Creating identity and culture

CASE Malmö City Council

the Challenge

How to create a sustainable work culture in Malmö City Council’s Communications Department as it takes on more responsibility in addressing problems the city faces.

the Outcome

The Communications Department is able to play a role in meeting the city’s challenges while also growing and sustaining a functional work culture.

When Malmö City Council centralised its communications activities, the goal was to create a department that could play a central role in meeting the city’s real challenges. From the outset, the new director wanted to focus on developing a highly functional organisational culture. He knew that culture was a valuable asset, even though it was hard to measure.

Johanne signed on and, together with the client, they designed a framework for the process of culture creation.

We worked in parallel on three levels: executive coaching, coaching the management team, and facilitating workshops with the whole department. The first phase defined the culture that they wanted to build and sustain, and started putting it into practice. Simple in principle, but complicated in action. The cultural components that grew out of the dialogues were used to heighten awareness and deepen ongoing conversations about organisational culture.

The primary tools used through the change process were reflection, dialogue and action.

Central to the culture creation was feedback, supporting the creation of a learning environment. Finally, leadership development has played a key role in anchoring new ways of thinking into everyday organisational life.

During the process of successfully integrating the city council’s communication activities with the IT Department, the Communications Department grew from 23 to 45 people. The Communications Department is now an attractive workplace that is recognised for its ability to meet the city’s challenges while sustaining a thriving and collaborative work culture.

Case facilitators

Johanne Eriksen


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