Driving a Cultural Change – Microsoft Ignite

Our Digital Transformation Team have just returned from their first speaking engagement at Microsoft Ignite London and are buzzing with customer curiosity about their Diversity in Tech session on driving a Culture of Change. Here’s how it went


Satya quote


You will all have a degree of tech capabilities in your organisations. However, we believe by nurturing and supporting your people in delivering your transformation effectively, implementing sustainable technical solutions, and delivering tailored business change backed by long-term adoption support we at Minttulip, you can begin your journey to tech intensity in a matter of weeks. 


Amy, Krishna and Lesley


We have taken our diverse experience and created a blended model we call the “Evolving Modern Workplace”. We started with the simple but very clever “Where to Start a Conversation” model – affectionately known as the “inner and outer loops”.


Inner and Outer loops diagram

Our model highlights the importance of effective communication and engagement across the inner and outer loops, and further afield in External Communities, instilling the philosophy of Working Out Loud, to drive a cultural change.

The evolving modern workplace

1. Business alignment.  In this context business alignment ensures all stakeholders are on the same page​. The first step is to ensure your central Change Network is established and grounded. This might start out as just being the core Office 365 project team; the technical implementors of the change, as well as representatives from supporting functions in L&D and internal comms. Ultimately, what you want, is the right mix of people from right across the business.To ensure successful business alignment is successful, a level of planning, the right level of planning, strategic engagement and collaboration must take place. On an individual level, there needs to be an appreciation of the importance of walking the walk, talking the talk, and modelling the changes in behaviour you want to see.

Whatever the desired outcome, we must ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands the vision. When there is an absence of these discussions, hurdles may be placed in your path, with disengaged parties blocking progress with these opinions:

“We can’t run training for our staff; they already have enough to do”
“You can’t send out communications this week; there is already too much going out”
“I don’t agree. I don’t see the point”


The provision of clear and open lines of communication for people to talk about progress, blockers, even just to vent frustration, over the entire course of the transition ensures the changes land well.


2. Outer Loop. For sustainable transformation it is also important to effectively engage with your Outer Loop.  Initially, comprised of Leadership and Change Champions. It is important to include them right at the start, to give them the opportunity to give input to the project vision and objectives. We work closely with this group to ensure clear guidelines are defined and communicated out to the wider business to ensure consistent ways of working.


The change network is key for successful digital transformation, a conduit between the project team and the wider business. They champion change and ensure their teams are benefiting and success stories are captured. 

We work with the Change Network to provide them with the skills to adopt the new ways of working within the Modern Workplace.  In addition to this, we use Change Models, to coach the Network on how to support their teams through the change and manage resistance. We also introduce a positive mental attitude and a growth mindset to help them appreciate how the change will benefit all. 

We also ensure easy access to the program’s key messages, knowledge and support, to help users understand the benefits of the Modern Workplace and feel encouraged to make the change. This information is cascaded in events, training and posters and accessed on a dedicated SharePoint site and face to face briefings. 

When planning your engagement with the outer loop, it is important to have a diverse approach, to ensure all users receive the key messages and are supported in the change. This is critical to ensure the Modern Workplace, and the journey to get there is accessible to all. 


3. Work Out Loud. A simple, long-term holistic approach. It encourages us to share your work with a view that others might find it helpful and others might help you improve it – an approach we embrace at Minttulip internally and externally. This philosophy is extremely well documented on social media and very popular with German and Dutch companies like Bosch and Deutsch Bank. We encourage you to check it out by searching #workoutloud. 


4. “External Communities”. This is where your people are connecting outside the organisation with people they might not already know. This is the trusted public face of your company where your people are advocating fundraising, digital literacy, wellbeing, diversity, inclusion, accessibility in professional networks on LinkedIn, Twitter, MTC.  Bringing the outside in and Working Out Loud. 


Keeping all this in mind we pondered on how we can make the process of user adoption a bit more fun and accessible. Based on our diverse experience we came up with the inclusive Collaboration Change Agents.    

Please do not think of these change agents as individuals. You will never find them working alone. What you will find, on a daily basis are passionate people pivoting across these fictitious personas, nurturing inclusivity by working out loud in collaboration technology. Think of them as switching hats! 


Read Lesley’s blog on Change Agents here. 


Early on in your culture change this will be a few keen people, think of them as your [intrapreneurs]Howeverif inclusive change behaviour training is rolled out correctly a high majority of people will be growing cultural DNA change in a matter of weeks!  

So, we have shared how Minttulip drives a cultural change in an evolving Modern Workplace – with a hybrid version of the inner and outer loop model. We closed our session with a real-world example of how we at Minttulip align the business, embed change communities and nurture working out loud across inner, outer and external communities of change.  

We use ​the inner loop in:  

  • Internal MS Teams to manage our customer accounts and resourcing​ and – 
  • External MS Teams with guest access to our inner loop customer stakeholders, enabling continuous business alignment conversations and a place to share outer loop training collateral ​pending approval. 

We use ​the outer loop to:  

  • Encourage the use of Yammer from the get-go, with the customers Change Champions sharing their training knowledge across the organisation. 

 Driving a cultural change to tech intensity!  



Lesley Crook