Case Study – BSI.
Helping to Deliver on Their Strategy
Through a two-year process we have helped BSI to redefine leadership and the business’ selection and development processes for leaders in order that these help the business to achieve its future vision and goals.
BSI had set itself an ambitious strategy, vision and goals, which signified turning a new chapter for the business and its leadership. However, it required a somewhat different leadership skillset than the business had grown previously.
The HR department therefore needed to support the business in developing the leadership skillset required for the future. The Group HR Director and Group Head of People Development decided they needed to improve their existing set of BSI Leadership Behaviours in order to better those behaviours that would enable leaders and managers to meet the business’ strategic goals.
Where Edgecumbe came in
BSI’s Senior Leadership Team had been working with Edgecumbe and our Primary Colours Leadership Model for several years and had found it extremely useful in helping them to develop both individually and as a team.
It was therefore decided to bespoke and extend the model with a set of behaviours falling under each leadership task that would apply across BSI to all leaders and manager.
It was very important to BSI, being a UK headquartered global business, that the extended model should be:
- Simple – not losing the usability and memorability of the Primary Colours Model.
- Relevant throughout the business hierarchy – so that managers at all grade levels could relate it to their roles and challenges.
- Relevant across geography and culture – so that managers in the UK, Europe, Asia and the USA could all use the same model and associated tools – creating a consistent leadership approach throughout the business – a leadership standard if you like!
"I have seen the application of these ideas enable individuals and teams from around the world understand what they need to do, and why, and align their personal and collective efforts to work together effectively and deliver results in a way they found astonishing."
"What we have seen in our company is that managers take an immediate liking to its simplicity and clarity. In our journey to build a single leadership team for a multinational company it helped them to play to their strengths and trust others to complete the team."
"I have used the Primary Colours leadership model both personally and across the whole organisation for several years. The model challenges conventional thinking and I have seen it shape successful shifts in leadership behaviours that have driven real business outcomes."
"This leadership model is practical, simple, understandable and, most importantly, it works at all levels."
BSI Leadership Behaviours
Designing a Simple, Relevant and Usable Model
People tend to support what they helped create so we involved many managers and leaders, as well as members of the HR team, across BSI’s hierarchy and geographical locations in the design of the behaviours. We used focus groups, critical incident interviews and rep grid interviews in order to tease from them the leadership behaviours they felt would be required in order to achieve the business’ strategic vision and goals, as well as those behaviours they thought would stand in the way of achievement.
Using this process, we were able to design behaviours that literally used the words of BSI managers and leaders, thereby ensuring the model would be as relevant as possible across the hierarchy and geographical footprint of the company.
In order to make the new model ‘live’ it had to be embedded into processes and have accompanying tools available to managers and members of the HR community. We therefore helped BSI to design a number of new processes and tools, including:
- A new performance review discussion process for managers, including a booklet to guide the conversation, with a pull-out behaviour rating sheet.
- A Primary Colours mapped personality psychometric to enable the assessment of potential in terms of the behaviours.
- A bespoke 360-degree feedback tool using the BSI leadership behaviours.
- A Team Development Session and Team Report (using the above personality and 360 data) in order to bring each team of managers together following their individual performance review and development conversations, so that they could look at the shape of the team as a whole and agree a team development plan.
Embedding the Model
Processes and Tools to Make it ‘Live’
In order to sustain these processes going forward at BSI’s current and expected future size, we trained a significant number of BSI’s internal HR community in facilitating feedback and coaching sessions using the Primary Colours tools, as well as training a number of them to deliver the Team Development sessions.
Implementation started at the top with the senior leadership team trialling the new BSI Leadership Behaviours model, performance review discussion process with associated Primary Colours tools and Team Development session. The senior team then shared their experiences and endorsed the model, tools and processes at their global leadership conference. We have since cascaded the process to three further levels across the business – totalling around 100 managers and leaders.
With a dataset this large, we have also been able to provide BSI with analytics concerning the business’ overall leadership strengths and limitations in order to inform what they need to ‘build, buy and borrow’.