Scope of Project

The FSU was sponsored to undergo a major transformation. A whole of Navy review recommended that Navy take back ownership of the maintenance of its fleet, which had become heavily reliant upon external contractors. In preceding years the FSU had become marginalised and had an unclear role in Navy.

The Navy Reform Board (NRB) directed that FSU will be an Australia wide repair and maintenance organisation, with a focus on the maintenance services of the fleet. An important by-product was the skills development of sailors within the FSU. The board directed that the FSU be optimised in a business-like manner to eventually generate potential returns in excess of $15M per year in cost return to Navy.

Role on Project

Organisational Change and Continuous Improvement for two major site locations (FSU-West, FSU-East), plus national office headquarters. Facilitate the transition, especially at the site level, since no executive structure existed as such, nor was the national office yet in place at the inception of the engagement. The charter was to develop a program of works with the objective of transforming the FSU into the organisation it had been envisioned to become by the NRB. Key to this was to instill a constructive and professional business-minded culture built upon technical mastery.


  • Brought together people from three functional branches (at each site) to create a shared commitment to service, and captured the ‘voice of the people’ in a cross-functional site charter.
  • Brought together the heads of each functional branch, and coached and mentored them to work collaboratively, in alignment with the charter, to create a cohesive change leadership team.
  • Built buy-in from all personnel at each site through a high involvement transformation strategy. Lean business improvements were implemented by the personnel, under my guidance.
  • Through a series of hybrid change-management/improvement workshops, at the tactical level, engaged each section within the site to take ownership for improving its own domain. This built buy-in gave context to the role of each individual in making the change.
  • Provided guidance and support for implementation of each section’s improvement projects.
  • Integrated myself into management teams of the sites to achieve close integration of business-like mindsets into problem solving, decision-making, and day-to-day operations of the site.
  • Developed, maintained and executed Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Plans.
  • Developed and implemented a mechanism to facilitate unity and collaborative working relationships between disparate groups within large Production branches of each site.
  • Orchestrated a ‘boot camp’ to provide senior site leaders efficient access to key representatives from external stakeholders, and to build essential support for the new direction of the FSU.
  • Developed and implemented an Alliance Manager program. Coached and mentored Alliance Managers to act as liaisons to key external stakeholders.
  • Developed internal marketing materials such as “Welcome to FSU Australia” posters, and co-authored a Navy News article about a major FSU win.
  • Consulted at the General Manager and executive level to build self-awareness and leadership skills through personal development. Administered (MBTI) Myers Briggs Type Instrument® and the DiSC®
  • Behavioural Profiles to all members of the executive team, and delivered debriefs to each executive.
  • Also delivered a team building workshop using MBTI and DiSC team reports.
  • Created and delivered a culture change program to instill a high performance culture within the organisation. This consisted of a series of custom built ‘Leading High Performance’ workshops to launch the program in a safe, energising and collaborative learning environment for leaders. A major objective of the program was to infuse a set of twelve constructive business success principles into the DNA of the organisation. The inaugural ‘12 Key Elements For Creating A High Performance Culture’ session, and the subsequent implementation guide, provided clear guidance and opportunity for high involvement of all personnel in the journey to transformation.
  • Developed National FSU AUST Communication Strategy
  • Developed National FSU AUST Onboarding Strategy
  • Developed National FSU AUST Recognition Strategy

Project Outcomes

  • Royal Australian Navy saved $11 Million in costs in 18 Months after the project.
  • Achieved demonstrable shifts in thinking and behaviours from leaders of the FSU.
  • Early adopters became champions, leading improvement initiatives.
  • The level of business leadership and management literacy increased significantly.
  • The FSU’s reputation improved amongst the Fleet personnel.
  • Collaboration is occurring as ‘business-as-usual’, replacing strong silos.
  • Regional Managers and Lieutenants are demonstrably acting strategically.
  • Role clarity for functional branches are clearly documented and displayed.
  • High performance culture awareness is part of the shared language of leaders.
  • The FSU is equipped with strategies to continue with the transformation.