Purpose-Led Strategic Change

The Client Requirement

Headquartered in France, our client is a world leader in integrated railway systems. Present in over 60 countries and employing 31,000 people, in the 2015/16 year they recorded sales of €6.9billion and booked €10.6 billion of orders. Every day, around a third of all rail journeys in the UK, is made on one of their trains. They keep Virgin’s West Coast Main Line service running for around 34 million passengers every year and service over 100 tube trains a day on London’s Northern Line, carrying nearly 1 million passengers daily. Today, they’re helping to turn Crossrail’s tunnels into a fully operational railway, electrifying the Edinburgh to Glasgow rail line and are helping the UK’s Rail Supply Chain to get ready for HS2. In the UK and Ireland, they operate across over 20 sites and employs more than 2,500 people.

THE challenge

With traditional maintenance and operational business declining and large UK infrastructure investment, a transformational realignment of the company was required. The profile of the ‘new’ business is very different to the existing one in terms of risk profile, technology, programme size and complexity. The drivers for change were strategic.

The Collingwood Solution

Following the initial engagement in February 2016, the Collingwood team provided consultancy support to the MD and his direct team, building company knowledge and trust in the partnership. As a result of this initial consultancy work, it was identified that the top team and key members of the existing leadership community would be involved in developing a deep understanding of the direction of the organisation and investigate the leadership role needed to drive through the required changes to ready them for the change journey ahead.

In partnership with Collingwood, the client's T&M leadership community explored their new vision, and what it meant for them both individually, as a team and as a new business. They created the new organisation through a structural, strategic and cultural lens before moving on to reviewing the plan of ‘what’ to do to get there, ‘how’ to achieve it and identifying key risks along the journey.

Time was then spent exploring the leadership role in bringing the strategy to life, and allowing the leaders to understand their crucial role in driving through the changes needed. Together, the series of interventions created an increase in the sense of urgency and a belief that the transformation was achievable and what was needed to be done to make it happen. There was also an increased sense of ‘team’ aligned to the new direction, and an awareness of individual leadership journeys while owning the overall future plan together.

The Client Experience

“From a client perspective, the process adopted really helped gel the team around a common purpose and beat rate.  This accelerated the change process and gave everyone the fundamental understanding of why we needed to change.  The resulting organisation was built to maximise opportunity whilst reflecting on risk – it was expertly facilitated by Collingwood.  I truly believe that without Collingwood the process of defining our Vision, Culture and Organisation Structure would have been far more difficult, taken longer, and probably would not have had the same staff engagement and understanding.”

 MD of Trains & Modernisation