Case Study: Epic CIC

In: Case StudyDate: Apr 21, 2016By: Jonny Reynolds

Kensington Youth Services was part of Kensington and Chelsea Council until April 2014. They changed their name to Epic CIC on becoming independent.

To break free from the Council and establish themselves as an independent social enterprise, they needed to radically change their organisation's culture. Under the leadership of Brendan O'Keefe, they needed to create an innovative company that would thrive in a competitive market wile still reflecting public sector values.

Happy has supported Epic CIC throughout this transformation through leadership programmes and workshops.

Epic CIC's requirement was to develop commercial capability and culture transformation. The key test was whether the new company could not just survive, but successfully expand its services.

We met with Brendan O'Keefe and the senior team to establish what they wanted to achieve: a culture inline with the principles of Henry Stewart's book, the Happy Manifesto. We then designed and delivered a four-day leadership programme over six months to all staff.

This has been a continuing relationship with on-going development for staff. Workshops we have delivered include training in the 'recruit for attitude' approach and 'understanding the principles of a people-led management style' for front-line staff.

There is still work to be done, but the direction of travel is clear. For example we now have a Happy Manifesto group, which keeps asking why we aren’t doing more of this. Coming from the staff, this is great, constructive criticism – this just the kind of pressure you want. The bottom line is that if we hadn’t gone through that transformational change, and had Happy’s practical support to enable it, we probably wouldn’t have survived. Happy has been absolutely invaluable in enabling this transformation. We enjoy working with you, feel in tune and find it a model for public sector working. It is not an add-on but integral to what we are trying to achieve.Brendan O’Keefe, Managing Director, Epic CIC

The benefits, as measured by the client

  • The whole organisation has been transformed from a traditional public sector department into a dynamic and innovative social enterprise.
  • Epic has had a successful first 18 months as a commercial enterprise and is now starting to win new business beyond its original contract. For instance it has just won seven contracts for play services, expected to add £800k to the company’s turnover.
  • Epic has revamped its entire recruitment process. “We are now looking for enthusiasm as well as aptitude. I can think of two newcomers especially who are shining stars. Under the old selection method they would not even have got an interview, as they didn’t have the qualifications and experience. One in particular I really don’t know how we would do without,” says Brendan.
  • Implementation of ‘bottom-up planning,’ with front-line staff being involved in the process and having much more ownership.

Why choose Happy?

  • Award-winning learner-focused approach
  • Small class sizes to give personal one-to-one support
  • Two years of free support after your course
  • Private group options available
  • No quibble money-back guarantee on all courses

What's it like to learn with Happy?

Be involved, engaged and challenged in our leadership programmes. In this video, Happy's Managing Director, Cathy Busani, delivers a session on Google’s Project Oxygen and the qualities of a great manager.

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We can create bespoke leadership programmes for your organisation. Whether you would like a programme over one-day or six months, your leadership team will learn the principles to create a work culture based on trust and empowerment.

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