Asciano: Leading Home Safely Every Day

Until August 2016 when it was split into three distinct businesses, Asciano was the largest Australian freight logistics company, operating in railway freight, road transport, port operations, warehousing and stevedoring.

While Asciano was focused on implementing a number of health and safety improvements that were beginning to show signs of positive change, the CEO and General Manager of Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) was concerned that the organisation’s leadership was not fully engaged or suitably skilled to support the cultural changes required.

After undertaking a global search, Asciano selected Interchange to design a bespoke culture-change program which could be rolled out in creative ways. Development of this program required us to identify key leadership behaviours, suggest better ways of managing health and safety, and ensure effective implementation of these new behaviours.


During our Discover phase, we conducted 60 one-on-one interviews, engaged 12 focus groups and conducted 12 days of observations. We interviewed employees from a cross-section of the workforce to build a qualitative leadership profile, and emailed surveys to a cross-section of the business to build a quantitative leadership profile.

A filmed interview was conducted with the CEO regarding his safety story and desire for cultural change to drive safety improvements. We also developed and shared a pre-forum pack to start generating awareness of the culture-change process, and supported staff to start creating their own personal safety stories.


Using the findings from our Discover phase, we designed a culture change program for Asciano. This took the form of a multi-phased leadership development program tailored to shift the culture and transform the way employees think and act. We aimed to create an approach whereby employees recognised that the decisions they make and the way they lead will have an enormous impact on business outcomes.

We designed two mobile, transformable learning centres out of shipping containers. We also created a range of engagement materials including narrative films and digital choose-your-own-adventure type content. Lastly, we developed the blueprint for a two-day leadership change workshop.

We built our program in conjunction with Asciano, including the HSE and human resources departments, with all content approved by the CEO and his executive team.


Our multi-phased, mixed media, culture-change program was delivered to over 4000 workers at Asciano, from the CEO through to frontline leadership, at 45 sites across Australia and New Zealand.


As a result of our program, there was a significant shift at Asciano from a reactive to a proactive safety culture. Our client reported:

  • 67% reduction in injuries
  • 12% increase in employee engagement

Supporting Assets:

We deployed a range of supporting assets to ensure engagement levels remained high throughout the program.

  • Interactive digital learning
  • Multiple narrative films, including the example below
  • Purpose built learning environments

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