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Shifting an accounting association’s culture to deliver on its strategy

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The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is the global professional accounting body offering the Chartered Certified Accountant qualification. It has 219,000 members and 527,000 students in 179 countries.

ACCA had a bold five-year strategy and needed a path to achievement

The ACCA had developed a bold strategy for 2025. The challenge for the executive team was to align the operating model with the strategy and to shift the organisational culture to deliver this operating model.

Nous supported ACCA to adapt the operating model, build consensus and shift the culture.

Implementing the operating model required a shift in culture

Nous developed and implemented the operating model in three key steps.

  1. We conducted interviews and workshops with executives to understand their priorities for the next five years, identifying things that needed to change, building consensus on the new model and setting out a phased implementation.
  2. We identified the gap between the existing purpose-driven culture and the desired culture, used our Seven Levers for Cultural Change (see below) to identify the steps to shift the culture, and built buy-in for the change.
  3. We conducted innovative culture workshops with the leadership team to help the leaders agree that cultural shifts were required, create an ACCA-owned assessment of the current culture and set out priorities for cultural change.

The new operating model is being put into action

ACCA now has an operating model that is clearly aligned with its strategy and sets out the desired shifts to its culture, building on its strong foundation. Efforts to communicate the change across the organisation have been positively received.

What you can learn from ACCA

Efforts to shift organisational culture benefit from a partner who works collaboratively and offers bespoke advice.

Clear priorities must be established to shape an impactful operating model and desired culture.

Effective delivery of strategy requires key internal stakeholders to take ownership of the priorities, demanding a partnership approach.