Recent Projects

The following projects illustrate the main core of work we undertake for our clients. They describe our approaches and what we have achieved in the areas of:  Organisation Development and Transition, Team Development, Employee well-being  and Coaching.

We have many more examples we are happy to share with you – please call Anne Calleja  to explore how we can help you.

Transformation and Change at Central Office of Information

The Central Office of Information (COI) is the Government's centre of excellence for marketing and communications. As a non ministerial department reporting in to the Cabinet Office, COI works with government departments and the public sector to communicate issues that affect the lives of every citizen - from health and education to benefits, rights and welfare.

Anne Calleja worked directly with Fiona Wood, COI's Director of Research, and her management team over a three year period. The challenge for the team was to become able to respond more quickly to the fast changing environment in which they operated, and to develop a much stronger team ethos to enable them to work more effectively together. Anne devised a number of initiatives to help the team transform themselves and the wider unit. This included developing their leadership skills and learning how to step out of their comfort zones.

Another key strategic objective was to enhance the internal and external perception of working within the Research Unit at COI, thereby increasing key employee retention and attracting new talent to the organisation. Anne worked directly with Fiona and her senior team, firstly to help them work better together and, secondly, to help them lead their own teams more effectively. Anne coached the Team Heads about leading their own Team Away Days, which also proved a great success.

"Anne was a delight to work with", says Fiona Wood, "She clearly understood the value of team relationships in the context of our organisation and she was not afraid to challenge both our preconceptions and also the status quo in order to improve the processes that we had in place."

We are delighted to report that the COI won the "Best Place to Work in the Research Industry Award" in 2008.

Reed Business Information – Coaching individuals to constantly fine tune and adapt  to a fast-paced and challenging business environment

Reed Business Information UK brings over 100 market leading brands to an audience of 30 million decision makers worldwide through its multi-platform media of web products, magazines, exhibitions, conferences and industry awards. As part of the Reed Elsevier Group plc, a FTSE 100-listed company, they are a powerful player in the publishing industry and a leader in the field.

“ Our  market leadership doesn't just come from great brands. It also stems from our innovation and staff development, customer focus, and passion for winning. “ 

Recent restructuring occurred at RBI to maintain their innovation and competitiveness in a dynamic and changing marketplace, and they needed quickly to embrace new technology.

Their team leaders needed to step up to new roles with more responsibility and a wider network of people to involve, engage and influence. Some technical specialists needed to acquire new people skills in leading their team and delegating and to step away from delivering their previous technical expertise.

Anne is coaching these individuals to help them transition their roles and increase their responsibility to communicate more effectively with their internal stakeholders and act as ambassadors for the organization externally.

"Sustainable development initiatives are very important to us", explains Hilary Harris, Organisation Development & Training Director, "Not only is Anne an excellent coach, but she is a 'trusted consultant' understanding the organisation's different needs at every business level and she shows us the tools and techniques so we can build on her work ourselves."

“ I found the one day one to one coaching REALLY valuable – easily one of the best training sessions I have ever had and already I feel different about everything in terms of confidence and assertiveness - It was really good to take the time out and reflect and as well as arming myself with lots of useful tools I think it just allowed me to readjust my perception of my position and therefore what I can do and how I should go about it.  
Thank you – it really was a great experience and I feel very privileged to have had that level of input. “ 
  Louise Dowding. Senior Marketing Manager. New Scientist

Employee Well-Being at Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH)

Bartle Bogle Hegarty (or BBH) has long ranked as one of the world's most admired creative agencies, with a reputation for stylish, elegant and original advertising. The work is demanding, challenging and people need to be constantly delivering to client expectations.

At BBH, we set up an “On-site One to One Coaching Clinic" to help their employees explore issues which may be stopping them from performing at their best. Lfi provided BBH with  an independent impartial source of support for employees to talk confidentially, be coached  and resolve both professional and personal issues.

The sessions were often a combination of coaching and counselling on subjects as diverse as stress, personal health, coping with difficulties, self-confidence, and motivation etc. Using a series of one hour appointments, we resolved a number of personal and professional issues that these individuals raised in confidence.

Our original project proved so popular that it was expanded to one day per week.

Julia McHardy-Young at BBH commented: "We work in a very high pressure environment and it is imperative to remind our teams that the organisation cares about their personal welfare and individual challenges. The support that we showed helped our employees feel more confident and Anne's sessions clearly had a very positive effect. Additionally, BBH was listed again this year in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies To Work For."

EMPLOYEE WELL BEING – LACK OF ROLE CLARITY:

We came across an example of unnecessary stress in a well known organisation recently. In a small team, one member of staff was full-time whilst the other employees worked part-time. A pattern emerged where the part-time employees repeatedly received time off. However, despite being short-staffed, the full-time employee was still expected to cover the whole team's workload.

The full-time worker approached her manager with her concerns. However, her manager's response was to tell her to work on her own time management! The results to the business were that the employee became unwell and was signed off work for three weeks. She was then very worried about returning and having another confrontation with her manager. She loved her job and the company has always been pleased with her performance, but she was seriously considering leaving.

Fortunately, she consulted Anne privately before handing in her notice.

In this all-too-common situation, we see a number of issues. There was role overload - too much reliance on one person to perform three people's work. Also there was role ambiguity with a total lack of clarity as to what her role entailed.

Anne was able to help the employee in the following ways. She helped by providing:

The employee was able to return to work and enjoy her job again. The benefits to the organisation were firstly that they didn't lose a key employee. Secondly, they avoided a constructive dismissal tribunal or worse, and thirdly that both employee and manager learned to communicate more effectively with each other.

Employers have "a duty of care" to their employees and one of the key goals of leaders must be to create an environment of trust.

WATFORD NEW HOPE TRUST – SENIOR MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME  - WHO CARES FOR THE CARERS?

Watford New Hope Trust's mission is to help the homeless and vulnerable people in our community by providing shelter, food and opportunities to rebuild damaged lives. Project managers have a very challenging role in both managing day to day operations as well as dealing with vulnerable people with potential severe mental health issues.

Anne set up and implemented a unique one year modular development programme for the project managers for the Trust to develop the managers to manage, work as a whole team of leaders as well as be able to provide  coaching and supervision support to the managers in their caring roles.
It was recognised that the PM's have very demanding roles both physically and mentally so the programme was positioned to run over a year to allow for learning to be integrated into day to day actions and each PM to develop at their own pace. The programme was also designed to enable the PM Team to work as a 'Whole Team', learn more about each other, become more cohesive and so a team of inter-dependent leaders will be formed to enable the Services Manager to position  her role more strategically and less operationally. A key challenge was to develop skills to manage the performance of volunteers and staff members who were carers and on limited salaries.

One to one coaching was also an important part of the programme, so individuals could discuss impartially and confidentially their own needs and experience working with an independent accredited counsellor /coach.  This meant the project managers experienced coaching in the workplace as well as clinical supervision, so they could develop their own models of excellence with their teams.

“As a result of the programme, the team understood the overall goals of the Trust and worked better as a cohesive team of leaders. They have moved from concentrating on their own projects to seeing the bigger picture. This has lead to them becoming more proactive rather than reactive, being more resourceful and confident in dealing with the issues of managing voluntary staff and their performance.

"This programme was innovative and utilised a whole range of learning activities which inspired the team. Anne’s unique blend of business and psychotherapy skills meant she could address the challenges that our teams faced.”
Mike Smith, Chief Executive, Watford New Hope Trust

ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT & TRANSITION - A TRULY GLOBAL PROGRAMME

Ten years' ago, TNS (Taylor Nelson Sofres plc) set out to become the 1st choice provider of market research through a programme of growth and acquisition.  From a national company (formerly AGB) employing some 2,500 employees, today TNS is now the world's largest Custom Market Research specialist. Employing the best Global Industry Sector consultants, in 80 countries.

This enlargement brought new challenges for TNS - they had to transform the disparate parts of the corporation into a 'business-centred' culture, without loosing any of the entrepreneurial 'flair' of MDs.

Their first initiative was a Senior Management Development Programme designed and delivered by The Leading Business ( LFI) and involving a series of 3-day events for different groups around the world.  During these sessions MDs and Senior Managers focused on Leadership and Managing People and Performance and scrutinised their own behaviours and thinking styles.  The primary method of delivery was self-development.  
 
For the next twelve months MDs were measured against five, business performance areas - measurements that identified what needed to be incorporated into the Training and Development Strategy if performance were to improve.

Other challenges loomed large.  TNS needed to turn their highly analytical and introverted managers - attributes of researchers - into people-orientated ones to leverage a people-orientated culture.  The solution was a new appraisal system based on core competencies and behaviours.  Anne's role was to design and deliver appraisor training, centred on the themes of retention, motivation and value.

Today the new appraisal system is a key plank in the company's measurement, feedback and support process, alongside the 'Personal Action Plans' produced during the Senior Management Development Programme.

Seven hundred managers worldwide have been trained and supported, so far, and the company's 'bottom line' is on an upward trend.  The Asia Pacific region is doing particularly well - probably no coincidence given that this region's commitment to training and development remains consistently high.
Gareth Jones, TNS Group Training and Development Director, believes it is important to take a long term view of initiatives like their Senior Management Development Programme and appraisal system.  He is convinced that activities like these DO make a positive difference to individual performances, DO add value to the business and DO have a positive impact on the 'bottom line'.

ONE TO ONE COACHING LEADERSHIP FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Amersham plc asked us to design a series of coaching sessions for 40 of their Senior Managers as an adjunct to their 21st century Leadership Programme.  The task was given sharper focus when Amersham plc joined up with GE Medical Systems to form GE Healthcare - a $14 billion unit of the General Electric Company, employing more than 42,000 people world wide.  It meant incorporating issues into the coaching - issues like new roles, team re-alignment, out-placing and redundancy.

Each Senior Manager underwent 3 x 2-hour customised, coaching sessions, followed up with group sessions.

This was followed up with a specific programme for HR managers. They were well placed to promote understanding, implement and monitor processes, and act as role models - they were to be the 'champions of change'.

The thrust of their coaching was two-fold:

  1. Translation of job responsibilities into action plans, plans that would form the basis of communication with staff; and
  2. Personal growth and development.

Hilary Harris, GE Healthcare Learning and Development Director for UK, is convinced that Lfi's involvement has made a positive contribution to the business - "Anne's strong business acumen and understanding of GE Healthcare was one of the keys.  It meant she quickly built a rapport with our Managers and was able to put their new learning into a GE Healthcare context".

TEAM DEVELOPMENT - ORGANISED CHAOS OR BRILLIANT TEAMWORK?

If you've ever seen an emergency medical team in action - or just watched the TV programme 'ER' - this question is never far away.  This was Tracy Hampson's dilemma.  As General Manager at Huddersfield Nuffield Hospital, Tracy had to be sure that the Senior Management team was working as a fully coordinated and cohesive unit.  This need took on greater significance when the Chief Executive announced that Nuffield Hospitals were to become "simpler, faster and fitter" - a shift in culture that had to be achieved alongside a drive for ever stronger, stakeholder partnerships. 
Tracey turned to The Leading Business (Lfi) for help.  Her brief to Anne was 'to embed the right mindset amongst Senior Functional Managers'.  Anne recommended a development programme in leadership skills and techniques, implemented in three phases:

Phase One - Senior Managers defined preferred work styles, identified others' expectations of them and considered group dynamics.
Phase Two - Managers' thinking styles were assessed via a 'Lifestyles'© profile, with results shared within group and debated individually with Anne.
Phase Three - The whole Senior Management Team came together to assess progress and 'top up' leadership and management skills, a practice that is repeated every three months.

Tracy Hampson is "delighted" with programme.  " Managers have a much clearer understanding of their role, which empowers them to act."   Further endorsement comes from the Hospital's Investors in People Assessor, who considers Nuffield's leadership and staff development programme is one of the most robust he has witnessed, putting the Hospital "ahead of the game".

SUCCESSION PLANNING AND COACHING - MEDIOCRITY IS NOT AN OPTION

An exciting and challenging prospect awaited Richard Cook at the Office of Fair Trading - he was taking on the new role of Head of Enforcement Policy and Liaison.   "I don't want to be mediocre, that would be easy", said Richard.  "I want to make a difference".

In an attempt to achieve this, Richard embarked on a series of six, one-to-one sessions with Anne.  During each 2-hour session, customised to his needs, Anne helped Richard to look in detail at his strengths and to identify those needed in his new role.

Richard had previously been on a leadership and development course so was naturally quite sceptical about these coaching sessions.  His biggest worry was that he would learn nothing new and it would turn out to be a waste of time.  But the reverse was the case.  "The benefits from one-to-one mentoring were significantly greater than from the group sessions I did," said Richard.  "The focus was very much on me, my role and my needs."

JUMPING UP THE CAREER LADDER at OUP

- preparing for success in a new role

Successfully growing internal talent to become the senior managers and leaders of tomorrow is key to good business.  Many leading organizations have recognized the benefit of investing in their people to provide this organic growth, and it is here where Anne’s skills and experience can bring significant benefits both to the organization and to the individual.

Time was that simply doing a good job for a number of years in a particular role, or at a certain level, or being in the right place at the right time would provide the opportunity to move on up the corporate ladder.  But were they successful and comfortable in their new roles? These days we all know it takes more.  So what makes that difference?  To make sure that peers, seniors and direct reports recognize someone as the obvious choice for that promotion?  And perhaps more importantly still, how can you ensure that the individual feels prepared, and confident to take on that move?

Achieving the appropriate level of technical expertise, years of experience and industry knowledge is certainly vital, but it is not enough by itself.  There are vast arrays of ‘management workshops’.  But is this the best solution to achieving the right result?  Personalized coaching, mentoring and ‘soft’ skill development can provide both a cost effective solution, and a very successful result for the organization and the individual.

Fiona Bruce at Oxford University Press worked with Anne before her promotion “I chose to use Anne’s services rather than attend a series of management workshops as I felt it would be more personal, and tailored to me.  When taking a promotional step it’s expected that you already have the technical skills to do the job, but real success is about you the individual – your management style, and confidence to do the job.  Anne provided me with the tools and understanding to address these areas”

So what happened?  “When I was promoted to Head of Customer Services at the Oxford University Press I effectively jumped a layer of management.  The new job demanded a lot – and I had to manage people I had been working with as a team member.

“ I really don't believe that I would have been as successful in my new role if it hadn’t been for the work I’d done with Anne.  She was very targeted and focused and provided me with quick, practical ways to address the issues I faced in my new role.”

Fiona explained why she felt Anne’s approach was so successful  “Firstly Anne took time to understand our organization, our culture and how we work.  And she is able to offer an integrative approach.  Anne has a vast range of experience, a very strong business background, and is skilled in a variety of techniques.  She is able to pull on a range of these and really tailor things to you as an individual to help you address issues personal to you, and to get very effective results.”

Fiona Bruce
Head of Customer Service
Oxford University Press

Since working with Anne, Fiona has recommended her to others in her organization, and they too achieving positive personal and business success.
Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.  It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.  Publishing more than 4,500 new books and with a presence in over 50 countries, it is the world’s largest university press. 

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