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Transforming our culture in Companies House

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In 2016, the government launched its vision for a brilliant Civil Service. We’re supporting this vision with our ambitious transformation programme.

People are at the heart of every strand of our transformation programme. This means we need to pay just as much attention to the culture we nurture as we do to the development of our services.

Our culture change community

We’ve established an active culture change community at Companies House.

We get together every month to create a platform for colleagues to engage in thought-provoking activities, encourage a shared understanding of the direction of travel, and to provide the right kind of support to prepare for the changes ahead.

Companies House colleagues at a culture change meeting

All our networks come together to share 60 second updates at our monthly meetings. These networks include coaching and mentoring, diversity and inclusion, the environmental working group, our mental health advocates, and many more. We also encourage our community to share techniques for team building and idea-sharing sessions to stimulate the creative areas of our brains.

We find that these meetings contribute towards embedding our adaptable, bold and curious behaviours and inspire our colleagues to think differently.

Personas in our community

In our last culture change meeting, we discussed the different personas within our community. ‘Shy Shaun’ struck a particular chord with me – he's interested in getting involved but is tentative about putting himself forward for things and contributes only when asked.

Not everyone will want to attend meetings or get involved in culture change activities, but this doesn’t mean they’re not interested or that they’re not playing their part in improving our culture.

When it comes to working towards cultural change, there is something for both introverts and extroverts to make a difference and to influence the future direction of Companies House.

Culture change in action

As well as our monthly culture change meetings and big organisation-wide events, we have lots of smaller working groups across Companies House. These are often formed as a result of ideas generated in larger meetings or in small teams, and they are a valuable contribution towards our ‘working as one’ value.

Companies House colleagues at a culture change workshop

Our Curious Coffee scheme has also helped our colleagues to get to know others in the organisation on a one to one basis. We’ve found that curious coffee meetings are breaking down silos and improving links between teams. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to Companies House or have worked here for 40 years – the initiative is open to everyone and has been used by more than 200 people already.

We've seen an increase in people writing blog posts for our intranet to share their experiences. It’s encouraging to see the supportive comments and the influence we can have on each other by being open and honest in what we do. It’s also an opportunity to challenge yourself by doing something that might be outside your comfort zone.

We’ve also facilitated more shadowing opportunities across the business, as well as mentoring and coaching opportunities. We're promoting the value of learning from each other and supporting others to look at things from a different perspective, and it’s reaping benefits for our culture.

Culture exchange conference  

We're always looking for new ways to engage with our people. In November, we’re planning to host a culture exchange conference to share our learning and to encourage the sharing of good practice across all sectors. Look out for more information over the next few weeks, and we hope to see you there.  

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