The Background

Sheffield worked with Spark over a five-year period to support the organisation during times of major transformation as it shifted from Telecom to Spark and into a people centric and then an Agile way of working. For leaders and staff, this meant a cultural shift and a client- centric, outcome-focused approach to driving business performance.


What We Did to Help

From 2013 to 2017, Sheffield delivered a Management Fundamentals programme focused on setting the people centric leadership standards to ensure a consistent working style across the organisation.

Programme content was regularly reviewed and updated to ensure complete alignment with the organisation’s progress as its culture evolved and also to adapt to needs of their leaders as their capability and approach shifted over time. With nearly 800 participants completing the programme, its tools and language eventually became part of Spark’s everyday lexicon.

The three-month programme provided both workshop-based and one-on-one development for leaders at all levels in the organisation. It set the ‘leadership standard’ for Spark and ultimately allowed the company to drive performance through its people, supporting the organisation’s wider transformation programme of becoming a leaner and faster-paced customer focused company.

Cohorts of new and experienced leaders were developed to ultimately drive broader engagement and capabilities across the wider team and prime each leader for success in the face of change. It was essential that the learning approach for each cohort was adapted according to their specific needs. Sheffield’s nimble and adaptive facilitation approach was both a key strength and symbolic of Spark’s new way of working.

The core programme was supported by on the job tools and resources which were embedded into the company’s internal systems for ease of access and use.

We also supported Spark with additional development programmes alongside this core one.


What Happened as a Result

Overall leadership quality improved significantly which contributed strongly to a positive shift in organisational culture survey results and leader capability.

Heather Polglase, Spark’s Group HR Director said, “through ... measurement, teaching, remeasurement and additional coaching of our leaders facilitated by Sheffield, we saw a significant uplift in our leadership experience as evidenced through our employee feedback, data and insight.”

Over the five years, Sheffield helped to equip leaders with the necessary tools and skills for better day-to-day leadership as the business underwent phases of required change. “Without Sheffield’s responsive and adaptive partnership with us through this time we would have struggled to deliver what was an “at scale” roll out ... We found them to be highly professional and engaging with our people directly, and adept at connecting with the HR Team where any issues or opportunities arose. "