The Client

  • Government Executive Agency with Trading Fund status
  • A public sector organisation seeking to become ‘more commercial’
  • World class supplier of products and services relating to the natural environment
  • Customer list including international organisations, government departments, both public and private sector businesses and individual consumers

The Challenge

  • To determine the causes of the recognised underperformance of a Commercial Division set up to focus on diversification of products and services with a view to increasing revenue
  • To recommend ways of improving performance and particularly revenue generation
  • To advise on appropriate organisational structure to support the development of commercial activities

The Solution
The client initially believed that the problems derived from organisational relationships and that further separation of the commercial business might be desirable.  The lack of commercial experience was recognised.

Our team of 3 consultants, familiar with the environment industry sector and business development,  carried out an interview-based inquiry to establish current issues and barriers to performance.  We utilised semi-structured interviews to draw out underlying issues and concerns.  We interviewed 32 staff within and outside the Commercial Division, including the Commercial Division management team and selected Board Members, in order to examine the relationship between commercial and other activities.

Analysis of interview findings identified a range of issues which were impeding progress in spite of an abundance of good will.  Our major findings were reported to the client through presentations and discussions; further details and evidence for our conclusions were provided in a written report.

Benefits at a Glance


  • Honest assessment of issues impacting on the performance of the Commercial Division
  • Evidence to substantiate previously intuitive concerns and to prompt remedial action
  • Findings produced in time to inform restructuring decisions, including staff redeployment
  • A comprehensive explanation of the commercial underperformance which rendered previously planned steps redundant, significantly reducing the time taken to resolve the issue and thence the costs


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