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Windmills Not Walls at Shropshire Council

August 19th, 2013 by Helen Wakefield

How well are you and your organisation coping with the winds of change?

Shropshire Council, like many other local government authorities, is facing a challenging period of change.  In collaboration with Windmills, Shropshire Council have developed an inspirational approach to employee engagement by creating a team of internal ‘Change Champions’.

‘The decision to empower our own staff to work with their colleagues to support them through substantial change made absolute business sense. ‘

Wendy Marston, Corporate Head of Business Improvement, Shropshire Council

We at Windmills believe passionately that to help others take control of their lives, we must first take control ourselves. Wendy reflected

‘In a public sector environment that is fluid, complex and a little scary to some, the Windmills training offers the Council a way to introduce a new skill set that will build our capacity, capability and confidence to meet the challenge head-on.’

The champions programme began in May 2010 with a call across all directorates for volunteers who wanted to be involved in the organisational change.From this, a team of 45 enthusiastic and positive employees gained the opportunity to be part of supporting and delivering the transformational process. by helping peers and colleagues through the resultant change.

Using a flexible tool kit of Windmills resources, activities and programmes – the Windmills team created a tailored ‘Champions’ programme which enhanced the resilience, increased the confidence and changed the mindset of the volunteers. This provided Shropshire Council with a committed team who continue to demonstrate an appetite and functional capacity  to help the council effectively transform itself.

Running from October 2010 till June 2011, the volunteers engaged in a three stage process that supported their own personal development, built their capacity to use the Windmills tool kit of resources and supported them once operational within Sthe council.

‘Thanks to Windmills I feel much more confident in my ability to position myself in the new structure and ensure that I play a key role where I can.’ Change Champion, Shropshire Council.

Working collaboratively with Windmills, the council are now looking to share their learning with other councils and organisations, and recently shared their experiences at an event in Liverpool with a range of organisations including Shell, Staffordshire Council and People First.

The strength of this project continues to grow as we are working with Line Managers within the new shared service and 6500 employees across the whole of the council..


Shropshire Council, like many of our partners across the education, nuclear, health, public and voluntary sectors, see a real benefit to this Champions process.  It enables organisations to develop, cascade and sustain their own internal capacity to manage change and transformation.


To read about the work we have done in detail with Shropshire Council, click here [Link to full PDF case study]

Are you interested in developing a champions programme within your organisation?  Please contact us on 0844 249 1990

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