNIB were looking to revolutionise the way in which they were able to serve their customers. They were at the start of a long journey, with 2,500 staff to consult with, engage, and bring with them. I worked with their senior leaders to design and deliver authentic opportunities for teams to share their experience, expertise, and direct connection to their customers in a meaningful way. This ensured that staff felt listened to and respected, it built understanding and trust, which were fundamental to a quicker and easier adoption of change.


The Challenge:

Fear over the scale of change and what that might mean to people personally, a desire to know exactly what will happen whilst still in the design phase, and a dispersed team working in different locations, with very different priorities, and a legacy of disconnect from more centralised teams. I worked with the programme team, senior managers, and operational teams to:


1) Build people’s understanding of why the change was required, increasing trust and faith in a period of planned uncertainty

Success: Understanding the current internal environment was the first step in gathering real feedback from staff teams, learning where approaches and activities were the most successful and could be replicated, and identifying areas of poor behaviour or success. I facilitated a cultural root-cause analysis, gathering more than 600 staff experiences, this built a real-time understanding of our people’ readiness for change. From this understanding we were able to create practical recommendations for how to move forward, and it helped us to keep staff informed in a way that related to their real day-today experience.


2) Create genuine internal engagement with the vision for the future and helping people to understand and fulfil their role in achieving this

Successes: Senior management often felt removed from daily customer interactions, we wanted to involve our customer-facing teams in the evolution and roll-out of changes. I designed a staff-led communications and engagement programme that would empower staff, no matter their location or seniority, to feel like they are representing the views of their customers and colleagues in a valuable manner.

  • 1,000+ staff every week using new communications platform

  • 200+ Network of Change Champions

  • 75 newly trained cross-departmental facilitators

  • New methods to ensure an effective feedback and communications loop


3) Increased visibility of core information to enhance decision-making and project planning capability

Successes: Complex change required the consultation and expertise of many different departments and technical specialists. I helped to redesign the project management and new investment framework so that teams could present the potential benefits and risks of proposed projects more clearly, and to make it easier for senior managers to compare and contrast opportunities. This accelerated decision-making, reducing duplication and making it easier to interrogate and explore new opportunities.


One of the most valuable talents of excellent strategists is the ability to take complex ideas and translate them into simple, easily understood language. When this uncommon talent is combined with the additional ability to build meaningful engagement with colleagues -- to capture hearts and minds -- you’ve got an unbeatable strategic combination.  

~ Wanda Hamilton, Director of Fundraising, RNIB ~

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