Photo of an orthopaedic practitioner helping someone to walk again

Equipping managers to lead growth and innovation at JRI Orthopaedics

Roffey Park 19th May 2016
Photo of the 'JRI Orthopaedics' logo

Against a backdrop of NHS cuts, pricing pressures and increasing manufacturing costs, JRI Orthopaedics realised that future success lay in strong leadership and product innovation.

The challenge

JRI Orthopaedics is a Sheffield-based company with world-class expertise in the design, development and manufacture of orthopaedic implants and surgical instruments. Formed by renowned surgeon Mr Ronald Furlong in 1970, the company has a long-established global reputation for pioneering innovations in the development of hip implants, joint repair and replacement.

With such an eminent orthopaedic surgeon and his wife at the helm, there was a family feel to the organisational culture and low staff turnover. However, leadership style was authoritative, with a ‘command and control’ management culture.

Keith Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, explains, “We operate in a highly technical field and highly-regulated industry. Managers were typically promoted due to technical expertise but we wanted them to make the transition from technical manager to capable leader. Great leaders are
visionary; they inspire others and create an appetite for the possible.”

He continues, “In the face of increasingly challenging market conditions around decreasing prices and increasing costs of energy, labour and materials, we realised we needed to get better and innovate. We needed to identify the ‘next big thing’.”

Pivotal to business success was investment in leadership capability and creating a shift in culture towards leadership and innovation.

“We wanted managers to make the transition from technical manager to capable leader.”

The solution

JRI required a management and leadership development programme to build a more cohesive and empowered management team and approached three potential providers.

“From the outset, Roffey Park stood out,” explains Keith. “Roffey Park clearly understood what we were trying to achieve as a business and tailored programme design to our organisational size, goals and market. Above all, we had an immediate rapport with Roffey Park’s consultants; they demonstrated empathy, understanding and commitment.”

Roffey Park also recommended holding learning offsite. “We visited Roffey Park’s residential centre in West Sussex and were impressed with the learning environment,” says Keith. “Every element of the Roffey Park experience is designed with participants in mind; landscaped grounds set in 40 acres, modern learning facilities, resource centre and team of researchers to support learning.”

“From the outset, Roffey Park clearly understood what we were trying to achieve as a business.”

The approach

Programme objectives

  • Build a culture around effective leadership and innovation.
  • Self-aware managers who take personal responsibility and successfully make the transition to leader.
  • Consistent, cohesive and collaborative leadership.
  • Proactive and agile leaders able to leverage market opportunities and compete against large organisations.
  • Focus on ‘try hard drivers’ to drive innovation and success.

“Above all, effective management teams need to trust each other,” says Keith. “We wanted to shift the organisational culture from operating in functional silos to working together towards a shared purpose and common goals.”

Programme design

Roffey Park worked closely with the JRI Management Board to design a bespoke management and leadership development programme. An initial
phase of familiarisation, involving conversations with key stakeholders, participants and direct reports, informed programme design.

The programme comprises three two-day modules covering management and leadership of self, others and teams and has been delivered to 20 managers, across two cohorts.

Programme features

  • Launch event – 360 feedback process, programme objectives and strategic context.
  • 360 feedback – to benchmark participants’ leadership skills and behaviours and improve self-awareness.

Module One – ‘Leading Myself’

  • Introduces how management and leadership are different, leadership styles, the emotionally-intelligent manager and authentic leadership.

Module Two – ‘Leading Others’

  • Includes the performance management cycle, leadership myths, strengths-based approaches to developing and coaching others, giving and receiving feedback and managing difficult conversations

Module Three – ‘Leading Teams’

  • Focuses on leadership pipelines, delivering through others, managing teams and creating effective, high performing teams.
  • Creativity Masterclass – focusing on innovation and developing new ideas. Keith explains, “SME’s must ‘innovate or die’. We needed to improve agility, create new ideas and, ultimately, establish a ‘culture of innovation’.”
  • Post-programme review – half day event to consolidate learning, share success stories and present business challenge projects.
  • Action learning sets, facilitated by Roffey Park consultants, to apply learning to ‘live’ business challenges and maintain a strong peer network.

Post-programme learning

  • A quarterly Management Forum enables leaders to share learning, progress and next steps.
  • A ‘Roffey Legacy Team’ ensures learning is shared across the organisation.

Keith says, “Personal development programmes can often feel like a fixed template of content and competencies, but every element of the Roffey Park experience feels personal to each individual and tailored to the organisation.”

“Arguably, the biggest impact has been ‘togetherness’; the ability for leaders and managers to come together, be vulnerable, trust and learn from each other,” he adds.

The results

With the exception of post-programme 360 feedback, JRI chose not to conduct formal evaluation.

Keith explains, “With learning objectives around innovation and supporting great managers to become great leaders, typical measures such as employee turnover and profit per employee fail to capture the essence of the programme.”

He continues, “We seek to change mindset, using learning and development to create effective leaders with an appetite for continual learning and the agility to embrace new ideas. But changing mindset is hard to measure. We evaluate success in terms of perceived changes across the business; collaboration, working effectively as a team to achieve goals and developing current and future leaders. We feel these measures are more meaningful to our business.”

Evidence of success is the range of awards the company has recently won:

  • Investors In People Gold award.
  • Investor in Customers (IIC) award – for “Exceptional” customer service and 3 star accreditation.
  • International Trade Award 2015 – in recognition of JRI’s proactive approach to increasing international trade.
  • North of England Excellence – Overall Award 2015 – for demonstrating excellence in performance improvement.
  • North of England Business of the Year 2015.
  • Winner of the marquee prize at the 2015 Made in Sheffield Awards.

Improved external collaboration is delivering further business impact:

  • Recognition for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships across the industry.
  • Working with top universities in the UK and Europe to meet market opportunities for emerging clinical and manufacturing technologies.
  • Pioneering partnership with Mobelife to supply UK orthopaedic surgeons with patient-specific, 3D printed hip and shoulder implants.

“Every element of the Roffey Park experience feels personal to each individual and tailored to the organisation.”

In summary

“In the last five years, we have raised our game. We’re now a more confident business and JRI is looking to expand into more international markets as we have the skills, product quality and clinical evidence to compete globally.”

“For me, our experience of Roffey Park re-energised the company, triggering a rekindling of appetite to learn and develop, continually improve, reflect and innovate,” concludes Keith Jackson.