Shared Value in Sharing How We Work

Image of Scott Williams
profile of Carey Cultra: Shared Value
Written by Scott Williams
and Carrey Cultra
Our Approach

One of our core principles in Firemark Labs Australia is to challenge our extended network and help them improve. We do this by inviting our partners to participate in our governance models and ways of working to help them get better at what they do.

In our Shared Value team, we look at societal issues as business opportunities, tapping into the power of collaboration and innovation to rethink the way we do business to create societal and commercial benefit.

As a recent example, we facilitated a half-day workshop in Melbourne for representatives from the Victorian State Government, the Murrindindi Shire Council, and the Red Cross. With the help of Rob Seddon from our Design Centre, we had the opportunity to share the way that we work, how we’ve put lean and agile principles in to practice, and the manner in which we hold ourselves to account for learning quickly and responding to new knowledge as we get it.

It was a fantastic opportunity to join forces and teach some partners our approach to creative problem-solving, while helping them discover for themselves how it might apply to their environments. Using real problems that each organisation are facing today, we walked them through the process of articulating the customer problem, brainstorming potential solutions, and identifying the riskiest assumptions that would need to be tested to prove that they are on the right track.

four participants in the Shared Value workshop

So, what’s the benefit to IAG in prioritising this kind of activity over other things we could be doing?

One important benefit is the more efficiently and effectively our partners are working, the better our engagements will be when we are working together.  The more similar and familiar our approaches to solving real customer problems are, the easier and more productive it will be when communicating and collaborating. By supporting and enhancing capability within partner organisations, we are increasing opportunities to deliver impact and create world leading customer experiences.

As a secondary benefit, there is a non-trivial amount of personal satisfaction and professional growth that we get from helping others find betters ways to do things.  Refining our ability to communicate complex topics in simple language that can be easily consumed by those to whom the concepts are fairly new, will help us better communicate with our colleagues throughout IAG.

Did it work?  Well, here is some of the feedback we received from participants of the workshop:

I found the workshop extremely useful as we are looking at how we can embed agile and lean methodologies within Red Cross Emergency Services and the workshop and associated tools are informing the approach that we’re going to take.”  – Australian Red Cross

The workshop provided a great opportunity to see how others face problem solving and learn innovative ways of working. There is now a renewed sense of possibility and enthusiasm within Council to test and trial different ways of working. The lean, agile model will assist us to improve the way we deliver our services.” – Murrindindi Shire Council

We recommend everyone take advantage of similar opportunities if they are presented to you.  It can seem scary if you’ve never done it before, but the satisfaction you will feel at the end is worth it.

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