Culture Change | Leadership | Organisational Development | Business Planning | Change Management
With significant experience leading and managing change, we are well equipped and qualified to support you with a variety of consultancy and planning work. This can be purely business-focused or blended with a people focus, such as leadership development, organisational development, culture change, or coaching and mentoring programmes.
We've worked with large organisations to small teams to individual entrepreneurs, from a wide range of professions and sectors. Our key strength is in spotting and growing potential, getting really curious and ambitious about what our clients can achieve. We will work in close partnership to make detailed plans and provide tailored support to get there.
If you would like to talk through options for you and your business, please Contact us.
Case Studies and testimonials
Midlothian Council - Mindfulness and Wellbeing programme
Midlothian Council approached me at the end of 2016 about delivering experiential workshops to support their managers and staff with mindfulness, resilience and wellbeing. They wanted to promote and educate their people on the benefits of a lasting commitment to sustain themselves and their team, and be able to spot and address sources and signs of pressure for the benefit of their working life as well as at home.
We worked in partnership to understand their needs in detail, and how to introduce these topics to people who may have never experienced them before. Six 2-hour workshops were held over the space of two months, for around 75 people in total. Participants were given a take-away with all the key points and their own reflections and areas for development. As a follow-up, they were sent an email afterwards with recommended web links, books, and apps to be able to continue the practice if they wish.
Practical activities and facilitated discussion helped them to learn about how and why we react to challenges, and how to choose a more constructive response. Tools and techniques were shared to effectively address challenges in-the-moment as well as proactively focus on self-care. Real-life scenarios helped to bring it to life in relatable ways. All of this was based on sound research and models based on neuroscience, emotional intelligence, and coaching techniques.
Meditations and mindfulness were a key part of the experience, demonstrating the impact of taking a few minutes out each day and to highlight the scientifically proven benefits of positive changes in physical health, cognitive processes, and a sustained positive outlook.
Self-assessed scores were noted at the start and end of the workshop, closing off with 2-3 commitments to encourage proactive lifestyle changes which are practical and fit easily into daily life.
Feedback was very positive on the impact of the workshops, and the motivation to continue applying the learning. The most common theme in the feedback was the intention to focus on self-care and take time for themselves to meditate and relax regularly. Many attended based on the recommendation of their colleagues and there have been examples of people who are using the tools to build understanding and address challenges within their teams.
This has led to a similar programme being commissioned by Saltersgate School, which has just started and is open to the whole faculty and support staff.
Organisational Development Business Partner, Midlothian Council, commented:
“Our organisation is undergoing wide-scale change, with the need to deliver more effectively for the future within a challenging financial climate. This requires our managers and employees to be resilient in times of change and maintain personal wellbeing. Through Anna’s programme, individuals have been given the tools and techniques to take responsibility to improve and
maintain their own personal wellbeing and hence be more effective at work.”
Other comments from participants, on their key learning:
"A better understanding of the help that I can offer to my staff if I identify the triggers. A better understanding of Mindfulness and Resilience and positive changes."
"Wait before reacting, be flexible; don't have unrealistic expectations."
"Considering 7 steps to resilience and it is important to share these with staff."
"To remember to breathe and take time away from my desk."
"Using mindfulness to help my focus at work"
"meditate more often. I can change only my actions and reactions, not those of other people."
Golden Charter - Leadership Development and Coaching Programme
Golden Charter is the UK’s market-leading provider of later life planning, including legal services and funeral plans. The organisation is experiencing unprecedented growth, appearing on the Sunday Times ‘Fast Track 100’ league table again in 2015. Their customer base at that point was over 475,000 people in the UK.
I was approached in summer 2015 to work in partnership with the Operations management team to design a tailored development programme for a group of Team Leaders and their deputies. Programme objectives were established – to develop the skills and behaviour for Team Leaders to:
Proactively coach and develop their people
Drive process efficiency and continuous improvement
Collaborate and work more effectively as one operational team
A blend of learning methods delivered through a structured 10-month programme catered for a wide range of experience levels and development needs.
A series of interactive workshops used a combination of traditional tools and techniques as well as more advanced, forward-thinking approaches including Neuroscience, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Emotional Intelligence, Clean Language, and Mindfulness. Topics included time management, communication & collaboration, coaching skills, and leading people through change.
All members of the team had 1:1 coaching, interspersed with the workshops to maximise the benefits and apply learning throughout the programme. This was noted as a key differentiator by the Operations Managers, specifically that the wide range of tools and techniques had significant and lasting impact on confidence and performance, and addressed individual needs in a targeted way.
Coaching Support Groups were set up to develop and integrate coaching skills as part of the Team Leaders’ management style in a way that is very practical for day-to-day business needs in a busy environment. These workshops with around 4 people each time were based on a tried-and-tested approach I’ve used several times before for internal accreditation programmes. The combination of intensive input, observation, and feedback brings better results with this type of cohort than any other approach I’ve experienced.
Integral to the programme material was a focus on building emotional connection with customer needs and the Golden Charter brand, with deeper awareness of each individual’s own impact and potential as well as enhanced leadership and communication skills. To ensure maximum results and delivery at pace, I worked with my long-term Associate Tracy Archibald, drawing on her excellent track record of leading organisational change and transition, and strong people development skills.
Input was gathered from key stakeholders before, during, and after the programme. Measurement of results took place via a self-assessed survey alongside focused discussions with the management team and the Team Leaders themselves. There has been frequent feedback from the Team Leaders about how much they have learned, how different this approach and content has been, and how they are thinking and behaving differently as a direct result of the programme. Some of their comments are shown below.
“I have enjoyed this programme a lot. It’s been extremely helpful, especially because I am new into this role. It helped open my mind to other ideas and how to manage my time better which was one of the areas I needed, and wanted to develop and improve on.”
“Very clear, important points and tips… very helpful and useful.”
“I have found this to be extremely helpful and look forward to implementing within my role.”
As we brought the programme to a close, there was frequent evidence of continuous improvement projects, coaching, performance improvement, collaboration beyond previous levels for this group, and more effective time management.
Martin Coia, Head of Operations, commented:
“Anna has recently delivered a leadership development programme for our first line managers and their deputies. We worked together to create a tailor-made solution that focused on the needs of the individuals and also aligned with the needs of the business. This was undertaken over a number of months, with Anna coming on site to deliver the sessions as well as undertaking 121 coaching. The turnaround in the team has been evident in their interactions with one another and the wider business. Their behaviours now reflect what I expect from leaders in our business.”