EDF Energy is the UK subsidiary of the French organisation Electricite de France S.A. (EDF Group). They are the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity,
the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain and the largest supplier to British businesses. They employ 13,331 people and handle 5.7 million customer accounts. Despite this, for many years, their Customers division struggled to achieve an operating profit. A significant problem when you consider they’re responsible for all home and business customer accounts and are one of only three main operating divisions of EDF Energy. The others being Generation and Nuclear Development.
To turn this around a new Managing Director of Customers, Beatrice Bigois, was appointed in 2014. And in 2016-17 her executive team announced an ambitious new 2020 strategy and operating model underscored by an equally ambitious new vision – to be ‘simply better’. Better than anyone else at solving customer’s energy needs. To be the best and most trusted energy brand in the UK. One that does the basics brilliantly and offers great service, then builds on this trust by innovating. Empowering everyone to choose low- carbon electricity through their online and digital platforms and further supporting vulnerable customers.
To realise this vision and ambition, the division desperately needed to have the right leadership behaviours and culture. We were engaged to develop and deliver what became known as the ‘Breakthrough Thinking & Performance’ leadership development programme to all senior leaders. Releasing them from limiting conventional thinking, breaking old habits and inspiring an innovative way of thinking and acting. Over 18 months, 239 delegates across seven functions and four people tiers went through a six-month blended learning programme. Mixing face-to-face consultant-led experiential workshops, best-of-breed executive coaching and leading edge virtual and digital learning.
Not just development for development sake – the programme was based around each delegate achieving an individual business breakthrough linked to the strategy. This resulted in professional development able to successfully demonstrate tangible ROI. And credited with taking a major loss-making operation c. 76% toward achieving their 2020 target of £250m EBITDA in just the first year of the programme. Incredible when you consider this target was widely considered impossible before our consultants arrived. We’ve supported the executive team in laying the right cultural foundation to realise the full potential of their vision, strategy and operating model for years to come.