Clients - Case studies

Home > Case studies > Change Cases Studies

Unlocking potential to transform a business


An IT division had a vision to become a global shared service provider delivering a world class service and exceptional cost savings within their major multinational organisation. They had 5 years to transform their offering and create value for the business. Failure to do so would in all likelihood result in their services being outsourced and their division ceasing to exist. This burning platform provided the backdrop to the project that Human Qualities first started working on in 2004.
Working in partnership with the new Leadership Team, we identified that in order to enable this organisation to deliver against its strategy and survive, we needed to enable the people in this business to work and act in a different way. To do this we would need to develop a solution that would unlock their potential.
Historically, people had been working in and serving a particular end market, meeting local needs and providing local solutions. Over the years the division had developed a reputation of being ‘internally focused, problem oriented technicians – the dirty side of IT’. Now, there was a requirement for them to transform into ‘proactive, empowered and externally focused business managers’, delivering a professional service as part of a global organisation. This represented a real shift to be made.


To kick start and create this shift we developed a series of powerful workshops for managers and team members that were cascaded through the organisation. Our goal was to encourage and inspire people to take ownership for changing and transforming the business. Through these workshops we took people on a journey of self-discovery, we united them behind the business vision and encouraged them to carve out a vision of their own. By doing this they would shape the direction they would take their own part of the business and their own role. One significant behaviour change in every single employee in that organisation had the potential to create a huge ripple effect in the business as a whole.
During these workshops, we also helped people to understand their own reactions and emotions to change, and the reactions of the people they managed. A key outcome for the programme was not only that people would be empowered to unlock their own potential but that they could also play a major role in supporting their colleagues and team members in this change. This cascaded approach helped to embed the change through the organisation.


As the project evolved, and more and more workshops were run, momentum for change developed. Over a period of three years, we rolled out this programme to over 600 people all around the world -from Brazil to Malaysia, Russia to South Africa. As new markets became part of the change project and the organisation grew, Human Qualities facilitators worked with groups of managers, leaders and team members to bring them forward on board with the change.
The business benefits have been dramatic. The business has seen a reduction in costs by £44m over the three years (against a target of £50m at the end of 5 years), customer service ratings have improved (globally by 3.4%) and employee satisfaction has increased by a significant 22%.
The positive experience and impact of the workshops was also witnessed on an individual level by participants. One manager stated “I cannot believe how much this workshop has changed the way I think and my understanding of what I can do to make a difference”, another commented “The workshop really helped me to put things into perspective and gave me the practical tools I can use with myself and my team”.

Success Factors

Human Qualities’ approach was underpinned by our core beliefs about change and fuelled by our understanding and insight into the behaviour, reactions and emotions of people in times of transition. We believe our approach lies at the heart of the success of this project. Enabling people to develop a strong sense of the vision for change, helping them manage the psychological and emotional aspects of change, providing support and reinforcement as well as encouraging behavioural change contributed to the long-term positive impact this project realised.

What our client says about Human Qualities

We are a ground-breaking shared services organisation within a major multinational. Our relationship with Human Qualities started in 2004, when they facilitated my Leadership Team, to enable us to develop our strategic leadership agenda for change. This was key in helping us to gain clarity on the cultural changes needed to deliver our demanding business targets. Since then they have worked with us as key partners in this change. Last year, they designed and facilitated change leadership workshops for all our managers, on a global basis. The success of these depended on their ability to work innovatively and flexibly with different cultures and reactions to change. This has really kick-started the mindset shift we needed. We are currently working with them to build on the success of this initiative, through a number of interventions aimed at unlocking the potential in our organisation.
There are several reasons why I choose to work with Human Qualities. They challenge me and my managers to think differently. Moreover, they have built lasting relationships with my team, shown a real understanding of our needs and an ability to deliver results.

Dominic Holland, Head of Group Service Delivery, BAT