Chief Finance Officers Group: Values-based Leadership & Cultural Change

CCP Cascade – Professionalisation Pathway, Yr 2 Department of Defence, AUS

Defence & Emergency Service

Chief Finance Officers Group: Values-based Leadership & Cultural Change

CCP Cascade – Professionalisation Pathway, Yr 2 Department of Defence, AUS

Defence & Emergency Service

Australian GovernmentBackground

The AUS Dept of Defence CFO Group is addressing further cuts announced in the 2014/15 budget. Part of their strategy is to realise savings without impacting service quality. With this in mind, their Executive Leadership Team built on existing achievements & started championing a ‘Professionalisation Pathway’. Synergy Global was selected as the sole provider to create a Values-based Leadership &Cultural Change Program (CCP). The first year of the program further skilled Senior Finance Executives, engaging them in role-modeling eight new leadership behaviours; the second year built on individual, team & organisational learning & success, while cascading behaviours through to EL2 Directors using Change Leadership Workshops & Action Learning Teams (ALTs).


The Chief Finance Officer’s Group were looking for an integrated, cost-effective leadership development solution as part of their strategy to move away from a ‘command &control culture’ to a more effective ‘coaching culture’.

The group consisted of 76 staff. The Executive Steering Team (EST) identified six ‘Business Imperatives’ & members of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) volunteered to mentor six Action Learning Teams (ALTs) addressing these key goals.


Synergy Global supported the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) in identifying the Business Imperatives to be addressed, then designed & delivered bespoke Change Leadership Workshops with Action Learning Teams (ALTs). The process included ALTs meeting for an hour/week, plus weekly virtual coaching for the ALT Team Leaders to get them established. The Executive Change Champions were also supported throughout the CCP with monthly Executive Coaching addressing SMART goals with Quantitative &Qualitative Metrics, challenging them to inspirationally lead the entire group.

The program flexed around participants work pressures, business commitments & learning style preferences. Sessions used the Synergy Global Speed Coaching Model™, including both face-to-face & virtual coaching by email or phone.

Metrics: The program included the following instruments: SG Values Clarification; Clifton StrengthsFinder®, LSI™; The Fifth Force (4-D Systems from NASA), to build a self-sustaining ‘Learning Community’ (Senge 1990) – working smarter not harder. The values-based coaching goals were mapped onto the AUS Public Service Integrated Leadership System.


Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) & Innovation:
Why: Improving effectiveness & decreasing ‘static’ behaviours in CFOG that are not leading to effective outcomes.
How: Communicating more effectively within teams & across ‘silos’ within the organisation to increase innovation.
What: Improving Accountability for CQI effectiveness; improving Flexibility to respond to challenges; improving Motivation & reducing Stress.

People & Communication:
Why: Realising The Fifth Force (4-D Systems 8 Behaviours) to benefit Shared Interests across the CFO Group.
How: Taking greater responsibility for engaging in upward conversations to clarify CFO Business Strategy & Goals.
What: Committing to communicate program progress/milestones through wkly Action Plans; eZine; & SharePoint.

Business Process Improvement (BPI) & Standardisation:
Why: To be more effective as individuals/teams in actioning the ‘Business Imperatives’ – challenging the CFO Group.
How: Understanding each other’s Innate Preferences & adopting 8 key behaviours to become ‘4-Dimensional’.
What: Leveraging strengths & utilising circle of influence, to á action orientation & achieve the desired outcomes.

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