An Innovative Approach to Fostering a Culture of Service Excellence in the City of Ottawa

Change Management

This case study describes how a team of organizational development (OD) and human resource (HR) specialists worked as partners with the City of Ottawa’s operational and shared services leaders to change the way all City employees provide service excellence. Beverley Patwell (an external OD consultant), Donna Gray (Director, ServiceOttawa Department, City of Ottawa), and Steve Kanellakos (Deputy City Manager of City Operations, City of Ottawa) led the change team. The approach taken to successfully develop and implement a large-scale, systems-wide learning and change strategy that helped to foster a culture of service excellence throughout all municipal services and operations in the City of Ottawa is outlined in this article.

The authors contend that our case study is relevant to OD, HR professionals, leaders, and managers for several reasons. First and foremost, it demonstrates how a large-scale organizational culture shift can be successfully implemented, given that more than 70% of change initiatives fail (Maurer, 2010). The change team achieved results quickly, accomplishing in three years what many organizations take five or ten years to complete. OD practitioners may develop new insights on how to successfully partner with external resources and internal business partners and leaders to successfully lead, manage, and implement a major culture change. The lessons learned throughout the process may be applied to any organization that needs to be innovative in its approach to learning and development, as well as leading change.

The case study largely covers the period from 2007 to December 2010, although ongoing initiatives have continued since then.

Download PDF: An Innovative Approach to Fostering a Culture of Service Excellence in the City of Ottawa

Receive email updates
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Learn more about the collection, use and disclosure of personal information at Queen’s University.

You May Also Like

ARTICLES

Workplace Restoration: An Interest-Focused Approach for Work Units or Teams
Labour Relations
Workplace Restoration: An Interest-Focused Approach for Work Units or Teams
Conflict that arises in organizations is complex and often driven by a multitude of factors unique to each situation....
Winning Hearts and Minds: Navigating Change in Turbulent Times
Organization Development
Winning Hearts and Minds: Navigating Change in Turbulent Times
We are navigating an era marked by profound transformation. The ramifications of climate change, rising living costs,...
3 Tips for Driving Engagement Through Inclusion in the Workplace
Human Resources
3 Tips for Driving Engagement Through Inclusion in the Workplace
We have all likely encountered the term “engagement” in the workplace, and most organizations emphasize the value...

PROGRAMS

Performance Coaching
Gain essential skills for building performance, growth, and accountability
Workplace Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Impactful EDI strategies to unleash workforce potential and maximize organizational success

Share this article

Page link
Copied!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Learn more about the collection, use and disclosure of personal information at Queen’s University.