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Implementing a new communications operating and funding model


A high-profile NSW Government department sought Blue Seed’s expertise to develop a new operating model to enable its Communications function to meet the growing demand for their services.  Spanning 8 business areas and supporting 16 NSW districts encompassing over 120,000 personnel and countless additional audiences – its’ Communications function was not well placed to meet needs.


Like the businesses and stakeholders, it serves, the Communications Team has experienced rapid growth within a short time frame. Prior analysis had already identified an array of problems which had and were continuing to impact the function.  Legacy organisational structures and funding practices, blurred roles and capacity issues prevailed. Despite internal work and partnerships with consultancies in recent years, the function had yet been able to bring to life or implement much-needed changes.

Following a proven methodology consisting of extensive research, stakeholder analysis and investigation, Blue Seed Consulting developed a new operating and funding model for the Communications function and an accompanying delivery roadmap to mobilise the change.

Our interactive interview and workshop process involving over 30+ leaders garnered perceptions regarding the Communications team based on previous experiences, and in conjunction with feedback from Communications professionals and desktop research, provided rich insights into existing challenges and future communications requirements.


Having assessed findings against six key areas essential to effective communications and four best practice operating and funding models, our team arrived at an operating model able to address our clients’ needs. These findings and recommended model were in turn tabled with the Executive Team to gain collective approval.

In developing the new operating and funding model for Communications, we:

  • designed a highly customer centric organizational model and Team structure
  • proposed a sustainable charge-back model with shared financial commitment and accountability
  • co-designed the purpose and operating charter for the function complete with a clear menu of communications services; and
  • provided an implementation plan strategy, objectives, target audiences and key messages to aid the introduction of the new operating model for all parties

Despite executive endorsement to the new operating model, shifting demands from the ensuing pandemic has limited our client’s ability to implement the new model in totality.  However, aspects of recommendations provided through this work have already been put into place to help maximise the team’s effectiveness during this crisis.

Our work generated the momentum needed to introduce a ‘future focused’ communications function.  An operating model able to meet future business or customer needs, and which is capable of unlocking, enabling and empowering people to effectively perform their roles.  The new model will ensure communication services can be provisioned to all, the value of communications be better understood and enable skills growth and development opportunities for its communication professionals.