Large-scale change

L to R: Lesley Pugh, Lisa Hancock (client), Rose Padfield, Emily Sun

The Padfield Partnership conducted a large-scale change management project which received an award for excellence in change management, presented by the Association for Business Psychology at the end of 2017.


This world-renowned organisation comprises eight hospitals and 8,000 staff working in an environment best described as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.

The Board had ambitious plans for a transformation that would retain their global position and gain operational efficiencies and cost savings. However, there was no methodology for leading and implementing change.

The staff were suffering ‘change fatigue’ from previous projects that hadn’t been handled well. Clinicians valued looking after patients over their leadership role – which, over time, was in danger of eroding the organisation strategically. The culture was hierarchical and silo-ed, with process and task being valued over relationships.

The CEO realised that the organisation needed to build its change capability, and recruited an Organisational Development Director who appointed The Padfield Partnership.


We were briefed with achieving three main goals:

  • To create an aligned model and set of principles for enabling change through people
  • To provide tools and techniques for leaders to use, and build their confidence in using them
  • To begin shifting mindsets around making change through relationships rather than purely task and process
Our unique framework

Our unique framework

Over a two-day period, we interviewed a range of stakeholders at all levels and roles within the organisation, to find out their current capability, motivation and desires. Together with the OD Director, we co-created a unique framework and two-day workshop. We then ran a pilot group with senior change leaders (which was spot on and needed no amendments).

Over the next 18 months, we delivered the workshop to the top 270 leaders, to guide participants through the model, and so they could practice using it in a safe environment.

We followed this up with evaluation workshops so we could assess the impact and provide a further opportunity for participants to learn from each other’s application.


  • Attendees reported a high level of learning and satisfaction with the course (several said it was the best training they had received in their career)
  • Participants felt more resilient and better equipped to take risks which led to positive outcomes
  • Leaders reported greater awareness of the importance of change, and were more aware of using a catalytic leadership style and putting their people first. This resulted in staff being more willing to contribute to, and lead on, change initiatives
  • One year after the workshops, focus groups reported significant and sustained change in their personal behaviour

The programme had a positive impact across key areas of the organisation, including:

  • Delivery of Trust-wide change and change-readiness
  • The organisation became less parochial and more collaborative, with better cross-functional working
  • Better staff development, engagement and accountability
  • Improved staff happiness and retention, with reduced sickness and absence rates (due to progressing the staff health and wellbeing strategy)
  • Improved leadership behaviour and self-awareness
  • Improved patient experience

“Over two years, we have run more than 20 programmes and trained over 250 people. Feedback has been excellent, both immediately and at 6-12 months after attending.

Attendees identified key changes in their mindset and how they approach change. There is a greater understanding and focus on the ‘people’ side of change, and the importance of collaboration and co-creation to successfully implement change.

Participants now feel more able to lead and enable change within their teams, and have created supportive networks within the programme that help them in their day-to-day roles.

Rose, Lesley and Emily are great to work with – professional, highly committed and great fun!”

Lisa Hancock

Read more about our award-winning change management programme

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