Building an Adaptive Mercury
Mercury NZ Limited is a New Zealand electricity generation and multi-product utility retailer of electricity, gas, broadband and mobile telephone services. In 2020, Mercury made the decision to acquire Trustpower, a market leader in bundled offering.
Besides the significant technological challenge of integrating both customer bases on a single technology stack, Mercury wanted to use this opportunity to create a dynamic and future-ready environment where adaptability is woven into the organizational DNA, setting the stage for a modern, resilient, and future-fit organization that will be seen as the gold standard for adaptive change.
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.
- Fully upskilled internal Adaptive Practice team to continue the change within Mercury.
- Establishment of new delivery practices and a way of working allowing the teams to respond to changes around them across the different business units.
- Successful execution of the Retail Integration programme to bring two retail businesses together.
- Leadership across the business uplifted to be more effective in an adaptive organisation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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