Transformational change: Turning vision into reality

When Angela Cooke took on a new role as Vice President of Operations at British Columbia Housing Commission, she was tasked with undertaking a review of service delivery to ensure the operational side of the business was in the best shape possible to tackle future challenges. With a clear idea of what she wanted to achieve and previous experience of working with some of the Golden Marzipan team, she commissioned the UK-based change advisors to help turn her vision into reality, as she explains: 

Delivering Change – Angela Cooke Client

Business transformation was something very new to the team at British Columbia Housing Commission.  The organisation has been around for over 30 years and whilst the business has grown significantly over the last 10 years, momentous change is not something they were used to. With that in mind I knew that when I was undertaking an analysis of where the team were and where they needed to be that I had to work with a partner who could help take them on that journey.  

I’d already got a vision of what I wanted operations to look like in the future and I knew that Golden Marzipan would get where I wanted to be and provide objective feedback on my plans. It was also critical that my team got on board with the changes, and I felt confident that Steve and the team would not only engage people, but also deliver effective change readiness.  

We started work with Golden Marzipan in April 2020 and very early on we recognised that there was a huge need to transform both the digital and people resources quickly. Operating in a COVID-environment had only exacerbated some of the operational challenges we’d previously faced, so it became a priority to enhance the team’s ability and capacity to deliver. 

Initially Golden Marzipan undertook an analysis of the team, the work we do and our current systems to inform an evaluation of my proposal.  When looking at new systems, they were critical in determining what we needed for the future, advising what capabilities should be included. This review enabled me to work with the CIO and IT team to pull together a brief to find the right supplier.   

“This, I think, is Golden Marzipan’s greatest strength as they recognise how important the human element is in transformation.”

But this was only part of the story as a new system is no good without the right people and culture to back it up. This, I think, is Golden Marzipan’s greatest strength as they recognise how important the human element is in transformation. They prepared the team by sharing insights and delivering effective change readiness sessions, leadership sessions and one-to-one coaching with my operational leaders; all to get us in the best shape possible for transformation.  

We implemented the changes in nine months, even though I know similar projects have taken between two and three years. Our ability to fast track was helped by Golden Marzipan’s appreciation of the urgency, the fact that we did everything digitally/virtually due the pandemic and importantly their experience. They’ve delivered several transformation programmes in the housing sector, so they get the challenges, they understand value for money, they gain people’s confidence by sharing stories of how things have been successfully implemented elsewhere and they ensure that we never lost sight of the end user experience. 

When you look at where my team was and where it is now, the change is outstanding. Golden Marzipan has built capacity and leadership in my team. Getting managers ‘out of the weeds’ and enabling them to be better decision makers and look at things in much more of a strategic way. The team have responded well and only recently colleagues have said that the changes we have made were welcome and they now feel that they are set up for success. 

If I were to offer advice to someone looking to undertake a similar review with minimal disruption, it would be to consider bringing Golden Marzipan on board. They transform your vision into reality and they’re able to do it at your pace. 

If you would like to discuss turning your vision into a reality email steve@goldenmarzipan.co.uk

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