Transforming your business? Take your stakeholders with you all the way
Two years after investing in a collaborative approach to co-create a strategic plan and initiatives roadmap, the Port Authority of NSW is being recognised for its successful large scale business transformation thanks to internal and external stakeholder engagement.
CEO Phil Holliday explains:
“For 2 years, Port Authority has been on a sustainability journey that has led to significant changes within, and beyond, our own business including initiatives that range from ethical and fair procurement, to major projects that are a first for Australia, others a first for the Southern Hemisphere and the World."
“Our progress in such a short period of time is due to the commitment of our staff, proving when you have a great plan created by your people, anything is possible!”
Image 1 below summarises Port Authority's transformative journey. Below that is text, videos, images, and references with more detail.
Image 1: Port Authority's transformative journey.
OVERVIEW: A JOURNEY OF BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION AND SUSTAINABILITY
Port Authority of NSW's sustainability journey began in late 2019, driven by the passion of the small State-Owned Corporation’s staff, Executive and Board, under the leadership of a new CEO.
Three years on, Port Authority’s sustainability commitment and strategy remains strong, and is producing tangible results. Results to date include:
- Sustainability commitments incorporated into the organisation's 2020-2025 Vision and Strategic Plan, and website
- Positive progress with four key initiatives:
- Net Zero by 2040
- Noise Management
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Sustainability in Procurement
- Three forms of public recognition for championing a collaborative approach and integrating sustainability practices across the organisation:
- 2020 Good Design Award
- 2021 Bronze Partner with NSW Government's Sustainability Advantage Program
- 2022 NSW Banksia Award for Large Business Transformation.
STEP 1: BUSINESS GOALS
Port Authority’s purpose is to provide safe, efficient, and sustainable maritime services and port assets.
Port Authority recognised that operating in all six commercial ports across NSW, it is uniquely placed to drive positive change in the NSW maritime and shipping sector. They also recognised that embedding sustainability mindsets and behaviours across its organisation would be an ongoing transformative project requiring some very large steps in areas that Australian ports had previously been hesitant to undertake.
Nevertheless, in late 2019 Port Authority committed to:
- Act on the UN Sustainable Development Goals
- Embed sustainability into the values, vision, strategic plans and priorities of the business
- Create a “North Star” roadmap of environmental, social, organisational, and economic initiatives
- Invest in an approach that would motivate staff to own and deliver initiatives.
STEP 2: STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT PLAN
Meld Studios was introduced to Port Authority as a stakeholder engagement and facilitation expert.
After a half-day executive workshop to explore what "sustainability" means for Port Authority, Meld Studios was engaged to design and lead a collaborative process with staff and external stakeholders to co-create a strategic plan and 'North Star' roadmap together.
Visual communication is core to how Meld works. We created a large poster to help all stakeholders understand the multi-year "sustainability journey" that Port Authority was embarking on with them.
Image 2: Stakeholder Engagement Plan. Large poster format.
STEP 3: STRATEGIC PLAN AND INITIATIVES ROADMAP
Port Authority and Meld Studios got started in early 2020, just before Covid-19 hit. We quickly pivoted from hybrid in-person and digital stakeholder engagement methods to 100% digital and went on to successfully engage around 20% of staff and key external stakeholders in the co-creation of Port Authority's Sustainability Plan. This process video tells the story.
The image below shows just some of the key outputs. The resultant Plan exceeded expectations, as Amy Beaumont, Group General Counsel, explains:
“Initially I thought we were after a glossy PDF, but since undertaking the process, the real plan is to have our employees engaged, setting their own targets, and being able to achieve more than just our group could ever imagine.”
Immediate outcomes included:
- A prioritised roadmap of strategic initiatives
- A framework for identifying, prioritising, coordinating, designing, delivering, measuring and reporting on the impact of those initiatives
- Sustainability commitments featured prominently throughout Port Authority's website and 2020-2025 Vision and Strategic Plan
- Staff feel ownership and motivation to act because they were actively involved in creating the Plan.
Port Authority and Meld Studios received a Good Design Award for the rigour and efficacy of this collaborative process. 2020 judges stated:
“A brilliant example of design-led strategic innovation that is well framed and executed. A very challenging project overall that brings together many complex systems and stakeholders all incorporated into a coherent, strategic and implementable plan.”
Image 3: Initiatives roadmap. Prioritised with staff. Visual format.
STEP 4: KEY INITIATIVES & DEMONSTRABLE OUTCOMES
In 2021 and 2022, Port Authority focussed on four key initiatives:
- Net Zero
- Noise Management
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Sustainability in Procurement.
This sustainability commitments video tells the story.
2021 - 2022: BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION AND SUSTAINABILITY OUTCOMES
Detailed targets for each initiative set, measured and in the process of being reported on. Two forms of public recognition for the efficacy of collaborative approach to business transformation and sustainability:
- NSW Government’s Sustainability Advantage Program: Bronze Partner status for commitment, determination and progress in embedding sustainability across our organisation.
2022 NSW Banksia Award for Large Business Transformation: Outstanding achievements that align with multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals and that integrate sustainability principles and practices across business activities.
2023 AND BEYOND
Three years on and Port Authority's commitment to sustainability and stakeholder collaboration remains strong. Their next steps include:
- Continue monitoring, reporting on, and refining current initiatives
- Identify next initiatives.
CEO, Phil Holliday, comments:
"I am personally incredibly proud of the people in our modest corporation that are making this our reality every day in their work, as we look ahead to the future.”
Meld Studios is proud to have played a role in setting Port Authority up for this success. Watch this space for further outcomes as Port Authority continues embedding sustainability across its organisation!
GOT A SIMILAR CHALLENGE?
Transform your organisation? Complex stakeholder engagement? Align with UN Sustainable Deliverable Goals? We're happy to share ideas. Book a time via firstname.lastname@example.org.