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Case Study

Cortech Developments Operations Team joined the Leading Healthy Teams programme as part of their commitment to leadership and team excellence.

Here, we gain a fascinating insight into the success of the programme from John Hill, Head of Operations at Cortech Developments.


Widely regarded as one of the leading global players in the delivery and support of integrated building, fire and security software solutions, Cortech Developments is the trusted supplier to some of the most well-known brands worldwide.


They are a 32-strong specialist team dedicated to protecting critical national infrastructure and many complex environments that require the highest level of security.


Operations is divided into three areas - training, software support, and project/product delivery - all critical cross functional-links in executing and supporting customer-led projects that 'simplify the complex'. This includes extensive collaboration and alignment with various stakeholders including technical partners, to mitigate end-to-end risk for every client.


Integral to Cortech Developments purpose is their mission statement – ‘we will work tirelessly to achieve our vision with a culture of customer-first attitude, committed to continuous improvement and investment in people that delivers on outstanding service and product value for our customers. Our people will be empowered and encouraged to become the ‘best they can be’ within an innovative, collaborative, and creative environment that inspires and practices sustainable development.’


As part of Cortech Developments commitment to achieve this mission, they engaged the services of The 21st Century Leadership Company (The 21st CLC). Primarily, to further enhance leadership and team excellence through the delivery of the Leading Healthy Teams Programme.

John Hill, Head of Operations for Cortech Developments explained this investment in continued development, “Our key aim focused on using the Leading Healthy Teams programme as a way to structure and improve for the future. I wanted the team to work more independently of my supervision whilst still feeling supported and encouraged to make decisions both as a team and as individuals.”


Importantly stakeholders within the organisation understand that analysing leaders in isolation from teams doesn’t bring about positive change, or vice versa. The two need to be understood, trusted, and connected. What’s more aligned with a performance mindset

Key Areas of Focus

John went on to say, “Operational aspects within the business were already well established and working effectively. That said and in the spirit of Plan-Do-Check-Act, there is always room for improvement.


On occasions, and particularly under stress, the team were looking to me for decision-making at a risk level that I felt they should feel comfortable and permitted to tackle. Sometimes, this caused prolonged distraction into non-strategic or low value tasks. This demonstrated to me that the team didn’t feel truly empowered or ‘safe’ to make those decisions. I needed to make a change in my leadership tactics to address this, by empowering the team to collectively succeed or face challenges together.”


Through a combination of coaching one-to-one’s, team surveys, workshops and assignments, the Leading Healthy Teams programme created a forum for self-analysis, team engagement and collaboration. A way to explore self-awareness, mindset, communication, relationships, team needs, alignment and performance. This connected all the dots between the leadership and teams to help the operations team and its people thrive.


Importantly, the pre and post programme surveys acted as a direct measure of leadership and team progress.


John praised the programme saying, “The frameworks and resulting workshops played a pivotal role in my team's transformation, and the ongoing support from Lorna during our one-to-one sessions provided valuable guidance, ensuring the success of the programme. The positive outcomes of the Leading Healthy Teams programme were numerous, reflecting a more cohesive and effective team dynamic.”

The tangible outputs to meet the teams needs included:


  • Establishment of a weekly Operations team huddle, allowing open discussions and collaborative decision-making without the Head of Operations fostering a sense of collective responsibility and autonomy.

  • Implementation of an Operations team channel on the intranet and within MS Teams, enhancing communication and facilitating quick collaboration. Also Q&A sessions, promoting efficiency and information sharing.

  • Introduction of biannual workshops to comprehensively review QMS non-conformance and customer complaints, promoting continuous improvement and learning from past experiences.

  • Designation of a single point of contact for initial escalation and administrative queries to identified team members, streamlining communication channels, and ensuring a more efficient workflow.

  • Additional automated workflow in the CRM to create a collective team task repository, enabling anyone to pick up tasks rather than have them allocated.

  • Reallocation of administrative tasks regarding project allocation and QMS Q gate checking.


“These positive changes underscored the team's commitment to excellence and continuous improvement, showcasing the positive impact on our operational effectiveness and collaborative spirit,” added John.


Programmes of this nature require a commitment from everyone to engage, challenge, and act! This is what promotes continuous improvement.


Lorna White, the Leading Healthy Teams Programme Lead for The 21st CLC, praised the Cortech team, “Working with John and his team has been inspiring. Their appetite for positive change was matched with an unwavering commitment to learn and improve. It was clear at the outset of the programme, that the team were already very effective in their roles and aligned around the business vision and mission.


Their customer-led and people ethos has helped to create a fantastic culture that supports the seamless integration of development frameworks like the Leading Healthy Teams programme.”


Meanwhile, John summarised the impact of the Leading Healthy Teams programme saying, “My experience was positive and transformative.


The programme not only enhanced my skills but also equipped me with additional leadership strategies. It emphasised the importance of collaboration, innovation, and fostering a positive team culture. I am now even better prepared to lead with confidence, navigate challenges, and inspire my team towards shared success.”


The outputs from the workshops resulted in John disengaging from direct management tasks that had arguably, held the team back. Both he and the team are now more productive. Furthermore, the engagement survey, though starting from a good place did also improve.


All quality measures, in particular the customer centric measures have improved notably since rolling the agreed changes out. These include:


  • 20% fewer customer case tickets open at month end. This is essential for customer satisfaction, workload management, operational efficiency, and continuous improvement.

  • Same day resolution in support has increased from 52% to 80% YTD. Promptly resolving issues on the same day enhances customer satisfaction by minimising downtime and demonstrating responsiveness. Customers appreciate quick solutions to their problems, leading to a positive perception of the software support services. Achieving same-day resolution also reflects the efficiency of the support team and maximises productivity.

  • Capacity has been increased without increasing the overhead in operations. Managing overhead costs effectively allows the department to maximise resources and maintain cost efficiency. By increasing capacity without a rise in overhead, means that the business can achieve economies of scale and improve the overall cost structure.

  • Order to cash (O2C) cycle period has been reduced by 12%. Shortening the O2C cycle accelerates the time it takes for a sale to translate into cash. In addition to several strategic reasons, this improves liquidity and provides the business with faster access to funds, enhancing overall financial health. This also lowers operational costs and increases overall operational efficiency.


The quantifiable positive impact of the Team Performance Survey and the Leading Healthy Teams programme has led to a strategic commitment to implement these surveys and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) across all business areas.


John commented, “We have achieved several noteworthy milestones, delivering tangible benefits to Cortech and our customers alike. My team is more actively engaged, and from a leadership perspective, increased bandwidth is now available to me for driving the vision and the mission, while redirecting focus from day-to-day operational tasks. This shift underscores the commitment the team have made to continuous improvement and the cultivation of a more efficient and purpose-driven organisational culture.”


The Leading Healthy Teams programme has assisted Cortech Developments in its quest for positive change and continued excellence. Leadership now recognises when to step away and truly empower teams to face challenges together, make decisions, and collectively succeed. Furthermore, it is now better prepared to lead with confidence, navigate challenges and inspire the team towards shared success. As a result, the team are now more productive, and engagement has improved from an already strong position. The tangible success of the programme has been born out with some impressive results outlined in this case study. 


Learn how to create healthy leaders and teams.

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Chris Whiteley - 07796 177120

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