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Case Study

The MoltexFLEX leadership team joined the Leading Healthy Teams programme to address some of the key challenges faced by the organisation.

Lead Chemist, Phil Quayle explains how the programme fostered effective leaders, healthy teams and improved performance.


Home to some of the world’s smartest scientists, MoltexFLEX is the epicentre for the development of a nuclear reactor that can deliver clean energy for numerous applications when the wind isn’t blowing, and the sun isn’t shining!
Based in the inspirational surroundings of Birchwood Park in Warrington, the MoltexFLEX team form a part of a nuclear cluster that is recognised as one of the most successful centres for nuclear services in the UK.
The world is facing the simultaneous challenges of ending the use of fossil fuels while supporting the economic ambitions of a global population that will reach 11 billion by 2100.
Of course, where there are challenges, there are also opportunities. MoltexFLEX see their most prized asset – its people and their development – as an essential ingredient in meeting these problems head on.
As part of this vision, The 21st Century Leadership Company (The 21st CLC) were engaged to work with the MoltexFLEX leadership and their teams to help them thrive through the delivery of the Leading Healthy Teams programme.
Importantly, stakeholders within the organisation understand that analysing leaders in isolation from teams doesn’t get to the root cause of business challenges, or vice versa.
The two must be understood, trusted, and connected. What's more, they need to be aligned with a performance mindset.


The engagement process started with an honest assessment of some of the key challenges faced by the organisation:

  • Teething pains associated with the expansion of the team, from ten to thirty people.

  • Readiness for further team expansion and scaling up the business.

  • Disciplines working in silos and wanting to be able to work more collaboratively using agile principles.

  • Seeking to improve cross-discipline collaboration and communication.

  • Adaption to hybrid working.

  • A few relatively inexperienced leaders (less than two years’ experience).

  • Impact of the pandemic on working practices, learning and development.

  • Learning to support and build a young team (including several graduates) during a period of post-pandemic recovery.

  • Effective measurement of leadership performance and feedback mechanisms.

Phil Quayle, Lead Chemist, forms an integral part of the MoltexFLEX leadership team and heads up an eight-strong Materials and Chemistry department. Commenting on the challenges, he said: ”As a start-up, making the transition through to significant growth on a timecritical path, we had to consider the needs of our people on this mission. Through our engagement with The 21st CLC, and the Leading Healthy Teams programme, we’ve been able to address our key concerns, align the team and put in place a framework that helps everyone thrive and be more effective.”


Five members of the leadership team at MoltexFLEX undertook the Leading Healthy Teams extended programme. The training was conducted through one-to-one coaching, team surveys, full-day training sessions and homework-style assignments to undertake as individuals or with wider teams over a 12-month period.
The leadership team used the full-day sessions to discuss the key challenges facing each of them in their roles. With the support of the Programme Lead the leadership were able to explore ways to manage situations and lead more effectively to achieve the best outcomes for the business.
Phil went on to say: “Through greater communication, improved collaboration, and a better understanding of colleagues’ needs and challenges, we very quickly became more aligned and effective as a leadership group.
“Connecting the dots in this way enabled us all to manage our teams more effectively, including the implementation of some proven hybrid working strategies.
“With my group of reports, I used the team survey exercise at the beginning and end of the programme to measure progress. This was extremely useful in helping the team identify key areas of focus and improvement without it being personal (the survey is anonymous).

“Linked in with this, we talked about the team’s health, how we can work better together and embraced self-awareness using the relationship intelligence from our Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI) profiles.
“The culmination of this work helped to align everyone, strengthened the team bond, and produced positive outcomes for individuals, teams, and the wider business.”


Delivering the Leading Healthy Teams programme successfully relies on the openness and honesty of everyone involved.
Lorna White, the Leading Healthy Teams Programme Lead for The 21st CLC, praised the MoltexFLEX team: “From day one the leaders and team members at MoltexFLEX bought into the process. There was a collective appetite to challenge each other respectfully, a willingness to develop their skills and a desire to become the best version of themselves. An unequivocal commitment to develop personally and help the organisation meets its goals.”

Meanwhile, Phil Quayle summarised the impact of Leading Healthy Teams programme saying, “My experience of Leading Healthy Teams has been a hugely positive one. I would highly recommend this programme to any business seeking to advance the skills and effectiveness of their leaders and teams.
“I’ve attended one-day and one-week leadership training courses previously that simply don’t offer the value that Leading Healthy Teams does. Its combination of dedicated coaching, relationship intelligence, problem-solving, surveys and assessments get to the very heart of your leadership and team challenges over an extended period (12 months).
“This gives you the time to properly assess, review, reflect, act and measure, and in doing so, foster effective leaders, healthy teams, and improved performance.”


The Leading Healthy Teams programme has assisted MoltexFLEX in developing the skills and effectiveness of its leadership and teams as part of hybrid working. It has also helped create a unified leadership culture that has transformed communication, engagement, and internal relationships.
With leaders now working more collaboratively and transparently, their teams have benefitted from greater engagement and action in relation to their everyday challenges and needs. The outcome is an increased level of trust, clarity of purpose, alignment around goals and the tools to enable everyone to thrive and perform.


Learn how to create healthy leaders and teams.

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Chris Whiteley - 07796 177120

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