Raising the curtain on culture change

Judith Ryder (Judith Ryder is Director of Organisational Development at Whitefriars Housing Group, Coventry, UK.)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Publication date: 1 June 2006



The purpose of this paper is to consider how Whitefriars Housing Group has addressed the challenges faced when managing major change, and to provide a successful case study for other organisations and training providers to learn from. The article considers how to introduce a successful culture change strategy and entrench a set of values into an organisation.


Whitefriars codified its cultural change model into seven easy‐to‐digest sections. These were then conveyed to all staff using in‐depth and innovative training methods, ranging from customer care training to theatre forums.


The results, in terms of employee attitudes, customer response and external audits, were all very positive. Tangible evidence of the success of the Stardust Strategy can be found in hard figures. Sickness absence dropped over three years from 9 per cent to 4.5 per cent. Employee turnover dropped from 40 per cent on the front line to around 8 per cent.

Practical implications

The paper shows a need for organisations to entrench their training material and the importance of innovation. Changes to practice may include embedding cultural identity and customer care into all companies' training packages.


The theatre training and Stardust Strategy contained within this paper are all new ideas. The paper will be of interest to trainers and human resources departments whose organisations or clients are undergoing major change. It is relevant to individuals and organisations both within and outside of the housing sector.



Ryder, J. (2006), "Raising the curtain on culture change", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 38 No. 4, pp. 185-189. https://doi.org/10.1108/00197850610671955

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