Acorn Coaching and Development

Improving business performance

Lexia Solutions Group

Lexia Solutions Group focus on Leadership Excellence

Lexia Solutions operate in a highly competitive sector which had come under pressure in the recession, further challenged by the geographical spread of the business’s companies.

They wished to develop a cadre of leaders with an in-depth understanding of leadership, who could influence the culture to develop the excellence required. This would inspire their clients’ confidence in them as a quality provider, and put them in a strong position for growth, at the same time strengthening the pipeline of leaders for succession planning.

  • Lexia solutions case study


Lexia Solutions Group wanted to re-establish themselves as a quality provider with the highest quality staff and service, and to develop talent for succession planning. They had not proactively invested in leadership for some time, and had traditionally ‘learned’ leadership ‘on the job’.

In addition they faced a geographical challenge which meant that thinking was not always joined up, solutions were more difficult to find, and good practice was not always shared.


Further discussion with the client identified several specific objectives for the programme

Develop leadership capability within the group

Establish a group of future leaders who:

  • Are focussed on their own development and understand the impact that this has on the success of the business
  • Identify and develop others for future succession planning
  • Promote the ‘In Pursuit of Excellence’ initiative/support the organisation's culture
  • Encourage innovation within their area of the business

Support collaboration between senior staff from different areas of the business

  • Create a group of leaders who will support each other, be open to learn from each other and share best practice
  • Create better collaboration between the businesses, and a focus on the success of the group as a whole rather than only their specific area

Support Lexia’s People Goal – ‘to have the best trained and most motivated people in our industry’

  • Show a commitment to investing in staff long term and providing opportunities for career progression
  • Successfully run a programme which others aspire to be on


Acorn designed a programme spanning more than a year, with two parts:

Senior Management Team

Aim: To assist them to support the attendees in the leadership programme, including:

  • Clarifying the aims for the business
  • Identifying what the attendees needed to get better at/which areas of the 360s were most pertinent
  • Developing their own skills as leaders, including understanding their own role in delivering the required changes

To date Acorn has delivered two workshops to the SMT and is planning a third workshop to continue to develop the above objectives.

The ‘Rising Stars’ Leadership Programme

Acorn delivered our comprehensive ‘Rising Stars’ leadership development programme to 12 selected leaders. Built around Lexia’s vision, and upholding their values, the programme started from 360 feedback and included 1:1 coaching and several workshops focusing on the leadership skills most pertinent to the aims of the programme.


Senior Management Team

  • The Director has anecdotally reported noticing a positive difference in the way individuals are operating.
  • Prior to the programme a senior manager in charge of one of the offices was worried about succession planning in the lead up to his own retirement. He reports that colleagues are now stepping up and taking responsibility. Due to his own improved coaching skills he reports a better affinity with staff through the coaching process, and increased work enjoyment on both sides. He feels happier and more confident about succession planning and therefore the future of the business.

Rising Stars

The over-arching outcome is that the business reports a stronger cadre of potential leaders for the future.

Specific reported outcomes include:

  • Significant improvement across the group in the ability to prioritise appropriately, with the additional benefits to work-life balance – one delegate reported taking up to 75% less work home
  • Promotion to Regional Director
  • Succession Planning: increased ability to prioritise and delegate, resulting in increased leadership ability in direct reports
  • Better relationships with their staff
  • Financial ROI for the business: a change in working practice for one delegate led to a review of procedure that saved the business £100k a year, another attributes cost savings of £30k to actions directly arising from the programme.
  • A fundamental shift from ‘blaming the system’ to asking ‘what can I do?’
  • Confidence in leading upwards
  • A realisation that individuals themselves set the standards
  • Better communication with staff, resulting in increased engagement

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