Combining big thinking with hands-on support in the events and marketing sector.
Delivering change the JFA way.

Services: Transformational organisational change

The Challenge:

The business had experienced significant growth in a relatively short space of time. Both in terms of clients and staff. Great news. But with increasing demands on all teams, staff at all levels of the organisation were finding the situation challenging. It was obvious that the business needed to change – to improve…but where and how?

Our approach
To change a business you have to understand it.

So getting to the root cause of the issues was the first step. We spent time exploring the business, gathering and examining data and talking to staff at all levels to identify the key challenges. This was ‘gold dust’ and offered a deep insight into the organisation. Its people, culture, policies, procedures and processes.

The next step provided feedback to the Board of Directors and recommendations for improvement, from which a high-level Implementation Plan was prepared with three strands.

Business Planning – Talent – Operations.

To make these changes happen we worked on-site two days a week to lead the Change process. Working collaboratively with Directors, managers and the different teams to implement the key steps was a vital step.

Our hands-on approach and understanding of the business allowed us to create simple, manageable steps. We knew when each step needed to be taken. Sometimes sequentially, sometimes in parallel, but always focused on delivering sustainable changes, embedded throughout the business, facilitated by effective monitoring and support

The Results:

Six months into the project…an electric air of positivity now permeates the business. There are more tangible results too.

Everyone in the business understands where it’s going and their part in this exciting journey of growth. We helped create a clear strategic and operational direction by aligning individual Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) with company OKRs.

Lines of accountability were created and roles clarified. This worked alongside a new Appraisal and Performance Management framework and monthly motivational 1-2-1s. This delivered a more positive working environment instantly. Staff training needs and development plans have increased staff commitment as the business’s investment in them is seen. Plus a staff development programme has improved the effectiveness of staff

All these elements have significantly improved staff productivity and positivity.

Policies and Procedures have been reviewed and refined to help make the business more efficient.

Cross-team working and mapping of processes has fuelled improved understanding of everyone’s role. This led to much better internal communication. This overview of how the business worked allowed the business to streamline and make processes more efficient and consistent. More effective monitoring was also introduced.

Many of the improvements within the business have been facilitated by focus groups. A sustainable business change model, led by employees, to deliver an improvement centric culture, embodied from the bottom-up and enabling change to be embraced by all.

Communications, Rewards and Recognition have improved the morale and motivation of teams. The technical infrastructure has been changed to facilitate team, cross-team and organisational communications.


Staff feedback from the team at Xsem has been amazing. In a recent survey they were asked how the changes made them feel. The top five answers were happy, positive, motivated, proud, valued.

Staff commented,

“I really feel like we are taking amazingly positive steps forward. Not only are we being asked for feedback but action is being taken which is the most important part of this.”

“Compared to where I was before, I really like how important and valued all the staff are made to feel.”

“XSEM has a real team spirit and family feel which is lovely.”

“We met Jane in September 2019 at a time where the business was experiencing rapid growth, we had increased headcount and our processes, policies and culture were all feeling the strain. Jane took the time to get under the skin of the business, she met with team members from every corner of the business to understand what was causing them frustration in their everyday lives. Her inquisitive, but positive nature meant that the team opened up to her and we gathered some truly useful and in some cases hard-hitting feedback. 

Having identified our major challenges we worked closely with Jane to develop a plan to improve things. However, in contrast to previous improvement plans we have attempted, Jane did not hand the plan over to us and walk away. She has remained in the business and is taking responsibility for keeping us on track. Jane is driving the directors, making recommendations, facilitating workshops and delivering coaching where required.

On a personal note, Jane has facilitated DISC profiling and taken 360 feedback from the business to identify areas that I can develop as a leader. She will challenge you if it’s appropriate and support where necessary. I am clear on where I need to focus my efforts and feel I have a knowledgeable sounding board should I need one.

It has been a pleasure to work with Jane over the past few months. Her proactive, people centric approach has helped us to define our strategic direction and transform the culture of the business. I now have a team that are not only coming up with their own ideas on how we can achieve our shared goals, they are taking ownership for implementing change, working in collaborative groups and encouraging others to step forward.”

Dan Bardget.
Xsem Managing Director

“It is refreshing to work with someone who really takes the time to get underneath the skin of the organisation, not only from management level view point but from a rounded company/team perspective to ensure feedback is gained from all corners of the business. This then allows for company-wide analysis to come up with a strategy moving forward that is fit for purpose for all and means that the whole company will invest in any implemented changes because the outcomes have come from their feedback. Even though from the very start Jane is extremely friendly and approachable the amazing thing is she takes pride in following up on the feedback and driving a plan on implementation, it doesn’t just stop with a lengthy report that sits on a shelf gathering dust!”

Victoria Smith
Xsem Project Team Lead

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Jane Fisher Associates
01904 215 377 07837 024 374 hello@janefisherassociates.co.uk
Jane Fisher Associates Ltd
Studio 2, Allendale Forge Studios
Market Place
Allendale Town
Nr Hexham
NE47 9BD