Transformational Trailblazers: Canterbury Christchurch University
Blair Maxwell is Strategic Lead Consultant for Transformational Culture, committed to helping organisations unlock the potential of theirpeople. A sharp strategic thinker, Blair holds an MBA in Strategic Leadership and has led teams internationally to foster strong cultural intelligence and collaboration skills. His work with TCM provides diagnostic support to all cohorts of the Transformational Culture initiative, bringing each organisation’s vision to life.
“Transformational Culture is the tangible model to translate the things we say as an organisation into people’s lived realities on the ground. Through this programme, we won’t just speak of but rather live and breathe the culture we value.”
MARGARET AYERS - DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES AND ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AT CANTERBURY CHRIST CHURCH UNIVERSITY
The TCM Group was first introduced to Margaret through a successful mediation of a difficult working situation, which led to the cultivation of a longstanding relationship with TCM CEO and Founder David Liddle. Witnessing the healing power of positive communication first-hand sparked Margaret’s interest in the use of restorative justice in the workplace. TCM had proven its firm stance as a proponent of justice, leading to its partnership with Margaret in embedding internal mediation schemes through various universities. The origins of mediation lie in values of compassion, collaboration and courage – ideas which transcend to the creation of a transformational culture. This venture connected with Margaret’s working ethos and knitted together her preexisting ideals into a tangible business model, leading to CCCU’s onboarding as a Transformational Trailblazer.
The Transformational Culture Model™ centres on eight enablers: values first; evidence based; the people and culture function; leadership and management; the Resolution Framework™; wellbeing, engagement and inclusion; sustainability and social justice; and brand, reputation and risk.
With its values firmly in sight, CCCU had started ground on inclusion and sustainability initiatives. The University is unique as it has a whole university approach to responding to its staff and students as an entire, unified community. Specialists had been hired to lead on and modernise intersectional inclusion, focusing specifically on gender and race, working as a People and Culture Inclusion team under the Head of Organisational Development. Conversations were also circulating about joining the Race Equality Charter. The sustainability strategy was also taking shape. A strategy had just been signed to discover how sustainability ideas could be embedded within the university curriculum. An institutional framework will launch in 2022 to align these progressive initiatives with digital transformation.
CCCU’s inspiration to join the Trailblazers initiative was threefold. The central values of the Transformational Culture Model™ aligned with the university’s organisational aspirations to be more inclusion- and sustainability-focused. Equally, they resonated with the dynamic of the Transformational Culture Hub as a cross functional team bringing people from all departments together, homing in on the practice of collaboration as a driving force of the organisation. Thirdly, CCCU wanted to craft a concrete plan and ethos that reflected their modern, progressive values of embedding inclusive justice in the workplace.
Committing to the future
Margaret cited the flexibility of the Trailblazers initiative as an attractive buy-in. A 5D Review, delivered in January 2022, effectively tests the partnership between TCM and CCCU, assessing ideas before implementation with a low level of commitment. The Review scopes out an in-depth examination of culture, leadership and people measures with a road map for practical change and improvement in five stages.