TrafalgarPD – Website Updated

TrafalgarPD is pleased to re-launch its website. TrafalgarPD focuses on organisational development and change, team building and leadership coaching. Often organisations require elements of all 3 strands in order to fully meet their objectives.

We deliver exceptionally successful development programmes by pulling on the core values of courage, integrity, trust, confidence and ‘doing the right thing’. It uses lessons drawn from business, the military, parenthood and family to underpin a coaching and training service for organisations, teams and individuals to help manage changes in professional and personal lives.

Recent successful programmes have been delivered for NATO’s Communication and Information Agency (NCIA), BAE Systems and Aragon Housing Association along with a wide range of individual clients from CEOs of SMEs to junior managers in big corporates.

We work closely with leaders and teams, whether grappling with organisational transformation, making impact in new roles or dealing with cultural and behavioural ‘politics’ in the office. We also work with those outside organisations, making life changes in their careers and with Young People through our ARCUS Programme, ready to launch into the world of work.

We are motivated by making things happen for people, enabling them to see their way through the changes they want to make for themselves or with others.   The challenges we face through change, whether forced on us or self generated, are helped or hindered by the relationships we create with the individuals, teams and partner organisations that surround us.   To help you manage deliver this we focus on 3 things: you and your self awareness; your relationships and the impact you have on other people; and the action you bring and impact you make in the world.

Have a look at what we offer and contact us for more information.


Why is organisational culture critical to change?

Organisational culture impacts business performance. The culture of an organisation can be described as ‘how things are done around here’ – the collective behaviour; routines that develop over the years, how employees interact, the organisational structure, the governance, the rewards, even the way employees dress. In reality it goes much deeper, like an iceberg: the subconscious, underlying beliefs and assumptions that lie below the surface that are rarely questioned as they are less visible. These are the elements that can hamper an organisation’s efforts to adapt to change and ultimately enhance performance.

Successful cultural change – components

To drive change, organisations need to address some key components that are at the heart of the culture and which often lie at the lower levels of the ‘iceberg’:

  • Clarity – of the long term strategic direction, intent and purpose of the organisation. Is there a clear direction set for the organisation that personnel can align to at a deeper level and one of the greatest motivators of individual performance is to know you are making a distinct contribution to a collective purpose
  • Character – a combination of values, beliefs and experiences. In the same way these factors create the character of an individual, so they do for an organisation – interpreted as the ‘culture’ of the organisation. Equally, as the character of individuals drives their behaviour, that behaviour can significantly change when under stress. In time of organisational restructure, personnel are at higher levels of stress and often this is seen in collective behaviours from teams and departments. Thus knowing how to address conflict and gain commitment rather than compliance from people in an organisation drives success.
  • Identity – a sense of belonging is core to fulfilment for human beings. Shared identity encourages team buy-in and alignment. When added to clarity and character, identity is what leads a team coming together and generating this commitment

Organisations cannot force a culture. This is developed over time and by Emotionally Intelligent leaders and all leadership levels within an organisation.

Successful Coaching in Organisations

Coaching is a proven way of transforming business performance

90% of organisations with over 2000 employees use business coaching and 95% say that coaching has delivered tangible benefits to their business’  Institute of Leadership & Management.

It helps managers deal with change and find solutions to business problems using their own resources. It’s an effective way of creating a high performance culture in your organisation. Coaching uses one-to-one discussion and guided questioning to unlock inner potential. As a developmental tool it benefits both individuals and organisations in areas such as:

  • better communication and interpersonal skills
  • increased confidence and motivation
  • improved conflict resolution
  • better leadership performance
  • improved strategic planning

Often organisations use coaching as part wider development programmes to help embed and apply the learning such as change management, improving communications, leadership. Although these can be successful and can increase the ROI on the development investment, they can often be misinterpreted and thus lack success. Very often there is a ‘sheep dip’ approach to this type of coaching and delegates go along to coaching as it is part of the package without the full awareness of the impact the coaching can bring.

The success of coaching lies in the coaching contracts that are established at the outset as is the case with individual coaching outside development programmes.   These contracts are important both for the individual and the organisation. In all coaching, it is important that the individual coachee sets the agenda, they are a volunteer, want to change and understand the positive impact of the effect of that change on themselves and their work.

The opposite often happens: the organisation sets the agenda and coaches are not volunteers because coaching has been decided as the preferred method of supplementing the course learning. Some individuals do not really wish to change (even though the organisation may want them to) and are more inclined to blame the organisation for their problems and what is at stake for the organisation can become unimportant despite initial best intentions (eg no visible signs of improved leadership, communication in a department etc). The sessions can turn into opportunities for the individual to moan about the organisation reflecting the paralysis that people in the middle of organisations often experience.

Set in the right context and with open contracting with all parties, coaching as part of collective development programmes can lead to effective business improvement and close the gaps between and individual’s potential and performance – but only when that individual identifies choices that will lead to individual change which in turn impacts organisational improvement.

Youth Employment Concerns

As growth returns to the economy, thankfully youth unemployment levels have started to drop. Nevertheless, they are still high at 16.6% (Dec 2014). Parents are worried that their young 20 somethings won’t get decent jobs or they will have to take a much lower paid jobs unrelated to the qualifications they gained at university or college and that they won’t be able to become financially independent.  In 2015 a huge 49% of 20 – 24 year olds were still living at home. The Office of National Statistics reported at the end of 2014 year that almost half recent graduates in the UK were working in non graduate jobs.  Although in 2015 graduate employment prospects are looking better and graduate salaries appear to be on the increase (Association Graduate Recruiters cite an average of £26Kpa), competition remains high and employers can afford to be picky.

In 2015 Britain’s leading graduate employers received an average of 39 applications per post – an increase from 35 in 2008 and some of the major recruiters reported levels in excess of 160 applicants per post. Last summer we heard of 299 applicants for an intern post with a conservation organisation and 200 applicants for an account management post with a National youth charity – none of whom were called forward to interview as their CV’s didn’t match the specification!

Parents have said to us:

‘I worry that it will be hard for my son to get a foot on the ladder without either working for nothing or a very low wage’

(Parent of 21 year old dramatic arts graduate)

‘I’m concerned about a potential long stay at home before finding a job that pays well enough to rent a flat or house’

(Parent of 21 year old science graduate)

‘Because there are so many applicants for each job advertised that my children will not have that edge, confidence or knowledge that will make them stick out from the others’

(Parent of 18 year old history undergraduate and 21 year old geography graduate)

Employers have said to us:

Qualifications are not the whole story.  They tell us that they want more than the right qualifications.  They are looking for evidence of EMPLOYABILITY skills; such as working well in a team, leading, using initiative, solving problems, planning and organising both self and work, dealing with pressure, being resilient and most of all, demonstrating a positive work ethic.


‘There is a mismatch between employers’ expectations of young people during the recruitment processes and a young person’s understanding of what is expected of them’ ‘81% of employers value soft skills as equal importance to the right qualification’

Employers are from Mars; Young people are from Venus’ CIPD report 2013

TrafalgarPD work with young people on a one to one basis and have co-developed The ARCUS Programme which runs one day workshops. In both cases, the support focuses on young people preparing to ‘bridge the gap’ between education and employment.  It sets the job finding myths straight, focuses on employability skills and what the individual needs to plan their futures and helps them prepare for work.

Mission Leadership

Traditionally, the business environment was measured and predicable. The most important information was held in the centre and organisations were structured into clear silos and delegation focused on responsibility for implementing plans. The core skill needed to create performance in such an environment was management. Today the environment is fast, complex and uncertain. The most important information is held at all levels, and organisations seek alignment through a mixture of cross functional teams and networks. It is not possible to lay down exacting guidance on how to operate; this needs to be inherent in the culture – simply put, the people in the organisation know the right thing to do and feel empowered to be able to do it. And the core skill needed today to drive this inherent performance is leadership.

This has strong parallels with the leadership culture of military organisations – large complex organisations that throughout history have had to operate with speed and cohesion in chaotic environments. The underlying premise is a clear understanding of intent and direction and the freedom within the organisation which this can be reached. This is known as Mission Command – or its corporate parallel, ‘mission leadership’.




‘Auftragstaktik’ or Mission Command, was initially developed by the Prussian Army after defeat by Napoleon in 1806 in order to adapt to the new fast changing, unpredictable battlefield environment. In essence the change involved a new set of behavioural norms:

Telling subordinates not what to do and how to do it, but what to achieve and why.

With mission leadership high level vision can be translated into action right down and across an organisation. It deploys and directs the talents of junior leaders instead of restricting and controlling them and taps into one of the greatest motivators of individual performance:

To know you are making a distinct contribution to a collective purpose.

It fosters behavioural norms. The behaviours involve senior people being disciplined enough to be very clear about their intentions and not to interfere with their juniors. Junior people need to be ready to accept responsibility and not to delegate it back upwards and to use the freedom they are granted. The behaviours allow for risk. Risks successfully run gradually inculcate trust. As trust increases so does performance.

Does this sound like your organisation? The ex military staff in TrafalgarPD have a lot of mission leadership experience and have applied these principles with many corporate organisations. Contact us to find out more about how we can work with you to develop a culture of Mission Leadership within your organisation.