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SHAPE Case Study: "Culture Rebuild Improves Every Performance Metric"

Published on 27 May 2021


SHAPE are building contractors who specialise in commercial interiors across several sectors. After bringing in a new board of directors, the organisation adopted an aggressive growth strategy with a plan to double their size within a relatively short period. The strategy was realised and employee numbers grew to 500. What followed was excessive layers of management, confusion over company direction, and turf wars with aggressive managers. Then the GFC hit…
The organisation was forced to backtrack on the strategy and reduce headcount by a third. Deciding not to be a commodity player, SHAPE made the choice to redefine their purpose as a premium service provider. The decision was made to reinvest in their employees and create an environment that would attract and retain the best people.


Building companies are run by engineers and accountants. Traditionally, every strategic objective must be measurable. SHAPE needed to address their challenges with proven solutions backed by research. 
1. Redefining purpose and vision.
People were their point of difference. A leading provider needed to attract and retain talent.
2. Reinvesting in their people.
Create programs focused on building the right leadership behaviours and capabilities.
3. Linking culture to performance.
Get senior buy-in by providing compelling insights on how culture impacts the company scorecard.
Senior leaders became huge advocates as they realised the relevance and potential of these innitatives. Early on SHAPE recognised the importance of culture from the perspective of strategy implementation.

"It’s not about the plan, it’s about how you implement it, and for that you need the right culture environment or the best-led strategies will fail.” 
Executive Leader - SHAPE


Over the period of culture change, SHAPE found that traditional metrics including sales, profit, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, safety, quality, and risk management improved when the culture did.

shape circ

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Shape Case Study