A series of bite-sized case studies from the Engage for Change archives

DLA Piper: vision to reality 2019 to 2014

Our partnership continued with the Finance and Projects practice which in 2009 embarked on devising a refreshed business vision and strategy around the idea of relevance. We designed and facilitated the engagement of the practice in developing and executing the strategy.

We also helped the Litigation and Regulation practice bring a degree of energy and camaraderie to its fee earner conference in Amsterdam. All 600 lawyers participated in a fast moving experiential exploration of the practice areas strengths and key development agendas. Through creativity and challenge the group created a series of practical outputs which tested and profiled the practice areas strength and character.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Technology

We are proud to have had a good association with leading law firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for some time. The technology team put its trust in us to discover how technology was being used across the firm and to assess the degree of satisfaction with the facilities and support services offered. Using an online survey approach we helped the team develop a detailed insight and suggested a development approach to ensure needs continued to be understood and met.

RBS Non core: managing people on different trajectories

In 2011 the RBS HR and corporate communication teams asked us to help assess engagement levels and to facilitate an appropriate response by the executive team. They then responded with an industry leading initiative to engage their people across the ramp down period over the next year or more.

Most conventional shut downs or restructures usually result in everyone losing their jobs more or less at the same time. That is not the case at RBS where the so called ramp down will take up to a couple of more years, perhaps more depending on buyers being found and suitable prices being obtained. A key objective of the engagement process is to retain core talent whilst preparing people for what lies ahead for them in or outside the bank.

Thus a key part of the process lay in personal briefings we gave to front line managers in designing and running one to one sessions for their staff. These managers are increasingly finding themselves wearing two leadership hats at the same time. One hat is business as usual where their people have a relatively longer time to serve before they work themselves out of a job; the second is the coaching hat where their people are just months or weeks away from leaving. Most managers will also be leaving at some stage so they have their own anxieties to manage.

Caroyln McAdams at RBS commented to us: “Thank you for the huge contribution you’ve made to our thinking and getting us over what could have been a very difficult hump. You’ve helped us face our people issues with a frankness that emerged from pragmatically addressing an issue we were avoiding dealing with head on. It has been hugely helpful to have your experienced and independent perspective.


Engage for Change was asked to help BBC FM (Future Media) engage its leadership in a refreshed vision for FM. We also carried out advisory work for Lucy Adams and Jane McCloskey on ways to engage colleagues in challenging times.