Viridor Case Study

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How better Planning from Middle Managers can Transform a Company

To succeed, middle managers need to excel at planning, collaborate with peers, inspire their teams and drive change rapidly and securely.

BACKGROUND

The company’s ambitious strategy for change was hampered by the lack of traction in middle management projects.

Viridor is an interesting company – not because it is a £4 billion leader in the waste management and environmental industry, but because it reinvents itself every ten years. In the nineties, it was a regional waste management company. Throughout the noughties, it became a national name – one of the four big. During the next decade, it built and mobilised a fleet of impressive waste processing plants, in a drive to convert from being a collections company to a processing company.

The strategy was big and bold, however for the first time in their history, they stalled. Their ambition exceeding their internal management capability. The lacked the management horsepower to leave the entrenched business they were and become the business they wanted to be.

Their plans lacked traction, small successes fell short of big intentions. The issues lay not with the senior leaders, but with the middle managers – they needed to be way more proficient at creating local plans and leading change successfully.

SOLUTION

80 Managers attended a Driving the Business programme focusing on Planning, People and Progress.

As part of a training programme with 80 middle managers, called Driving the Business, we focused on them creating bullet proof change plans and gave them the EQ and people skills to implement them effectively.

Future success would be built on their planning skills, so we used a powerful and effective planning model called BIGGER. This was taught in group sessions, applied by them to specific Business Improvement Projects and followed up by us on a one-to-one basis.

The BIGGER model helped them to:

  • Research better, with more analysis of MI, to give a more robust basis for their plans
  • Set clear measurable goals
  • Create, innovate and assess more options – before settling on the best one
  • Nail down practical, fast-scaling plans to bring rapid and sustainable change
  • Work at a higher, more strategic level, rather than just on the immediate day-to-day
  • Implement change coherently through clear-sighted, capable, motivated teams

RESULTS

KPI’s, the progress of projects, people management, the speed of change and succession to senior roles all improved.

The improvements were transformative.

Missing targets turned into exceeding targets, dilute plans with no original thought became creative dynamic, imaginative, well researched strategies for innovative improvement; and a lack of engagement in their teams became a cohesive, collaborative, collective effort.

In the first year alone, the financial benefit from business improvement projects (that were linked directly to our Driving the Business training programme) was more than fifteen times the cost of the training.

Viridor not only achieved its goal of attracting ambitious PE finance, but also transformed itself again from a waste processing company to a highly successful power generating company. Many of the middle managers have risen to take senior, leadership positions. Now, based on its more solid foundations, the company can be confident in achieving its more adventurous, more ambitious targets and driving forwards from strength to strength.

£1,134,000

SAVINGS MADE IN THE FIRST 6 MONTHS AS A RESULT OF THE TRAINING

58%

IMPROVEMENT ON 8 LEADERSHIP METRICS

15 x

THE RETURN ON TRAINING INVESTMENT IN THE FIRST YEAR

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

"The managers are now flourishing and have achieved in stepping up. There is greater engagement from the rest of the business, more strategic project work, more managing at a higher level and getting away from detail. I feel like I can do my own job now."

Operations Director – Viridor