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Re-Alignment - Culture Change - Collaborative Approach

Organisational Design

Case Studies

The Client:

A large regional Australian University. It employs some 1600 staff throughout three Australian states, with a presence in Canada, and servicing approximately 34 000 students on campus and distance education.


The Brief:

A review and redevelopment of the business model, functional structure and roles for Human Resources was sought to ensure that it was able to operate strategically and be effective at leading people related cultural change.

The University's core focus was on developing a culture of high performance and excellence in learning, teaching and research and Human Resources was recognised as a key functional area which could facilitate the development of this culture.

The Human Resources realignment was aimed at extending its focus beyond transactional activities and strengthening its functional capability to better support the business, more actively fostering an organisational-wide high performance culture.


Our Response:

A team of two HR Advantage consultants worked closely with the responsible senior executive and executive team to design an appropriate process and approach to the project.

Our methodology covered four phases:

  • the development of a new Human Resources Executive Team and the design of a draft strategic direction for people management at the University
  • a Human Resources functional analysis involving data collection through interviews, internal client focus groups, and benchmarking visits to selected external organisations
  • a detailed report and recommendations to adopt a 'best fit' service delivery model, structure and required capabilities for the Division
  • facilitated transition planning and change management advice to the Executive Director and Executive Team
  • Our consulting team worked collaboratively with the Executive Director and Executive Team and this led to co-creation and ownership of new directions, changes and the decisions arising.

Our recommendations sought a significant shift in the roles, functions and relationships both internal and external to the Division. It recommended creation of partnering/consulting teams focussed at faculty/divisional level to engage with line managers and build key people management capability in all areas, supported by core areas of strategic Human Resources expertise sourced centrally.


The Results:

Our recommendations were endorsed by the Vice Chancellor, the Executive Director Human Resources, and the University's leadership team.

This has led to changes in how business is done whereby Human Resources provides effective leadership on people and cultural issues by partnering with faculties and divisions, and promoting line management engagement in and accountability for people management.

The Human Resources Executive Team was able to work more strategically whilst establishing much needed high level internal consultancy and advisory capability within key areas of the function with stronger alignment of services to support the University's core business areas of learning, teaching and research.



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