Together with our long term client partners, BIG W, Performance Frontiers won the Award for Best Learning Culture in an Organisation at the 2020 Australian Institute of Training & Development Awards.

The BIG W Optimum story

With increasing disruption and competition in the domestic and international market, BIG W found itself at a low point in FY18, experiencing a huge financial loss and significant turnover in its leadership team. This climate of instability was understandably breeding a culture of fear and uncertainty.

Now in 2020, BIG W is thriving – exceeding even the most optimistic forecast by turning its first profit since 2016, with a stable, connected leadership team, team sentiment at an all-time high and a burgeoning culture of continuous growth. BIG W Optimum is one part of this remarkable turnaround journey, bridging these two points in time.

Co-created, designed and delivered in partnership with Performance Frontiers, the Optimum journey began as a series of diverse learning experiences to develop leaders across the business in end-to-end collaboration, cultural cohesion and aligned strategy delivery.

From mid-2018, 260 BIG W leaders came together in nine cross-fertilised cohorts to work on the areas of priority identified by the team themselves to propel the turnaround, namely developing trust, alignment around shared purpose and self-leadership). The journey of growth that followed was remarkable.

Combining facilitated group learning sessions, strength assessments, coaching and opportunities for reflection, Optimum bridged silos with a ‘One BIG W’ mindset, strengthening interdependence between historically disparate teams, anchoring them in a shared purpose and a belief that, together, they could create abundance.

Optimum continues to support an ecosystem for BIG W’s growth: A culture of learning that enables the team to adapt and thrive even through the most challenging times. Optimum remains a key component in BIG W’s next horizon, as the purpose-led team continue to make a real difference for families.


About the Award

AITD’s Excellence Awards recognise achievement in learning and development and are coveted by companies across Australia and beyond. Nominees come from not-for-profits, government bodies, small businesses and large multinationals spanning all industries. Competition is high and the judging process is rigorous to ensure only the best submissions walk away with an award.

The Best Learning Culture in an Organisation Award is presented to an organisation that has implemented a culture of learning in a workplace to enhance organisational performance and support employee learning. Key to our win is how Optimum:

  • Linked learning to business strategy
  • Delivered measurable outcomes for both learners and the organisation, and
  • Showed innovation in design and implementation

Check out the full list of winners here.

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