Leadership Connections

Leadership Connections is a leadership consultancy also offering HR training, large scale change, leadership safari and mentoring

Case Studies

This case study concerns a leading financial services company and the problems they were having with the top leadership team.

If you find this case study useful you may wish to check out our other case studies which can be accessed below.


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As well as the case studies we are happy to provide information about projects which are relevant to your needs.

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Mobilising large groups for change through creating inspiring conferences and motivational speaking

Increasing the effectiveness of the Human Resources function through HR strategy and skills development


Working with the board team in a major financial services company

(click here to download as a .pdf file)


The project was with a subsidiary of a major financial PLC which has a turnover of approximately 300m and a workforce of about 1500. The organisation was performing well but the MD had just finished recruiting his leadership team and felt that he could now push the organisation on to new levels.

The project began in Spring 2003. There were 6 members, 5 men and a woman. It was initially scheduled to last for approximately 6 months. After the first six months its initial success led to its extension for a further 12 months.


The project started with a series of individual interviews with Directors and then some of their Direct reports, combined with observations of them ‘in action’ in their functional teams to identify and clarify the development needs.

This was followed up with a series of individual coaching sessions, team coaching at Board meetings and off-site workshops. On visiting days the two coaches sat at desks on the executive floor, giving scope for impromptu conversations with the Directors and their support staff and the ability to see them interacting in their work environment.

The plan allowed for an Action Learning approach to the projects, meaning that there were repeated cycles of observation, reflection and subsequent re-planning of activities. This proved most useful as the project unfolded and meant that we and the Directors continually re-contracted as the challenges and issues changed and learning and improvement took place. This also provided renewed focus and motivation throughout the project.

The intervention

With the team

  • Areas for development were identified and shared using a collective leadership model.
  • The consultants also attended and observed some early Board meetings.
  • Awareness, individual skills and team capacity for leadership were developed in off-site days. The content and process for these days evolved over time and each day was designed with input from all of the directors based on the needs and issues of the moment.
  • The coaches attended a selection of Board meetings to provide observation and feedback.
  • Progress was reviewed collectively at each off-site day.

With individuals

  • An initial session was held with each Director to:-
    • agree and contract a way of working together
    • explore individual and executive team leadership challenges
    • discuss other individual issues
    • give feedback from the initial discovery sessions in their function
    • discuss the results of psychological personality profiling
  • Interviews were also held with some of the director’s line reports.
  • Information was also gathered from discussions with key individuals from HR and from the Equality and Diversity team
  • Personal feedback was given individually to each Director.
  • Where possible one of each Director’s own team meetings were observed.
  • In the Individual coaching a number of practical models were shared to raise awareness to techniques for leadership development, managing change, communication skills, power and influence, coaching, and networking.


Benefits to the organisation included:

  • Financially, the organisation had its best two years ever (this can’t be wholly attributed to the project but it was a significant contributory factor).
  • Projects relating to branding and improving the customer experience that had not been making progress were agreed and launched.
  • The stronger team were able to design and launch a major, whole organisation, change programme on transformation of operational processes, technology and people.
  • Significant gains were made in employee attitudes (as measured by the annual surveys) and particularly of perceptions of leadership.
  • Feedback from the senior and middle management population was almost universally that this was ‘the best leadership team we’ve ever had’.

There were a variety of benefits reported by the team:

  • There was some turnover in the team and, of the 8 people involved in the project 5 were promoted either during it or within 3 months of its conclusion.
  • The consensus in the team was that it had gone from difficult beginnings to becoming the most powerful team that they had been a part of.
  • Members of the team reported increased motivation, higher performance (of themselves and others), and greater enjoyment.
  • The quality and speed of decision making increased substantially.

The following feedback was provided by the Chief Executive to whom the MD reported:


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Leadership Connections

Leadership Connections is a leadership consultancy also offering HR training, large scale change, leadership safari and mentoring