Transforming Organisational Culture: Conversational Leadership

Performance / Leadership development / Employee Engagement

Client: Incommunities

Relationship: 2022-Now

Sector:  Not-for-profit

In their words...

"Working with Conversational Wisdom was such a refreshing approach. We were able to use a well evidenced and developed model and framework and then very much work with the Conversation Space Team to tailor that around our business need, targeting the areas where we most need to change, to get something that’s really pragmatic and can quickly make a difference to our leaders."

Sara Sheard
Executive Director, People & Change / Incommunities

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Kindly written by Helen Chapman, Head of People Experience, Incommunities Ltd.

Incommunities embarked on a journey to enhance its organisational culture and leadership practices.

Recognising the need for a cultural shift and improved managerial skills, the company conducted a comprehensive Culture Audit, which revealed key insights from both managers and colleagues highlighting the need for:

  • better communication,
  • increased managerial support, and;
  • a shift towards a coaching leadership style.


In response to these findings, in mid-2022 Incommunities partners with Conversation Space, led by Emily Cosgrove, to develop a bespoke leadership development programme named Connected Conversations.

Leveraging Emily’s expertise and research on the power of meaningful conversations in driving business success, the programme was carefully co-designed and delivered to the executive team. This ensured their buy-in and commitment to championing the programme’s principles.

A significant decision was made to mix manager cohorts from various departments, breaking down silos and fostering a culture of collaboration and peer-to-peer learning. This intentional strategy led to the creation of a ‘brave space’, where managers felt empowered to share experiences, learn from one another, and build psychological trust.

The Connected Conversations programme, spanning two days, focused on strengthening managers’ conversational skills through self-awareness and nurturing connection leadership. Incorporating experiential learning exercises, peer-to-peer discussions, and self-reflection activities, the programme facilitated measurable personal growth among managers.

The introduction of Connected Learning Groups, in essence, action learning sets, furthered this journey for managers. Providing a platform for ongoing peer-to-peer dialogue, reflection, and skill development, to solve work challenges, in a confidential and supportive environment.


“It was the first time in my time working at Incommunities that I have been afforded the time to develop and consider my managerial style. I thought it was really beneficial to work with colleagues from other departments as this helped me gain a different perspective.”

Manager – Incommunities


So far (April 2024) over 60 managers have completed the programme and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with expressions of gratitude for the opportunity to develop self-awareness, conversational skills, and collaboration across departments.

As the lead of the programme, I was personally struck by the openness and energy of our managers to try something different and to really step into ‘brave space’ and be vulnerable.

“I enjoyed every moment and gained significant resources that will help to develop my conversational skills. It gave me time to reflect how I carry out conversations with my teams using the Conversational Wisdom Framework.”

Manager – Incommunities


The success of the Connected Conversations programme has highlighted the importance of investing in and developing our managers as key drivers of organisational culture and success.

To ensure the long-term sustainability of the programme, Emily supported us to develop in-house delivery capability and it is now being rolled out by Incommunities’ Learning and Leadership specialist, Coleen Greenwood. This transition ensures the continued strengthening of conversational skills and connected leadership, laying the foundation for long-term cultural transformation within the organisation.

Our journey shows how leadership programmes that focus on meaningful conversations and collaborative learning can have a significant impact.

They help teams talk and work together more effectively. This in turn leads to better customer and colleague experiences.

You can download a pdf of this case study here.

If you would like to have a chat about our collaboration with Incommunities, please give us a call.

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