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British Council Managing for Success

The British Council wanted to develop a consistent high quality group of middle managers to support the organisation in achieving its strategic objectives.  Greater accountability for implementing aspects of the strategy would be delegated to this group and several years of limited development or a consistent approach, meant the group were not as well supported or equipped as the British Council leaders wanted.


We completed key capabilities work begun by British Council and identified skills required as a middle manager, by conducting focus groups and interviews. We compiled a list of key development areas which correlated to the newly developed British Council Behaviours. This formed the basis of our bespoke program design.


Co-created with the British Council learning team, the programme focused on developing greater awareness of one’s impact on others, how to build and sustain high performing teams and understanding how to build effective connections with all stakeholders.

In addition specific topics were included on Change, Innovation and specific HR Management dilemmas common in the British Council. Reflective practices (journaling and mindfulness) were also woven into the program. The resulting program, “Managing for Success”, was a high quality blended learning experience that was deployed across the British Council’s global network.

Delivery & Outcomes

A key element of the program was for each participant to identify a “Delivery Challenge” (a discreet piece of work that would extend and challenge the individual in their management role) which would be used in the workshop and provide a ready application for the new learning which would extend for 6 months after the workshop.

The programme covered a 7 month period and included: guided pre-work and coaching call; intensive 3 day workshop; and a framework for a 6 month peer learning group to continue to extend and apply the learning.

The programme ran for 4 consecutive years and was regarded as one of the most successful programmes inside the British Council.


This programme has received positive feedback from the participants and line managers on the difference it has made both from a personal and business perspective. I often get requests from people across the organisation asking if they can attend the programme because of the feedback they have heard from others that have attended. The programme has definitely been a success!

Helen Walker
Talent Development Consultant,
British Council


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