How QUALITANCE helped Ford Australia drive company culture with Design Thinking
How QUALITANCE helped Ford Australia drive company culture with Design Thinking


After collaborating with QUALITANCE for over two years, we are starting to see real results as the initiatives are being rolled out. From the design thinking workshop and through the user testing, QUALITANCE made sure that employees and contractors interacted with us, giving us valuable feedback at every iteration. We believe that a design thinking approach is very important to our business, and we plan to continue iterating initiatives and prototypes with our teams.

MATT MORAN – Communications Director, Ford Motor Company
Australia & New Zealand


When you’re in business for nearly 120 years like Ford, keeping company culture adaptable and open to improvement across large teams is not an easy feat. Focusing on a human-centric approach, we worked with Ford to explore motivation and engagement across their employees and contractors, enabling them to facilitate change and identify the most effective means for a cultural shift.


Ford Australia wanted to improve awareness of their company values within Australia and New Zealand. Our challenge was to give the global values a uniquely local feeling.

When attempting to bring these values to life, a need to address employee recognition was simultaneously uncovered. This insight would ultimately go on to be a pillar of the business drive to instill cultural change and encourage the adoption of those values.

Our task was to include everyone across Australia and New Zealand business – from employees to contractors, from engineers to support staff.


Change starts with people, so we began our conversation with employees and contractors across Australia and New Zealand by means of a survey that would identify key data and insights that would validate our approach to bringing Ford’s values to life.

The 2,500 completed surveys and interviews we conducted revealed a series of insights that specifically put recognition at the forefront of the internal culture drive within the region, along with a need to support emerging leaders.

These insights paved the way for a 2-day rapid prototyping workshop, where we designed and tested major cultural-change drivers for Ford Australia:

  • new tools
  • new experiences
  • new rituals

We conducted over 420 prototype tests, with each idea being tested live with employees. The result was 5 game-changing ideas designed to be powerful expressions of Ford’s values, living in digital and analogue forms.

How QUALITANCE helped Ford Australia drive company culture

These validated ideas – serving employees and leaders equally – included:

  • a reward and recognition ritual
  • a leadership support program or playbook
  • a bespoke business practice designed to promote workplace flexibility
  • the creation of a new body to drive employee initiatives
  • a tool that refines the feedback process internally

What followed was a program designed to pilot each of the ideas with employees in their teams and regional offices, further validating the initiatives prior to launch. These MVP pilots – like the resulting initiatives from the workshop – were designed to assist everyone within Ford to improve wellness and leadership experiences.

With the pilot program complete, and the initiatives fully validated by Ford’s employees and contractors, we have begun bringing the initiatives to life as active products that users can interact with and use.

One of the programs born from this project, the ‘People Co-op’ initiative, is already helping Ford win awards. With a structure that utilises several different “squads” inside the business who review the desires of the employees and determine the best approach to improve the workplace. This was one of the projects that resulted in the Ford business placing third in the AFR BOSS Best Places to Work awards’ Property, Construction and Transport category.

For more info and guidance, you can always contact our Industry Expert Dragos Pirvu at [email protected]