Transformation through people

Telstra, the largest telecommunications provider in Australia, felt that it was falling behind competitors in the move to embrace online transacting and digital processing. They recognised that their challenge was as much about changing culture and behaviours as it was about investing in technology. 

As Operating Model and Change Lead, I Partnered with technology colleagues to deliver large scale ‘Digital First’ transformation agenda. This three-year program began by centralising all digital capability into a single team before using a customer-centric design thinking approach and digital technology to radically transform the business by driving online customer interactions to become the default for all customer processes. Digital customer interactions soared from 37% to 83% over a 12-month period. The digital function then turned the focus inwards and set up an innovation hub and a culture programme that transformed internal business processes across the organisation making Telstra become a truly ‘Digital First’ business. 

The success of this programme was down to close collaboration between the client and the consulting team (with the client clearly ‘owning’ the transformation) and the early recognition of the need to invest in leadership, culture and change management. 

In 2015, retiring CEO David Thodey wrote fondly of the experience The Hardest Thing was Changing the Culture.