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Projects

Projects

cmcsu240x160 Central Midlands CSU needed external facilitators to work with them to design and facilitate a transformational leadership development event for 50 of the most senior leaders in the organisation. IdeaSmiths worked closely with the HR leadership team and other senior leaders to design and facilitate a highly interactive and challenging event that incorporated strategic business issues combined with creative leadership development activities.
dl240x160 DLA Piper needed an external facilitator for a team development workshop for their International HR Leadership Team, comprised of senior leaders from HR and Learning and Development. IdeaSmiths undertook 1-1 interviews with team members and provided 2 facilitators for the workshop which unearthed the challenges and issues the team needed to address – but also showed where the team is strong. The development workshop formed the first part of a highly successful 3-day strategic planning gathering of senior leaders from across the globe.
du240x160Durham University’s Change Management Team of experienced facilitators delivers workshops to support change and process improvement across the university. We worked with the Change Team to design and lead a Creative Facilitation Techniques workshops for the team. The workshop was structured around Otto Scharmer’s Theory U collaborative learning model, and introduced a range of creative facilitation techniques that can be used for more complex organisational change situations.
rmpl240x160 Remploy Consumer Services needed an entrepreneurial manager to lead the development of a new e-marketplace for employment-related products and services for disabled people. The engagement lasted over a year, and involved: business requirements gathering, internal and external stakeholder management, supplier selection and management, project management and business planning. IdeaSmiths provided an embedded manager to undertake this challenging role, leading to the successful piloting of the new e-marketplace and development of a business plan for a significant expansion of the e-marketplace.
DLA Piper needed to create a positive social environment to help its 100 Graduate Academy trainees to work and learn together in the DLA Piper Academy. Trainees were from branches all over the UK and Hong Kong, were in their first week with the firm and They had only met each other for the first time hours earlier. The challenge for IdeaSmiths was to provide engaging activities that enabled trainees to relax and socialise, whilst simultaneously giving opportunities to recognise their cultural differences. Participants engaged fully with the activities and went on to enjoy a successful Academy Week.
SHU department of Sport and Active Lifestyle needed facilitation for a staff away-day for their 50+ academic staff. IdeaSmiths worked with senior managers to design and facilitate a World-cafe event of “Conversations that Matter”, themed around the crucial issue of student employability. The process enabled participants to identify the important issues that needed to be addressed, and then provided a framework for conversations that enabled participants to input the things that mattered to them. This created a very high degree of engagement and with staff collaboratively creating strategies and actions that would address the real needs of the department.
Nottingham City Council has invested heavily in its Ultraband broadband system to facilitate the expansion of its vibrant creative SME sector. IdeaSmiths designed and delivered workshops and are providing coaching support to participating managers to help them recognise and take advantage of the opportunities offered by this Europe-funded project. IdeaSmiths have also designed and are conducting and ongoing evaluation survey over the next two years. The City Council has extended the contract to enable us to provide additional workshop support to additional local entrepreneurs.
The GSCC, facing closure, nevertheless faced a statutory duty to maintain operational performance right until the last day. This was especially challenging for managers, who, along with the rest of the staff, mostly faced redundancy. IdeaSmiths worked with a group of operational managers over several months, facilitating difficult conversations, enabling them to work better together, and ultimately enabling them to maintain high levels of operational performance right to the end.
The Source is the Sheffield-based Retail Skills Academy. They required a new approach to business development in response to the changing nature of public sector funding of training. IdeaSmiths provided workshops and coaching to support its senior management team in the development of The Source’s new vision, strategy and delivery objectives before going on to provide interim bid and tender management support. During our time working with The Source was successful in more than 70% of its bids, tenders and PQQs.
Findel PLC brought together managers from across the UK for their leadership conference. They asked IdeaSmiths to develop a comprehensive team-building half-day exercise that would help managers  recognise and take advantage of collaboration and team working opportunities. Our project enabled 50+ participants to and address important issues in a light-hearted but constructive way.
Chatsworth Group was seeking a partner to undertake their staff attitude survey. IdeaSmiths worked with Chatsworth HR team to analyse the previous survey and design a new survey. IdeaSmiths designed and implemented an online survey, and project managed the survey execution (both online and paper-based) to over 900 staff distributed across several sites in Derbyshire and Yorkshire. We data captured all of the paper returns, and combined this with the online survey data to conduct an in-depth analysis, leading to a comprehensive and detailed report within 1 month of the survey closing.
Lightworks needed change consulting advice for their executive management team and facilitation for a whole-company away day. IdeaSmiths worked with the senior team to help them explore and understand the changes that the organisation was facing and to plan and prepare for the whole-company change event. We designed and led the facilitated the change event, using creative, emergent processes. The event generated energy, enthusiasm and buy-in to the changes that Lightworks needed to undertake, with staff members identifying and committing to key actions to create real change.
Lufthansa needed facilitators for the Star Alliance Company Plus (SACP) annual marketing conference for 100 colleagues from a dozen different airlines. For the second year in a row, IdeaSmiths provided facilitators design and lead facilitate the conference. The conference was designed to be a “real project” providing delegates with an opportunity for each of them to work on 3 live case-studies. It was set up as a “marketplace” with input from different stations on marketing, sales, technical and other specialists. All participants fully engaged with the conference, and took their case-study activities back into their respective businesses as live, ongoing projects.
DLA Piper needed facilitators for a departmental away-day for 120 staff. The day needed to be fun, engaging and high energy, whilst involving participants in addressing some real business challenges. IdeaSmiths worked with DLA Piper to design the event, and led the facilitation on the day. The event was structured around 3 key themes: getting to know each other better; working in “flow”; making real workplace improvements. Everyone engaged fully, had lots of laughs and, most importantly, identified dozens real actions for improving working practices, efficiency and effectiveness.
Arla UK leadership conference is an annual gathering of the 50 most senior UK-based leaders in Arla. Arla needed an experiential learning activity that would challenge these leaders to explore how they worked across their functional units. It also had to be fun. IdeaSmiths worked with senior HR staff to design and deliver an outdoor experiential learning project that mirrored the Arla supply and production process. The project had to dovetail in with other aspects of the leadership conference, whilst also providing a break from presentations and PowerPoint.
Peel Airport Group needed to strengthen its relationship with Sheffield City Region to sell its vision for Robin Hood Airport Doncaster-Sheffield Airport. IdeaSmiths helped senior managers understand the strategies and objectives of the local authorities and then facilitated meetings with key local authority decision-makers. We helped Peel Airport Group develop partnership-based working relationships within Sheffield City Region that have led to a wider appreciation of the importance of the airport to the economic development of the region and to a prioritisation of public sector projects that support Peel’s long term business plan.
The GSCC required a series of workshops to help staff cope with significant changes in the organisations, and view future changes in a positive spirit. IdeaSmiths designed and delivered a successful workshop series – “Dealing with Change” – for employees and managers. In addition, IdeaSmiths undertook a full pre- and post-programme evaluation, including surveying all GSCC staff on their attitudes to change. The evaluation provided evidence of significant improvements in attitudes and behaviours within and across teams, and reductions in conflict and wasted time.
Global leisure company Sun International needed to gain the support of local and regional decision-makers for its investment plans for a major regional leisure destination.IdeaSmiths created mutual understanding and facilitated meetings between Sun International and regional leaders. Sun International gained widespread local and regional backing for its proposal.

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council needed to redefine its whole approach to economic growth and development after years of under-performance and over-dependence on ‘bought-in’ economic expertise. IdeaSmiths led a council working party in developing a comprehensive local economic assessment, transferring skills and developing competencies so that officers will be able to continue the work unassisted in future. Over many months IdeaSmiths helped the local authority to develop a new economic strategy, facilitating partnership with the private sector and coaching and mentoring officers.

The Source Academy, an entrepreneurial Third Sector training company needed to plan for and manage rapid growth to put itself on a robust commercial footing. IdeaSmiths worked with the senior management team, coaching them through the process of business planning, helping write key documents and, then, assisting managers in the setting of operational objectives and Key Performance Indicators as turnover more than doubled year-on-year.
Sheffield City Region needed to organise a collaborative conference for 90 delegates to explore ideas for turning the Dearne Valley Eco Vision into a practical reality. At very short notice, IdeaSmiths designed, facilitated and event managed the conference, using “Open Space Technology” to engage participants in conversations to explore this complex issue. IdeaSmiths captured the key outcomes from these conversations, creating conference proceedings and a strategic report for Sheffield City Region.
More than 40 engineers and managers from four organisations needed to collaborate in a joint tender for more than £1,700m with the MoD. Yorkshire Water and Halliburton were lead partners in a multiple partner PFI tender. IdeaSmiths provided executive editorship, training and support for technical authors and team development. IdeaSmiths’ client won the bid and created a thriving new business.
At extremely short notice, the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning needed an expert trainer and credible and experienced facilitator to deliver a 3-day certificated “train the trainer” programme in Qatar. Preparation and delivery of the course required rapid partnership building between ITOL, the Qatar Foundation and Lebanon-based Milestones-Mena (ITOL’s partner in the Middle East). IdeaSmiths delivered a successful train-the-trainer course to a multicultural audience of senior learning and development professionals.
Kelda needed a team of engineers and production managers to come together and collaborate on a new business model to deliver water services on behalf of Welsh Water.IdeaSmiths’ provided tender planning, executive editorship, team training and support, document management, technical authorship and editing. IdeaSmiths’ client won more than £300m worth of business.
Damaris Trust, a Christian educational trust needed urgent help to develop a partnership to bid to provide international affairs educational material across the United Kingdom. IdeaSmiths LLP facilitated partnership development and wrote/edited the complex bid, ensuring that it was completed on time.