Major Organisational Restructure in Local Council

Exent orchestrated a decade-overdue transformation for the council, navigating complexities with 2,000 employees and nine unions. The approach prioritised understanding the human element, managing cultural shifts, and ensuring operational continuity. Praised by the People & Engagement Director, the outcomes reflected a successful and caring restructuring.

The Client

A Local Council in a major capital city had experienced significant growth and was facing challenges relating to the emerging needs and expectations of the local community. The client required a transformation in the council’s organisational structure to ensure maximum effectiveness in service delivery.


The council had not undergone a substantial organisational restructuring for almost ten years. This project was more than a reshuffling — it was a complete transformation of how the council interacts with its community.

Multi-layered approval processes, coordination across various teams, and negotiations with nine separate unions complicated the restructuring process. The objective was to consolidate similar functions, eliminate duplications, break down silos, and enhance communication, collaboration, and accountability.

Exent was brought on board to provide Project Management and Organisational Change Management throughout the restructure. This included coordinating and engaging with approximately 2,000 employees, managing Union engagement, and updating information across 57 systems while maintaining business continuity.


We employed a people-centred methodology coupled with swift execution to prevent change fatigue. We completed the project six months ahead of schedule and under budget, with no negative feedback from any of the nine unions involved in the certified agreement.


  • Understanding the Human Element:

    We developed personas, user journeys, and empathy maps for employees to promote understanding among leaders. This approach informed our communication strategies and helped customise workshops to ensure they met specific needs.

  • Managing Cultural Shifts:

    Every change request was evaluated against the council’s strategies and core values. We ensured everyone had a say before finalising any outcomes through both formal and informal engagement.

  • Operational Continuity:

    Daily stand-ups with key technical stakeholders and our Change Alliance Network (CAN) helped us troubleshoot issues effectively.

  • Skill Realignment:

    ‘Day in the life of’ workshops helped us understand employees’ key skills, current scope, and stakeholder involvement in various programs. This enabled us to successfully redeploy employees within the organisation.

  • Stakeholder Management:

    Regular agile meetings, leader checklists, and Executive Leadership Team (ELT) updates kept everyone informed. Our Organisational Change Manager and HR Business Partners coordinated formal consultations with significantly impacted staff and union notifications.

  • Feedback Mechanisms:

    We implemented anonymous feedback mechanisms such as surveys, town halls, and retrospectives. This allowed us to focus our efforts on areas and leaders who needed more support during the restructuring process.

  • Resistance Management Tactical Plans:

    We workshopped real-world scenarios and resistance tactics were in place prior to the changes. This led to fewer surprises and increased manager confidence as their teams navigated the change curve.


“You never stopped caring about our people.”
~ People & Engagement Director