The creative elements used to drive the change and encourage adoption are remarkable
“Kumba Iron Ore has embarked on a company transformation journey to unlock the business full potential and appointed Actuate to assist with employee engagement and change communication to socialise and drive buy-in of the company transformation strategy.
Actuate came up with a brilliant concept to promote the transformation strategy and encourage leaders and employees to participate and remain engaged with the process. The creative elements used to drive the change and encourage adoption are remarkable. Their ‘out of the box’ ‘can do’ attitude makes our lives easier particularly with the implementation of the strategy.
The Actuate team made the effort of learning and understanding our environment and the people thus they are able to engage with all people at all levels with ease. In the two years we have started working together, they have made such a meaningful impact and earned the trust and respect of our colleagues. I would recommend them to any company that require change.”
Kumba Iron Ore Head of Communication
A working session with them feels like time
spent with good friends
When Kumba Iron Ore crafted its Leadership and Culture Strategy, Actuate was brought on board as our employee engagement partner. Their role was to create a compelling strategic message for us, one that resonated at all levels in the organisation, and furthermore, to socialise our strategy projects from Board to Operator level. In order to engage this ‘broad spectrum’ audience, it takes a particular finesse and ability to connect with a wide range of stakeholders. Actuate certainly demonstrated this, they have an extraordinary ability to translate ideas into viable and creative solutions, and to connect with employees at all levels, and from all walks of life.
Actuate brought an inherent humanity and respect in their dealings with us. They listened intently, shared freely, and really brought a wealth of ideas for us to deliberate in our strategy work. Our relationship with Actuate morphed from them being service providers to us, to their team being an integral part of Kumba, and our strategy execution. They are able to quickly cultivate a depth of understanding, even with industry-specific, niche concepts. This attests to their work ethic, diligence and conscientiousness in meeting client requirements. They produce beautiful work.
It would be remiss of me not to mention how much fun it is working with Actuate. They are warm, caring and witty always putting clients immediately at ease, while still being focused on outcomes. A working session with them feels like time spent with good friends, and in this cynical and, dare I say, ruthless world, this is a rare quality. I wholeheartedly recommend Actuate’s services, they will inspire you to greater heights and will stick by your side all
DR SIMI RAMGOOLAM
Head of Leadership, Culture & Organisational Effectiveness at Kumba Iron Ore,
Actuate made me re-think change management, big time
"As someone who headed up the change management function within a large, federated bank, my experience of conventional models of organisational change management had left me dissatisfied. Over a two year journey, and against all the odds, Actuate helped my team and I drive organisational change within a 35 000 people business.
They did this by making the change journey inclusive and continuous, via the advancement of a crowd-sourcing approach. This approach helped us realise that the capacity for creativity and problem solving is vastly distributed across an organisation, rather than vested in the upper echelons of the organisational chart.
Actuate’s approach offers a unique combination of diverse scientific disciplines (psychology, economics, philosophy, etc.) and different professional practices (e.g., design, marketing, organisational development). They helped us build innovation capabilities within Standard Bank that even to this day, enable continuous adaptation to an ever-evolving environment.
With their help, we were able to integrate employees’ ingenuity into every stage of the innovation capability building process, and supported employees in initiating their innovation projects.”
Standard Bank Executive: Innovation Capability Build: Personal and Business Banking
Tel: 072 0187 391
Without a doubt, Actuate are the
best in the industry
Over the past 5 years, WesBank has been privileged to work with Actuate on a number of critical employee alignment projects. With each project, the Actuate team continue to surpass expectations with their phenomenal strategic expertise that result in innovative, creative, tactical, inspiring and highly successful outcomes.
In 2013, WesBank was faced with a challenge of needing to mobilise the entire organisation of 3500 employees, across 9 regions, to cascade a strategic message of a stretch business target that needed to be reached over a period of 3 fiscals. In order to do this, it was important to activate employee energy to encourage behaviour change and an understanding by each employee of how their daily jobs could impact the progression in achievement of this target over a lengthy period. This campaign was a mammoth one to embark on and we needed something mind blowing to capture the hearts and minds of the organisation.
After successfully winning a pitch, Actuate did just that- blowing the minds of not only our Executive, but also of each staff member! The 6x16 campaign was launched with the largest, artist-designed and hand engineered kinetic rolling ball machine in the Southern Hemisphere! The energy and awe that was evident throughout the organisation was palpable and to this day, the campaign has been referenced as the most impactful, successful, creative and engaging initiative that WesBank has ever experienced. This accolade can only be thanks to the team at Actuate who conceptualised a ground-breaking concept that captured the imagination without losing the business essence of the message that needed to be communicated. This was a challenging project to undertake as the activation period extended over 36 months and the message was a complex one. Despite this, the Actuate team delivered a phenomenally engaging programme, devising creative executions that were fresh, dynamic and impactful. The communication channels used were extensive and this kept a vibrant pace of the campaign. The results of the campaign revealed significant behaviour change, awareness and success against the end goal.
This is just one of the many campaigns that the Actuate team have exelled in delivering for WesBank. Their strength as an organisation lies in quickly being able to grasp the long-term business strategy, engaging the organisation at various levels to solicit true insights with a temperature check of where the employees are at, and then creatively solving for innovative ways to communicate strategic messages throughout the organisation. This ensures comprehension and socialisation of concepts that significantly contribute to long term change.
It has been an honour to work alongside Actuate and we value the passion, commitment and efficiency with which Kevin, Kam, Ilana and the entire team, service us as a client. The quality of their delivery is exceptional and they always deliver within budget and according to timeline. It is a pleasure to work with a supplier who is as passionate about the WesBank brand as we are and this shows in each and every execution of their work.
We highly recommend the services of Actuate and it is with pride that we acknowledge them as part of our extended Marketing Team. Without a doubt, Actuate are the best in the industry!
WesBank Head of Customer Insights and Marketing
Tel: 082 921 8145
The Actuate team is the real deal!
When we launched our transformation program in 2018, the goals we wanted to achieve were clear and focussed – we wanted to be more profitable and extend the life of our mining business over a 5 year period. The executive team clearly understood the reasons why we had to do this, but the challenge was clear – we needed to embed this program against a backdrop of a business being extremely profitable, with 95% of the organisation not understanding the case for change. As the strategy lead I also had the challenge of communicating this program throughout the business (on various sites and to all organisational levels).
Enter Kevin and the Actuate team – they took our transformation program, dissected the critical parts and came up with a narrative that we would use to drive the case for change throughout the business. The narrative was simple, but extremely effective. They helped us craft a program that we could use to communicate the program throughout the business, from board to foreman level. They also helped us link the transformation program to the leadership and culture program we kicked off in parallel, which is crucial to the former’s success.
Actuate has been working with us for nearly two years, during which they’ve performed way above our expectations. They are a highly professional, dedicated and energised team. The quality of their outputs is of an exceptional standard, with little to no rework required. Over and above this, what I treasure most about this team, is the personal relationships they formed with key members in our business. They embedded themselves into our business, became part of the team and made themselves invaluable.
I can wholeheartedly recommend any business to use their services – the Actuate team is the real deal!
Principal Advisor, Strategy & PMO at Kumba Iron Ore
Tel: 060 501 6496
To whom it may concern
I have worked with Actuate on numerous occasions over the last 10 years and most recently when Deloitte moved from Woodmead to Waterfall City.
Actuate’s involvement in our move resulted in a structured and well-considered approach that delivered a consistent and fully integrated internal marketing and communication campaign.
Actuate has shown their expertise as a full service specialist agency and we were impressed with the work produced, the insights they provided and the strategic direction that was present throughout the project.
We are proud of this partnership and the success we achieved.
Should you wish to discuss this further, kindly contact me via email.
Head of Marketing | Deloitte Africa
To whom it may concern
We are honoured to write this letter of recommendation for The Actuate Group. We collaboratively worked with Kevin and his team on a complex and intricate V&A Waterfront Purpose Activation Project over a 10-month period (June 2019 – March 2020). Actuate was a significant contributor to the success of this project and seamlessly formed part of our bigger neighbourhood for the duration of this project. We undoubtedly share the same common purpose and way of doing. Kevin and his team have a rare gift of connecting with people and managed to lead this project in an authentic and organic manner.
Although not based in Cape Town, The Actuate Group effortlessly created structure and clarity from big picture thinking. The project was challenging in many aspects and they were able to meet these head-on in a creative, innovate manner.
Actuate have a real gift to undertake even the most complex of tasks and mould it into a beautiful piece of art enjoyed and understood by all.
Please feel free to connect if you would like us to further elaborate on our experience and the abilities and skills of Kevin and his team.
Executive Manager: Strategic Relations & HR V&A Waterfront
They are professional, employee engagement specialists, responsive to feedback and fun to work with.
Actuate led by Kevin Liebenberg worked with our executive team from August 2015 for about 2 years with the brief to help us embed employee engagement in our environment and to cascade strategy to staff in a more effective and engaging manner. Actuate developed a concept and look and feel that became a creative container for our employee engagement work that we still use today. They enabled us to cascade a complex and involved strategy through our managers across 17 countries in an engaging manner using storytelling supported by a powerful metaphor, imaginative collateral including a microsite and physical recognition postcards. The A-team, as they were known to us, encouraged our executives to step into their storytelling roles and do things more creatively and authentically – and with more fun.
To support the traction gained with the employee engagement initiatives, Actuate helped us in the development of a fresh Induction and Onboarding Programme that not only assists new joiners with immersing quickly and easily into our environment but also helps to position us as an employer of choice.
Our employee engagement survey conducted in 2016 confirmed that our employee engagement work had paid off. As an example, the one question on the Bank energising staff to go the extra mile, had improved by 12% in a 2 year period. I enjoyed working with the Actuate team. They are professional, employee engagement specialists, responsive to feedback and fun to work with.
Standard Bank CIB Operations: Head Change Management and Communication
From Day One, they understood the brief, they understood the problem statement. They just got it. They really embodied partnership.
We, as the CIB Operations department at Standard Bank, had just about started on our departmental strategy refresh, which was in response to the bank’s strategy refresh. We knew where we were going and we knew what we needed to do. But we were also cognizant of two realities, viz.
Strategies and mission statements can be well crafted and powerful with appealing and catchy words and images. They have a profound effect when you read them on that strategy poster you put up on the pillar of the office. The problem is, quite often, the next time you look at the poster is when you’re bringing it down to replace it with the new strategy poster. That’s because, often, it’s not made real enough for people. It doesn’t resonate.
Peter Drucker was correct. Your people will help set the breakfast table and help the culture eat your strategy breakfast with a side of strong coffee.
So, we needed a way of making out strategy real for our people. We needed a way to communicate so that people understood what it means and how it relates to what they do every day of their lives at the office. It needed to be real, it needed to resonate. In language that made sense. In language and imagery that was relevant.
And, equally as important, we wanted to ensure the right culture to then enable execution of this strategy. We really believed in our strategy and we did not want to see it fail. But we knew that we had to have the right culture underpinning our strategy refresh, the right culture that would enable it. Not a culture that is counter-intuitive to that we wanted to achieve. For example, if part of your strategic intent is to exponential solutions and challenging the status quo, do you have a culture that allows people to freely speak their minds? Or are views contrary to the mainstream suppressed? If so, this noble strategic intent is doomed to fail before you even get out of the starting blocks. So, achieving this was of vital importance
But it went beyond this just being an exercise in enabling strategy execution. There was a longer-term play that was probably even more important. We wanted a different culture anyway, because it was the right thing. We wanted an open culture where people understood their role and their purpose in delivering the client promise. Where people felt part of something bigger and believed in the strength of working together and collaborating in building the new tomorrow. A culture where people felt safe to speak up candidly, and speak out boldly. It was imperative that engagement was embedded in our DNA.
So, we turned to Actuate. Kevin and his team were amazing. From Day One, they understood the brief, they understood the problem statement. They just got it. They really embodied partnership. They were incredibly patient. They listened intently to what we had to say. They are truly corporate communication experts but not in the typical sense. They bring a creative, fun approach which traditional agencies lack completely. They are an incredibly creative group of people that proposed out-of-the box solutions we would not have considered. They were not afraid to challenge our thinking and take us out of our comfort zones. The storytelling day and music video we did was such fun. Their work is of an extremely high quality. And to boot - they’re a genuinely nice, fun group of people to work with!
After weeks of working together, our Sync Up campaign was born which proved to be a huge success. The musical theme was fit for purpose and very appropriate in achieving what we set out to. It was an instant hit across the continent, touching over 1800 people. It proved to be a very effective tool in not only communicating our strategy, but an effective campaign that helped achieve our objectives of collaboration and teamwork. All this, whilst having tons of fun.
Thanks to Kevin and his team of rockstars!
The Sync Up theme continues to be used in CIB Operations today.
Head: CIB Operations South Africa