Strategy engagement & High performing teams









The Building Research Establishment, BRE, is the world’s leading building science centre. It is was privatised in 1997 and requested Pecan’s help to continue its cultural transition from public to private sector and establish high performing teams at the heart of its organisation.

As the organisation embarked on an ambitious growth strategy the CEO and COO recognised that conflicting cultures were at play, getting in the way of change needed. The social purpose of the organisation was perceived to be somehow at odds with the new commercial reality of needing to operate as a self-sustaining business, without the safety net of government research grants.


Culture diagnostic

Interviews, focus groups and a survey using the OCAI methodology created insight into the prevailing cultures, causes and impact of these on performance. Our approach to data collection, drawing out themes and exploring findings with the extended leadership team created a common understanding and language of the culture shifts needed for success.

Strategy, values and behaviours playbook

A small design team representing all functions was established. The team abridged BRE’s strategy onto a page, including the newly defined values and behaviours, creating clarity for everyone about the direction of travel.

Leaders used strategy, values and customer toolkits to bring the strategy and values to life with their teams, surfacing previously unexpressed fears about the future culture and connecting people in a meaningful way to their part in taking BRE forward.

High performing teams

Subsequent support was given to four teams to align them to a common team purpose and goals. The Gallup Strengthsfinder assessment was used to create insight into individual and team talents and these were used to increase individual and team performance.


Selected leaders were provided with coaches to accelerate performance improvement and ready some of them for promotion into wider roles.

What you did has stayed with people, they still connect with it. You left us with a mechanism to describe the culture and behaviours we need and to disseminate the strategy – we hadn’t done that before and couldn’t have done it without you. Leaders are more positive, have stronger belief in their ability to achieve the business goals, take more responsibility for hitting plan, more collaborative.