Working Together Better: The Iron Ore Company

Andrew Wildy, Manager, Business Evaluation

The Iron Ore Company was tasked with creating alignment between the operational side and the support side to get them working together better so that they could meet their new targets. The problem was that that they were working in silos. We met with senior leaders from all areas. We created some conditions, deliberately and behind the scenes, to get people communicating more openly and expressing their frustrations in a way that's productive.

We've brought people from different areas together to see how they could work together. With the climate of economic uncertainty, the rules are changing. We have to be able to work together to respond to those changes.

It's been an intense process. It's a journey where you have to find your own way. Christie has been very useful in managing the process and letting people embark on their own journeys. It's been amazing because we're getting input that you wouldn't expect from people you wouldn't expect and in ways that you wouldn't expect.

One of the things Christie does is that we tend to focus on what goes wrong. She asks about what went well and it brings a positive spin to what we're doing. You can get better results that way.

Another thing is that she doesn't take over the process. It's our process and she understands that. She creates space for people to express their views. People have been really keen to invest in this. They feel that their contribution is valued.

It's not easy. It's no miracle cure. It requires hard work and commitment from everyone involved, but we're starting to see some glimmers of light. It's not the sort of thing where you can point to dramatic results right away, but it should lead to greater clarity about what people are doing and an ability to finish what we started. It will lead to better performance as a business.