Developing values & behaviours framework to drive culture change

England Golf CASE STUDY



The English Golf Union merged with the English Women’s Golf Association on 1st January 2012 to form England Golf, the governing body for all amateur golf in England.  One of the largest sports governing bodies in England, its remit includes responsibility for the training of the country’s top amateur golfers, the organisation of the major English amateur championships, and the promotion of the sport.

Significant change occasioned by the restructure; combined with a decline in the popularity of the sport amongst the key demographic, together with a complex relationship between clubs, their players and England Golf, had put pressure on a number of areas of the organisation.  This in turn led to an internal disconnect in respect of culture and values which affected both the day to day running of the organisation and board governance.  Quality, communication, process, unity and reporting were particularly singled out as areas for concern.


England Golf identified a need to develop a single set of values and aspirations which would enable the organisation to deliver its objectives.

The executive team, consisting of the Board and Senior Management Team (SMT) invited Culture Consultancy to work with it in order to design a cohesive set of values and aspirations which would support the strategy and growth plans of the business.  This would include assessing, reviewing and defining the current culture, values and behaviours before moving on to work with the SMT in developing a new values based culture.

Key to success was generating organisation-wide acceptance of and buy in to the new culture.

  • Assess existing culture and values
  • Define, develop & integrate new values based culture

The first step was to work with the Senior Management Team (SMT) in order to develop a case for change.  This included reviewing variances in values in operation across the organisation and their impact on business performance.

A mini culture assessment was then undertaken in order to gain a current view of the culture within the business, enabling attributes and hindrances. To minimise impact the assessment combined data from an employee survey and interviews with key executive stakeholders. With the survey being open to all staff, it also acted as a signal that the senior team were committed to developing a new values based culture.

This commitment was further strengthened by an all staff meeting which was convened to discuss and consider a new set of values initially developed by the SME in a Culture Consultancy led workshop.  This all staff meeting proved invaluable as it highlighted some ongoing issues which had previously been overlooked and therefore added to the case for change. With staff helping to generate descriptions of the identified values, further engagement in the new culture and values was generated. The new set of values developed by the staff and SMT were then put before the Board. Any initial reservations were overcome by the scope of benefits identified through inclusive process of defining the values together with the enthusiasm with which the organisation has embraced the exercise.

The final stage in the process was to develop an appropriate set of behaviours frameworks based on the newly agreed values. Again receiving input from across the staff matrix enabled Culture Consultancy to define a set of key behaviours and outcomes which would be expected from staff, managers and volunteers in order to deliver identified outcomes.

  • Develop a case for change
  • Review existing values and their impact on the business
  • Undertake a cultural assessment
  • Workshop with SMT and staff to develop new values
  • Obtain Board buy-in
  • Develop agreed behaviours based on new values

England Golf has now put in place a significant foundational stone to transform the culture of the organisation. A set of Values-based Behavioural Frameworks, developed by and agreed at all levels in the organisation that will underpin the cultural transformation envisaged by the Executive team.

Successful development of values based framework and engagement across the organisation


“a positive impact within the organisation”

Culture Consultancy has made a great contribution to the development of a Values-based culture. The work included expert facilitation of both large All Staff events and small Senior Management Team and Board meetings. Through the introduction of some simple tools and processes, Simon has helped us produce a set agreed Values and values-based Behaviour Frameworks that are clear and owned by the whole organisation.

The engaging and thoughtful way Culture Consultancy approach all of their work is already starting to have a positive impact within the organisation, even before the final aspects of the work have been fully embedded. The great working relationship developed with the Director of Strategy and Governance and the HR team enabled the project to be completed quickly and effectively – we could not have managed it without your assistance.

Rod Findlay
Strategy Director at England Golf

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