Project Description

An action research project in partnership with the University of Chester and funded by the UKCES UK Futures Programme

Project-HCM undertook more than 60 activities with over 100 individuals from 20 companies in food and drink supply chains.

The project made use of iterative action research. We were able to test the applicability of Transactional Analysis and Behavioural Economics through a series of interventions that refined our understanding of what worked best. Not only did the project generate technical understanding, it delivered dramatic outcomes in the participating companies. We were able to help individuals and to make breakthroughs on issues that had plagued a particular supply chain for years.

UKCES Press Release

The Project

Behavioural approach to: 

Decision making | Supply Chain Management | Multi-generational working | Team effectiveness | Stakeholder Management.

  • How can we ensure that everyone can voice their opinions and put forward their solutions?
  • How do leaders and organisations cultivate the ‘wisdom of the crowds’ and create an engaged workforce?
  • What are the ways in which biases and heuristics (rules of thumb) generate sub-optimal decisions?
  • How can trust and respect drive actions within companies and supply chains?
  • How do behavioural issues affect management of teams? Trust > Conflict > Commitment > Accountability > Results.
Throughout the project we undertook Action Research activities to identify what areas of TA and BE had a traction. It is through these activities that we understood trigger mechanisms and the steps that leaders and managers / organisations need to take to become behaviourally competent.

Activities included.

  • 180 degree master classes
  • Workshops / groups / one to one
  • Action research (plan > act > observe > reflect)
  • Schools event
  • Leadership Convention

This mix proved useful in delving into the subject but it also helped us understand learning and development needs.

During the project we used  the action research approach devised by Kemmis and McTaggart :

  • Planning: Identifying activities.
  • Action: Undertaking the activity.
  • Observation: Identifying what happened.
  • Review: Reflecting on what happened.

A number of iterations of the activity were typically undertaken, to ensure a useful outcome is achieved

AB World Foods | Ashbury Labelling | Big 5 Catering | Birling’s Confectionary | Can Cook | Carslake Tea Company | Find Inspiration in Food | Kolak |Marks & Spencer | Natural Veg Men |The Fresh Lemonade Company | The Sugar Tree | vcg Kestrel |numerous FREELANCERS/CONTRACTORS


UKCES is a publicly funded, industry-led organisation that offers guidance on skills and employment issues in the UK.

UKCES is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

From April 2014, UKCES have operated the UK Futures Programme. This programme will co-create with industry to research, develop, pilot and scale innovative solutions to tackling current and emerging workforce development issues that restrain business performance. For more information about the UK Futures Programme visit:

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Post Project-HCM, we expanded the research into a behaviour leadership approach – see This included writing a behavioural framework and developing programmes. We have developed tools, e-learning and resources. These are accessed via a themed Moodle learning portal – See





say very effective or effective in raising their awareness of others in the workplace.


say very effective or effective in raising their awareness of themselves in the workplace.


say very effective or effective in improving their belief in their ability to change.


say very effective or effective in improving their ability to take personal responsibility for problem solving in the workplace.

Blog Posts

Working Styles / Drivers

Drivers can be helpful to us and when we have awareness of them and we can then use them as working styles. If we can [...]

By | November 1st, 2016|Categories: behavioural, Project-HCM, transactional analysis, working styles|Comments Off on Working Styles / Drivers

Behavioural Buy-in Via Learn by Doing

We delivered at the Macron Stadium (Bolton) within our Project-HCM action research project. The workshop was delivered to a senior team to test the hypothesis that [...]

By | November 1st, 2016|Categories: barriers, behavioural, buy-in, games based learning, learning simulations, Project-HCM|Comments Off on Behavioural Buy-in Via Learn by Doing

Behavioural Barriers to Growth

At the core of many of the barriers to growth are people. This is not simply a problem of recruiting and nurturing talent, although that [...]

By | November 1st, 2016|Categories: barriers, behavioural, growth, Project-HCM|Comments Off on Behavioural Barriers to Growth

Behavioural Framework

As part of the project we developed a Behavioural Framework. While we have moved things on with our Behavioural Leadership offer, it is still well worth a look.