Client Journey

Revitalising Culture and Performance in the Energy Sector

Executive Summary

Jacana Energy, a key player in the Northern Territory’s energy sector, partnered with Corporate Edge to transform their leadership and align their culture with their strategic vision.

Overcoming challenges in cross-functional collaboration, ownership, and leadership behaviours, the organisation achieved a substantial 24% boost in employee engagement and an impressive 26% rise in satisfaction.

This positive momentum translated into consistent profitability and increased customer satisfaction ratings. The transformative shift in leadership styles towards constructive behaviours highlighted Jacana Energy’s impactful journey toward organisational success.

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Employee engagement increased 24% from 58% in 2021
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Employee satisfaction increased 26% from 57% in 2021
4/5

Customer satisfaction increased consistently from 3 to 4 out of 5 stars

“I have always been a big believer in aligning culture and leadership behaviours with strategy and ultimately, business performance. In partnership with Corporate Edge, we invested in a leadership and culture program that has ultimately resulted in a more engaged workforce, which in turn has led to improvements in customer satisfaction and financial performance. Jacana Energy is a real-life example of what can happen when you invest in creating your desired organisational culture and Dan and the Corporate Edge team have played a significant role in our culture journey, providing a customised leadership and culture program that has been integral to our success.”

Client Overview

Formed out of a series of government reforms spanning over 40 years, Jacana Energy has been in operation since 1 July 2014 and is one of the three Government-Owned Corporations (GOCs) in the Northern Territory.

As an electricity retailer, they serve as the first point of contact for customers regarding their electricity needs and employ approximately 75 team members based in Darwin and Alice Springs.

The changing landscape of the electricity industry, supply costs, evolving customer demands, along with the Northern Territory Government’s strategy to achieve a target of 50% renewable energy electricity consumption by 2030 presents an exciting challenge. It is a challenge they must respond to!

Jacana’s three-year strategy has brought to life an inspiring vision for them to achieve: ‘Leading smart energy solutions for the Territory.’

The strategy framework, known as the ‘Jacana Energy House’, aligns elements of their strategy under a single unifying vision, supported by four pillars, and built on a foundation of culture, values and behaviours. Jacana Energy recognised that working together under the same constructive values, beliefs and behaviours would ensure a united and stronger organisation and culture.

Once the foundations were laid, it was apparent that in order to effectively execute the strategy, they would need to foster a strong organisational culture. This required enhancing the leadership team’s capabilities to nurture the desired organisational culture, one poised to achieve the overarching strategic objectives and position the company for long-term success.

Leadership Development

Coaching & Mentoring

Executive Alignment

Lifestyles Inventory (LSI) Survey

Results like this aren't impossible for your organisation. You just need the right partner.

Challenges Faced

The energy sector is highly complex and constantly evolving, and in order to meet developing customer needs, Jacana Energy must be consistently adapting. To achieve this, the company identified the importance of improving cross-functional collaboration. This type of flexibility would allow them to leverage the expertise of diverse teams, quickly respond to challenges and capitalise on opportunities, therefore becoming more competitive and sustainable in the industry.

Team members were finding it challenging to take necessary ownership and make key decisions confidently and autonomously. Decision-making was deferred to the leadership group, with team members often waiting to be told what to do, and when to do it by. Rather than the organisation’s culture creating the space for proactive and creative approaches, it inhibited people’s ability to work through a solutions and ideas-focused lens. As a result, employees were generally reactive in order to fulfil immediate business solutions. Jacana Energy identified the required shift towards autonomous decision-making and ownership to allow for agility and an achievement-focused team.

Significant opportunities for leadership development were identified early by Jacana Energy as they worked to align with their desired culture. The Organisational Culture Inventory (OCI) highlighted the prevalence of oppositional and avoidant behaviours within the existing culture. This insight underscored the need for refining leadership behaviours, capabilities, and awareness, as there was limited recognition of the substantial positive influence effective leadership could have in shaping the desired organisational culture and driving the achievement of strategic objectives.

The organisations cultural outlook suggested that team members were uncertain of what the organisation’s cultural purpose and overarching goals were, including the future direction. Only 51% of team members agreed that a clear strategy and direction was understood and clearly communicated. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the Energy sector, customers want to know what is happening and how they will be supported through changes. In order to meet these needs, Jacana Energy required a lift in purpose, to move the team towards being future and outcomes focused.

The 2021 ‘People Matter’ Survey (a survey conducted throughout the broader Northern Territory Public Sector), revealed that Jacana Energy’s Employee Engagement score was 58%, while the Employee Satisfaction score was 57%. These scores highlighted the need to concentrate efforts on elevating Employee Engagement through changes in leadership development programs. This initiative would underpin Jacana Energy’s ability to meet evolving customer expectations, further impacting and strengthening the workforce cohort’s understanding of the vision and organisational purpose, giving people further insight into the strategy and allowing them to connect this to customer needs and emerging business opportunities.

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Felt a clear strategy was shared
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Of employees felt engaged at work
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Of employees felt satisfied at work

Solution

Empowering transformation through leadership development

Recognising the opportunity to create the right behaviours to execute their strategy, Jacana Energy embarked on a transformation journey in mid-2021. The organisation began working with Corporate Edge to create a blended learning approach to support them on their culture and leadership journey.

1. Leadership Development

The leadership team was at the forefront of the transformation. Through a blended learning approach of immersive workshops, cross-functional sessions and coaching, leaders aligned their visions, fostering a sense of shared purpose and responsibility. This shift in leadership mindset was pivotal in creating a high-care, high-trust environment that championed autonomy, cooperation, and innovation. Leaders were not only encouraged but expected to role-model the desired behaviours that would permeate the entire organisation.

The first step was to align the Leadership Team by:

Defining Expectations

Setting the expectations and desired behaviours provided the foundation for alignment. This process asked the question: What are the expectations? What are the behaviours we want to align to? This then led to raising the collective self-awareness.

Raising Self-Awareness

After defining expectations, leaders were asked the question: How are you doing against the expectations? Where are we now? How can we realign ourselves against the desired behaviours and expectations? What do we need to do differently? Feedback is the best way to gain self-awareness. Life Styles Inventory (LSI) Assessments were carried out to create awareness on how the leaders were perceived to be working against expectations according to their peers and team members. This was a significant self-awareness exercise, with many realising the need to take personal accountability. This initial self-assessment set the stage for transformation, providing a state of self-awareness that was a catalyst towards purposeful change.

Creating Acceptance

Individual coaching support was the tipping point for fine-tuning and turning self-awareness into acceptance and action. Leaders took personal responsibility for how they would collectively ‘show up’ for the business. Creating a culture of seeking and receiving regular feedback led to further acceptance and accountability.

Creating Accountability

Though the LSI results and self-reflection led to self-awareness, coaching was a key contributor to creating personal accountability, engagement, ownership, embedding the desired behaviours and keeping leadership culture front of mind. Regular coaching and creating a culture of regular one-on-ones with their immediate leaders reinforced the expectations and held leaders accountable to the behaviours they committed to in the alignment sessions.
2. Communication and Feedback Mechanisms

Transparent communication was at the core of the transformation strategy. Regular one-on-one meetings became central to the communication strategy at an individual level. These sessions provided dedicated time for employees to engage with their leaders. These interactions cultivated a stronger sense of community and mutual understanding.

New feedback tools were introduced to emphasise accountability and clarity of goals. Employees were given a clear understanding of how their individual roles and performance contributed to the broader organisational objectives, giving them a sense of purpose.

Regular team alignment days facilitated open conversations and collaboration, with quarterly leader forums and whole organisation meetings leading to greater clarity of the vision and ownership of the purpose.

The combination of regular interactions and cross-departmental collaboration (called inter-lock) initiatives nurtured a growing sense of community within the organisation. Employees developed strong working relationships and feelings towards being part of a cohesive team working towards common goals and a shared understanding of what each was doing to contribute to the strategy.

 

Through implementing these measures, the Jacana Energy team began speaking and behaving in alignment with their cultural focus; “trust and assume positive intent.” This set the stage for a more cooperative, agile, and engaged organisational culture.

92% of employees say they would recommend Jacana as a great place to work, marking a 43% improvement from 2021, where it was 49%.

Results Achieved

The transformation initiatives produced significant and tangible results across the organisation:

Employee engagement witnessed a remarkable increase, soaring by 24% from 58% in 2021 to an impressive 82% in 2023. This spike in engagement levels was mirrored by a surge in employee satisfaction, rising by 26%, from 57% to a staggering 83%. These improvements directly correlated to the newfound connection between employees and the organisation’s goals.

Before the leadership development program in 2021, Jacana Energy was working on improving financial sustainability. With the improved focus on aligned cultural behaviours and commitment to strategy, Jacana Energy is now experiencing month on month profitable positions.

With the team feeling empowered, trusted, and engaged, this positive energy began flowing through to customers. In 2022, customer satisfaction ratings hovered just over a 3 out of 5-star rating, while in 2023 the score consistently sits above 4.

The commitment from the CEO and ELT to be clear, open, and transparent on vision and strategy, built passion and enthusiasm throughout the whole organisation. By engaging the hearts and minds of team members, innovation was encouraged and allowed teams to streamline their efforts, resulting in increased efficiencies, and enhanced problem-solving capabilities.

An impressive transformation was also witnessed in the leadership effectiveness styles within the organisation. According to LSI results the leaders’ constructive styles increased significantly after 12 months in the program and continued to embed again in the following year.

  • In 2021 the LSI 2 survey showed leadership behaviours being observed by each other were defensive in nature, meaning that passive behaviours of being avoidant, dependent and conventional were the norm. In this environment people avoid conflict, do what others say and rarely challenge authority. Across 2022, we saw a significant shift in the LSI 2 behaviours where the more constructive behaviours of being achievement-focused, self-actualising, humanistic-encouraging and affiliative all significantly grew to be the style of leadership witnessed across the leadership group. In this environment, the team feels that others set and strive to achieve their clear goals, work well with others, are creative, innovative and look for opportunities for growth.
  • One of the great outcomes of the LSI Survey process was that it created an environment where people are more confident, vulnerable, and humble enough to seek regular feedback.
  • The ‘People Matter’ survey revealed that 85% of respondents believed that senior managers now keep employees well-informed about company matters, marking a 58% improvement from 2021, where it was as low as 27%.
  • 90% of respondents noted that senior managers engage with employees at all levels, showcasing a substantial 49% increase.
  • 89% agreed that senior managers now provide clear strategic direction, marking a significant 38% increase.
  • 90% of respondents stated that senior managers prioritise employee well-being, showing a notable 23% increase.
  • 90% of respondents believed that senior managers model the expected employee behaviours, reflecting a strong growth of 29%.
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Believe that senior managers now provide clear strategic direction
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Agree that senior managers engage with employees at all levels
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Of employees reported feeling a high satisfaction rate at work

These improvements highlight the leadership program’s positive impact on behaviours and perceptions within Jacana Energy.

As a result of these positive leadership changes, there is now an improved culture balance of accountability and care at Jacana Energy. Employees feel motivated and have a clear line of sight to the organisations purpose, clear goals to work towards that align to the strategy, and how their individual roles support the organisations success with strategy discussions becoming a regular occurrence among leaders. This new leadership approach has also fostered an environment of trust, empowerment, and innovation within the organisation.

"Working with Corporate Edge provided ‘great insight’ into the organisations transformational culture direction, our areas of opportunity and positive steps towards embarking on and developing a Leadership Development Program that was compelling, and able to deliver upon the future culture direction of Jacana Energy’s organisational strategic objectives. Dan and the Corporate Edge team have led and supported the organisation through a massive culture and leadership development journey to what now has surpassed my expectations with regards to our workforce improvements across engagement, motivation, and productivity. The most inspirational part for me personally is the ability to understand your own leadership effectiveness and the impact that this has on the organisations culture and its overall success."

Lessons Learned

Jacana Energy’s transformation journey offers profound lessons for organisations navigating similar challenges:

Leadership Transformation is Key

Leading with a balance of care and accountability, where there is a deep connection to the vision and strategy, can drastically improve engagement, accountability, and innovation. Conscious decisions may need to be made to hire the right people that are committed, and willing to come on the cultural journey. Onboarding is also key to get new leaders connected to our vision and strategy.

Communication and Cooperation Drive Progress

A frequent communication rhythm and structure centred around the vision, where the organisation is heading, and where improvements may need to be made, leads to increased clarity and a sense of purpose. The introduction of cross-functional cooperation and team-building activities break down silos, enhance morale, and lead to better outcomes.

Empowerment Breeds Ownership

Empowering team members to make decisions, share their ideas and take ownership of their roles boosts engagement and fosters an environment of innovation.

Feedback Nurtures Accountability

Setting clear expectations and implementing mechanisms for continuous feedback align team member actions with organisational goals.

Insights

The transformation of Jacana Energy serves as a compelling case study with actionable insights for organisations at crossroads:

Assess and Adapt

Evaluate if your organisational culture is conducive to cooperation and innovation. Address challenges proactively to promote growth.

Empower Your Leaders

Empower leaders to model desired behaviours, foster innovation, and lead the transformation from the top.

Foster Communication and Collaboration

Establish regular communication rhythms and cross-functional initiatives to foster cooperation and nurture a cohesive culture.

Instil Accountability

Define clear goals and create mechanisms for employees to take ownership of their roles, promoting a culture of accountability.

Measure and Evolve

Continuously assess employee engagement, satisfaction, and business performance. Adapt strategies as necessary to ensure sustained growth.

Jacana Energy’s transformative journey highlights the significant impact of culture change and leadership development in overcoming growth-related hurdles and driving an organisation toward sustained success. By aligning leadership, fostering cooperation, and promoting a culture of accountability, businesses can overcome challenges and thrive in ever-changing markets.

Empower Your Own Transformation.

If your organisation faces challenges similar to Jacana Energy’s, consider the powerful impact of deliberate culture architecture and leadership development. By cultivating cooperation, embracing innovation, and engaging your workforce, you can pave the way for a culture that fuels sustainable success in today’s dynamic business landscape.

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