Air Transport World

Quality through people: Ansett Australia is meeting deregulation by altering its corporate culture from statist to customer-oriented. (Ansett Airlines of Australia)

Ansett Australia is meeting deregulation by altering its corporate culture from statist to customer-oriented

MELBOURNE--The name of the program was "Everyone's a Customer," part of a broader corporate culture development program called "Reach out," meant to be entertaining, educating, uplifting, high tech. Eighteen months and A$12 million ($9 million) were spent in its design and preparation.

Nearly all of Ansett Australia's 15,000 or so employees were invited for an unusual, day-long event. Gathered in groups of 125 or so, they required eight months to go through it.

The venue was a network of five minitheaters, each different, with external walls in bright reds and yellows. The theaters had odd names: Everyone's a Winner, Playing Your Part, The Ripple Effect, Negus On The Air and Future History. The atmosphere was unconventional but creative, aimed at stimulating participation.

A "facilitator," recruited from within the organization and trained in theater techniques, "help [ed] deliver the message in each of the five modules" of the event, said Julie King, the program's national manager.

"Although the audiovisual production itself was very clear, its credibility was increased when the message was delivered by someone from their own ranks," explained King. The facilitators also enabled interaction between the audiovisual setup and the audience, and smoothed the way, organizing people to move from one environment to another.

The idea was to provide a systemic view, through which people could understand how an organization is a complex interdependent body of inter-related processes. It also is seen in the context of its relations with the outside environment. …

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