AHPRA : Merging multiple cultures into one

As a relatively young organisation, developing a strong culture was a priority for AHPRA in 2015.
To assist the leadership team achieve this objective, CEO Martin Fletcher engaged Learning Quest.

Formed by the merger of 37 state-based agencies in 2009, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) was a relatively young organisation in search of a stronger common culture when CEO Martin Fletcher engaged Learning Quest in 2015.

The brief was to get an understanding of the AHPRA culture – paying particular attention to both strengths and areas in need of improvement – and to build capability for leading and responding to change.

Martin says the organisation was often operating in silos when he engaged Learning Quest to do a Change Forensic™. What it revealed was a universal belief in the value and importance of the mission of AHPRA with staff highly motivated to contribute their skills and expertise. However, it also highlighted that staff did not always feel the organisation showed it cared about them and engaged them fully in change.

“The diagnostic was very helpful to baseline our current state and identify a level of disengagement or in some cases change fatigue,” says Martin. “In addition to working in a high-pressure, highly scrutinised environment, our people were somewhat overwhelmed by the pace of internal change – with new systems, processes and organisational structures.

“With Learning Quest’s help, we developed key strategies for building on our strengths and addressing the identified shortcomings.”

Following on from the Change Forensic™, Learning Quest has delivered tailored workshops aimed at building resilience and robustness for dealing with change at a team and individual level to more than 700 employees, 100 senior leaders and three leadership teams.

Martin says the feedback from employees and leaders at all levels has exceeded expectations.

“People genuinely found the workshops useful and relevant – they got beyond any scepticism,” says Martin, “Not only did people

gain insights into how they reacted to change, but they also learnt tools and techniques for responding constructively.

“My leadership team has come to view Learning Quest as a trusted and respected adviser that’s genuinely interested in helping AHPRA in our quest to be the best we can be.”

“An outsider perspective can help to frame things differently – to help us figure out what’s going on when hotspots arise. Learning Quest helps us to leverage the differences in our perspectives.”