EY with John Lewis Partnership

People and Leadership

The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) is working to transform its business via its five-year Partnership Plan, with the aim of building a more resilient Partnership that will thrive and be loved by its customers and partners. Better decision making, supported by the JLP risk management approach, is a critical enabler of the Plan. This required a significant change in the way JLP approached risk management. So EY was asked to design and deliver a risk behaviour change programme to help JLP make better informed decisions.

It was a high-profile programme, requiring our project team to quickly win trust and gain confidence in our proposed approach. Market challenges meant that we also had to deliver quickly with limited resources.

Our team rose to the challenge with a highly innovative, customised approach. Whereas risk management is often focused on improving and embedding a process or toolkit, we used a combination of process-based change, behavioural science and data and technology to embed a behaviour change shift to more proactive risk management. Our small core team of three from EY and a small JLP team designed and delivered an extensive, high-impact risk behaviour change programme focused on:

  1. Cognitive neuroscience (creating the motivation to change).
  2. Behavioural economics (focusing on ‘gentle nudges’ to elicit the change required).
  3. Technology and analytics to build new habits.

We created a safe space to deliver real behaviour change through training workshops, where our cognitive behavioural therapist brought to life the real case study of previous JLP ‘good and bad behaviour’. We also supported JLP in creating a psychologically safe place for its teams to practice their new behaviours and help build new habits, using EY BIP technology tool.
Ultimately, our work in the risk area will help JLP grow and win faster in its market, and with more confidence. It has also supported JLP’s progress towards its purpose of Working in partnership for a happier world and champions the role it plays in advancing the communities and charities it works with.

Specifically, we have:

  1. Strengthened JLP’s change capability
    Feedback shows that our risk behaviour training has helped JLP’s change professionals feel more confident in delivering transformation across the Partnership.
  2. Shifted understanding around how a risk behaviour mindset empowers better decisions
    We shifted JLP’s mindset from ‘risk as a process’ to risk being a key part of strategic decision making – elevating the quality of risk discussions and information across its leadership and the Board.
  3. Achieved a common language (both technical and behavioural)
    Teams are talking about the learnings from the training, challenging their approach to decisions in debates, demonstrating the new behaviours and taking the time to pause.
  4. Developed a culture of proactive risk and compliance management
    We’ve created a more proactive culture of surfacing risks. 93% of JLP leaders that participated in the workshops demonstrated the new micro-risk behaviours 70% of the time (as voted by their raters).

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