Building the next evolution of Mercury

Mercury is a New Zealand electricity generation company and multi-product utility retailer. In 2020, Mercury acquired Trustpower’s Retail business. Mercury saw an opportunity to create a dynamic and future-ready environment where rapid delivery, collaboration and adaptability are woven into the organisational DNA. Together, they Radically helped Mercury achieve this.

Challenge

How might we merge two distinct organisational cultures and ways of working to evolve into a modern, resilient and future-fit organization where continuous learning and change is embraced as the norm, and seamlessly integrated into everyday work.

Results

  1. Fully upskilled internal Adaptive Practice team to continue the change within Mercury.
  2. Establishment of new delivery practices and a way of working allowing the teams to respond to changes around them across the different business units.
  3. Successful execution of the Retail Integration programme to bring two retail businesses together.
  4. Leadership across the business uplifted to be more effective in an adaptive organisation.

Full Story

Mercury wanted to seize the opportunity that came with the acquisition of the Trustpower to become an adaptive, future-fit organisation that is more than just the sum of its parts.

The goal was to learn and experiment with new ways of working, encouraging cross-business collaboration, beyond the boundaries of traditional silos to get things done quicker and more efficiently. Emphasis was placed on empowering individuals, instilling a growth mindset in the organizational culture, and fostering a learning-centric environment as the basis for future Mercury.

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Pilot initiatives that drive real change

Through a series of workshops with the executive team facilitated by Radically, Mercury selected pilot initiatives across the three work streams, Retail, Generation and the wider organisation, to champion new ways of working. Each stream was sponsored by executive leaders.

A cross-functional team consisting of Mercury and Radically consultants was formed to guide and coach the pilot initiatives, applying new ways of working, delivery models and adaptive tools. The objective with this approach was threefold:

– Improving delivery efficiency and effectiveness,

– Introducing modern delivery practices into Mercury’s toolkit, and,

– Fostering a growth mindset and a culture of continuous learning across the organisation.

Engagement with a wide range of people across the organisation meant that Mercury was able to support the teams from both organisations to come together as one, while building capability in adaptive ways of working.

One of the key pilot initiatives was the Retail Integration Programme, tasked with bringing together the two retail businesses as effectively and efficiently as possible.

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Retail Integration Programme Case Study – Read More

“Remarkably, achieving the integration of customer bases into a unified technology stack within a mere year and a half sets them apart from comparable organisations still grappling with this task after a decade.” Paul Bacon Head of Telecommunications

Forming an Adaptive Practice

The next step in Mercury’s journey was to formalise the role of Adaptive consultants in the business and to create an Adaptive Practice that would house the internal capability, lead by the Head of Adaptive.

Instead of going to market, Mercury chose to harness the skills of their existing people. With the support of Radically, Mercury recruited and seconded four additional internal staff with the right skills and drive from across the business into the role of internal Adaptive consultants. Over the course of two months, Radically consultants built the capability within the new internal Adaptive consultants in expertise of adaptive tools and frameworks as well as consulting skills.

“We decided we wanted to do this ourselves, so we wanted to partner with an organisation like Radically that worked alongside with us and we could use most of our own people to actually make the change happen so that the change sticks, rather than someone coming in, doing it to us and then leaving again.” Paula Stenhouse Adaptive Ways of Working Lead

The Adaptive practice continues to coach initiatives and teams across Mercury, continuously improving ways of working and moving Mercury toward being a modern, future fit organisation.

Building internal capability, from leaders to the team

Parallel to building a dedicated Adaptive Practice, Radically and Mercury co-created a leadership programme that is being rolled out across leaders of all levels. The programme is designed to create a shift in leadership approach and mindset to support an Adaptive Mercury for the future.

The first version of the programme saw the executive leadership team challenge their own approach and role model behaviours and mindset they want to see in their team.

“I’ve probably learnt more in the last year than I’ve learnt in my whole career about people and what makes them tick and how to try and influence change and Radically have actually been brilliant to partner with. They’ve taught us all here loads and that’s part of their responsibility with us is to help lift the capability of all of our people so that we can be sustainable, we can self sustain this change.”

“We’ve been really impressed with the calibre of their people that come and work with us. They’re just good humans.  They stand strong on some of their beliefs around the people and the teams and trust and all the important things to build and that’s been quite impressive and I think something we’ve learnt from them.”
Paula Stenhouse Adaptive Ways of Working Lead

“They bring good capability to the table,  good thought leaders,  people who genuinely make a difference and add value and people who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves when things get challenging.”“We operate on a high trust basis in terms of the way in which we engage them and the way in which they engage in our organisation.  They’ve really helped us shift our thinking in terms of the way in which we are now thinking about the future design for the organisation.” Paul Bacon Head of Telecommunications

Interested in knowing more?

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