The Challenge

The Co-op initiated a large scale programme to fundamentally rebuild the Group following several difficult years. The purpose was to create a platform from which the organisation could increase engagement with colleagues and customers, to be used as a basis to generate future growth.

The change targeted three areas: re-engaging colleagues, refreshing the Coop brand and transforming the membership proposition. In other words, the Coop was looking to move back to its roots of supporting local communities.

I was engaged to lead the programme of work that would deliver these changes across Coop’s Funeralcare (FNC) business (500+ funeral homes across the UK).

From the outset, it was clear that each change had the potential to disrupt operations and it was essential to minimise this risk. A FNC focused core team was created to assign responsibility for the delivery of each of the three programmes across the business. Outcomes were agreed at the outset with the Exec, allowing requirements to be specified and early alignment to take place with the changes that were being delivered across the Food and Insurance businesses.

Given the breadth and complexity of the change, common deliverables were agreed centrally for all business units, allowing the scope and requirements for FNC to be specified from the outset. Within this framework, plans were developed in collaboration with the operational teams to design and deploy the deliverables.

All three changes and associated dependencies were successfully delivered across the business:

  • All 500+ funeral homes were re-branded to schedule, along with all other internal and external collateral (e.g. marketing materials)
  • All 2000 colleagues were engaged as part of the Being Co-op programme accompanied by increased engagement levels
  • The membership proposition was refreshed across the business, aligned to changes deployed across the Group (Coop Food and Insurance), with far greater emphasis on supporting local communities

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