case study of change

August Event Review – A case study of change

Our August event “A case study of change” was presented by Sherri Huckstep, Chief Experience Officer at Melbourne’s Royal Women’s Hospital. Sherri, the first person in this role at the hospital, comes from a health professional background but in describing her work, demonstrated all the insights and practice of an experienced OD professional.


Sherri began the evening by sharing her story of leading cultural change. The title of her role is an interesting insight into the cultural changes that have been occurring. Before the change commenced conventional metrics relating to patient outcomes, satisfaction and efficiency pointed to an organisation on top of its game – there was no burning platform. But when steps were taken to engage directly with patients to listen to their stories and what mattered to them, the potential for “creating exceptional experiences” became apparent. This became the banner for the change initiative and strategy, based on 5 principles:

RAISE  – Responsive, Accessible, Integrated, Safe and Effective


Underpinning the process was a training program for all employees but compulsory for management, which 800 employees have now completed. Completion of the course is marked symbolically by badge, proudly worn by participants. Participants in each course are selected from different divisions and levels within the hospital, building capability to work cross-functionally and breaking down silos. Run charts for each division are used to track progress including qualitative measures on responses to questions such as “things are explained to me” and “I feel involved in decision making.” All are pointing in the right direction.


After hearing Sherri’s story participants worked in groups to discuss the case study and consider how this example of change in practice reflected their own experience, and theories of change. Each breakout group developed a visual image of their insights that was shared with the wider group – we had everything from lists to diagrams to abstract representations. The technology worked well in plenary, syndicates had ample time for discussion; some even mastered the use of digital whiteboards.


Thanks to Glenda Hutchinson who was once again a great facilitator.


Geoff McGill

Leadership Group