Actions to Build a Healthy Organizational Culture
Since 2000
Key Team Members
Shelly Berlin
Richard Eaton
Ashka Wirk

The Ministry of Health engaged Berlineaton to help with its response to Recommendation #33 of the Ombudsperson’s Report, Misfire: The 2012 Ministry of Health Employment Terminations and Related Matters, “to develop and implement a carefully designed organizational reconciliation program with the goal of re-establishing positive, respectful professional relationships with employees and contractors who will productively support the mandate of the Ministry moving forward”.
Compelled to respond to, and ultimately address, the issues identified in the Report, the Ministry of Health decided on a thoughtful, courageous and inspiring approach: they started by giving everyone in the Ministry a chance to identify the issues they were seeing and suggest actions to address them - as part of an organizational reconciliation program. Only after this experience would they develop their long term culture shift approach, informed by the input from hundreds of staff. Unsurprisingly, this is a monumental, multi-year undertaking and, in May 2018, the results were published in a progress report to the Office of the Ombudsperson: Culture Change - Organizational Reconciliation Program - Actions to Build a Healthy Organizational Culture.

Project Overview
Berlineaton approached this engagement in two phases. During the first phase; Listen and Learn, and working in partnership with a Ministry-led team, we provided Ministry staff with a range of opportunities to provide their input and feedback regarding the culture of the Ministry, what a healthy workplace should look and feel like, what they could contribute and what they needed in order to achieve this healthy workplace. Approximately 650 employees participated, contributing more than 15,000 responses. During the second phase, Designing Our Future, Berlineaton helped facilitate, over 9 days, the engagement of more than 500 staff, during several Problem Identification Solution Making sessions hosted in Victoria and Vancouver.  These sessions generated 130 proposals for change which were then reviewed by Ministry leadership to inform the development of an overarching Culture Change Strategy for the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry has acted on most of the Report’s recommendations and is now moving to action, engaging broadly and deeply to get traction on the many important streams of work that must be pursued to realize long-term success. As described by the Deputy Minister, Stephen Brown “Culture Change does not happen overnight — it is a long and sometimes difficult journey. The Culture Change Strategy highlights the founda­tional role that leadership plays in driving and shaping culture, and it shows the importance of integrating the Ministry’s business objectives, talent management and culture strategies to cultivate an organizational culture that provides:Meaningful Work, Empowered People, Healthy Workplace.
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Will your organization exist five years from now?
Organizations that thrive excel in three areas: 

  • Direction: a clear, widely shared, and aspirational vision of the future and a compelling road map to get there.
  • Process: clear, effective and efficient steps that create meaningful outputs. Daily tasks and deliverables yield their best results when processes are clear and strong, and aligned with organizational objectives. Processes facilitate the alignment of action with direction.
  • People: People make it all happen. People have the skills, capacity, and impetus to translate strategic intent into reality. Ultimately, people and the culture they create drive an organization towards its chosen future. 
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