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The Facilitation Impact Awards (FIA) honours organisations that have used facilitation to achieve a measurable and positive impact as well as the facilitator(s) who worked with them. More about FIA. 

Gold award
Mackenzie Investments
Toronto, Canada

Information Services Trust Revolution


Employee engagement survey results for Information Services employees increased on all measures from 2015 to 2016. Scores for the question How satisfied are you with Mackenzie Investments as a place to work? increased from a mean of 3.69 out of 5 in 2015 to 4.38 in 2016.

Annual pulse-check scores for 15 of the 19 questions measuring employee perception around where the organisation is on the trust culture scale improved from 2015 to 2016.

The number of employees participating in voluntary annual pulse-checks of our Culture of Trust has increased each year from 25 employees in 2015 to 32 employees in 2016 and 53 employees—50% of all employees—in 2017.

Management are key supporters and champions of the Trust Revolution, an employee-led initiative, and are trusting the Trust Champions to continue the journey.

Context and challenges

Mackenzie Investments was founded in 1967 and is now a holistic Canadian asset manager, providing innovative investment solutions, excellent asset management and superb service. Information Services is a division of the company. It has approximately 100 employees and provides software application development and support to lines of business.

In 2015, Information Services employees participated in a two-day externally facilitated course called The Trusted Advisor. The intent of the course was to inspire employees to improve their relationships with colleagues and business clients by committing to positively changing specific habits to increase trust.

The course resonated with five employees who decided to become Trust Champions and continue ongoing meetings to further adopt trust-building habits. Through these conversations the Information Services Trust Revolution was conceived.

The Trust Champions took a leap of faith to start a conversation with their colleagues. They didn’t know where the revolution would take them and were guided throughout by the voices of their colleagues.

The Trust Champions approached their management team and introduced the concept. The ‘ask’ of management was to be engaged, curious and supportive.

Project objectives

The objective of the Trust Revolution was to increase trust between Information Services colleagues and the people we serve. The desired outcome was that Information Services employees would:

  1. Place trust at the centre of their relationships with each other and their business partners.
  2. Create a haven for challenging conversations to empower all Information Services employees.

Trust Revolution supports Mackenzie’s six core values (Honesty and Integrity, Courage, Collaboration, Creativity and Innovation, Strong Decision-Making, and Confidence and Pride) and is part of building upon the winning culture within Information Services.


In 2015, management and staff participated two, one-hour facilitated workshops to develop a Trust Manifesto. A Technology of Participation (ToP) method, Practical Vision workshop, from the Institute of Cultural Affairs International (ICA) was used for the workshop:

  • participants were asked the question What do we, as employees, want a department built on trust to look like?
  • participants brainstormed and summarised value statements that were significant to them and what the culture of trust would be
  • these statements were summarised to develop the Trust Manifesto, a foundational document that guides what employees do when planning initiatives and evaluating results.

Facilitated sessions, using a variety of methods including the ToP Focussed Conversation method, were held each month over lunch for management and staff to share and make their voices heard on relevant topics.

During the journey, the Trust Champions engaged external facilitators to facilitate events where the champions themselves needed to be participants rather than facilitators. For example:

  • In December 2015, Bill Staples from ICA Associates facilitated a workshop using the ToP Historical Scan method to help participants reflect on the past year and plan for the next.
  • In 2015 and 2016, Mike Pickering from Best Practices Learning Solutions facilitated annual employee culture of trust pulse-check sessions using real-time voting and facilitated discussions to find ways to improve the culture of trust.

In 2017, a facilitated planning session was held using a Word Café format.

What started as an employee-led Trust Revolution experiment 2 ½ years ago has developed into a Culture of Trust that continues to grow organically. The Trust Revolution is a part of building upon the winning culture within the I.S. department at Mackenzie. To date, the focus of the Trust Revolution has been on building trust within Information Services. In the future, the group plans to expand the focus to being recognised as trusted partners to our internal business clients.