Strathclyde & Babcock International Group

Who's involved?

Strathclyde Business School and Babcock International Group plc (Babcock Group). With more than 27,000 staff, Babcock Group is the UK’s leading engineering support services company.

What's involved?

Establishment of Babcock International Group (BIG) Academy, a learning programme to enhance the leadership, strategic planning and commercial skills of Babcock’s senior executives and managers.

Why the approach?

To deal with its rapid growth, (Babcock revenue increased from £377.9 million in 2003 to £3 billion in 2010) Babcock needed to improve senior staff development and embed company-wide structures for effective communication, share best practice and establish a common identity – a ‘one business approach’ across divisions.

Archie Bethel CBE, Divisional Chief Executive, Marine & Technology Division, Babcock International Group plc, said:

The projects on which we work are, by their very nature, long-term and if we are to compete effectively in a global market place in future years, we need to take responsibility now for ensuring that we have the best engineering brains we can.

Why Strathclyde?

The Strathclyde Business School has demonstrated exceptional levels of expertise in strategy, finance, managing people in organisations, change and project management. In addition, our Business School’s international teaching networks enabled it to source the appropriate academics and practitioners to assist with Babcock’s strategic issues.

How we helped

Business School academics established three main learning platforms:

  • Senior Managers Programme Part One: three-day courses in Strategy, Finance, Change and Project Management
  • Senior Managers Programme Part Two: three-day courses in Strategic Business Winning and Operational Performance Improvement
  • Babcock Leaders Programme: those who are identified as having further leadership potential attend three-day courses in Finance, Project Management and Managing People in Organisations

BIG Academy methods of delivery include lectures, case study work, simulations and role play.

Successful outcomes:

  • more than 600 managers from across Babcock Group have participated since 2005
  • senior teams in each of Babcock’s divisions now have common toolset and knowledge to shape the company’s corporate strategy
  • collaborative approach resulted in Babcock earning the Royal School of Military Engineering contract - the first contract won jointly by two business units (Defence and Infrastructure) in the company's history
  • BIG Academy allows new employees to meet, network and understand the talents, strengths and good practices of each division of Babcock Group
  • engagement with Babcock Group has been broadened to other parts of the University, resulting in Continuing Professional Development and research links being established with Engineering and Science

Sandy Wilson, Head of Executive Education, Strathclyde Business School, said:

The partnership has been so successful that we are now collaborating very closely to address new challenges in their business through the design and development of bespoke Babcock case studies.