Leading the Way:
A Culture Change Journey at Western Sydney University
Western Sydney University is a thriving institution comprising 13 campuses across Sydney. WSU educates and empowers over 60,000 students, offering a diverse range of programs taught by over 1,500 dedicated faculty members.
Due to The Culture Equation’s Greater Collective leadership program, WSU Student Experience & Marketing (SEM) department successfully transitioned from the traditional, hierarchical, risk-averse, and isolated culture into one that is dynamic, collaborative, and student-centric.
This transformation ultimately led to a high-performance, innovative, and student-centred culture that has become a hallmark of their operations, resulting in being awarded the highly-coveted Brandon Hall Award in Talent Management.
The SEM team faced a multitude of cultural challenges, stemming from a deeply entrenched poor performance culture and two contrasting departmental cultures ; institutional versus customer-centric.
Further, a core challenge arose in the initial reluctance from the wider University community to embrace SEM’s culture transformation, bolstering resistance to meaningful and lasting cultural change.
SEM presented a crucial opportunity, with the potential to drive change not only within their team but also across the entire University. We realised the chance for SEM to serve as a catalyst for broader cultural change, fostering a progressive and innovative subculture that could influence positive transformations throughout the institution.
What we did
“The result has been cultural change at many levels, resulting in a more collaborative, dynamic and engaged workforce. Improved employee empowerment, development and satisfaction is enabling greater innovation and improved student experience outcomes; the ultimate test of our cultural success.”