New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
Crafting a Culture Master Plan for New Orleans’ Convention Center
NOENMCC is the premier convention space in New Orleans, ranking in the country’s top ten of facilities holding the most conventions and tradeshows annually and driving a high amount of business to the city.
NOENMCC has a longstanding legacy of excellent customer service and a hospitality-focused mindset. While the service-oriented brand serves as a strong attraction for convention planners and attendees, several American cities have invested in impressive and attractive state-of-the-art facilities that are highly competitive with New Orleans’s offerings. Staying at the forefront of the industry has required NOENMCC to take a highly innovative approach to its offerings, services, and operations. To build and sustain a competitive advantage, while making a positive impact on the City of New Orleans, NOENMCC came to Trepwise with help navigating the following challenges:
- A mix of highly tenured staff (20+ years of service) and employees with new ideas led to tensions in collaboration and connection across individuals, teams, and departments.
- To stay agile and innovative, NOENMCC teams needed to shift from a hierarchical structure to one where each employee’s voice is valued and recognized.
- While customer-facing departments see the direct impact of their work, it is more challenging for operational teams to understand the value of their contributions.
Our planning process began with a discovery phase, where we engaged a cross-section of voices at all levels, departments, and tenures. The next step was a leadership and directors retreat to present our findings and determine the priorities for shifting the organizational culture towards becoming more innovative. With priorities in place, we worked through an inclusive solution design process, where a team of 40 employees guided the ideation, testing, and implementation of system-level solutions addressing: communication, accountability, innovation & employee voice, and cultural values.
As a result of this process, we created a cultural Master Plan, detailing systems-level change through a mixture of short, medium, and long-term interventions. Employees felt ownership, understanding, ambassadorship, and engagement in bringing cultural changes to life, including training and practice in the methods of human centered design. Across all levels of the organization, from the Executive Leadership to front-line providers, all voices were taken into account when articulating a shared vision for the culture and pathing the way to achieve it.
- Outlined in the Culture Master Plan is the recommendation for creation of the Innovation Lab. Through the implementation of the Innovation Lab, innovative work championed by NOENMCC staff members can continue to propel the organization forward towards a more inclusive and empowering culture.