Background and Experience

We bring multi-sector experience to your challenges, and experience of working through the full economic cycle, the financial crisis, and being on both sides of acquisitions. We’ve got strong academic and professional credentials, contributing frequently to conferences, webinars, papers and academic lectures.

As we’re a new business, Green Juniper doesn’t have years of track records to fall back on. So, let us share some of the examples of changes landed in corporations in “former life”:

Identifying and embedding purpose

We shaped the approach to introducing and embedding purpose as CYBG and Virgin Money came together. The approach won 2019 Scottish HR Network Award, was recognised by Virgin Group as the most ambitious approach of any Virgin company, and more recently was profiled by the Purpose Coalition.

Over the course of around 4 weeks we went from standing start to having engaged over 2500 colleagues directly through online jams, workshops, focus groups and other sessions. For many colleagues this was the first time meeting their colleagues from the other half of the company. Within 2 months we’d created and agreed our purpose with Leadership Team and Board. 

However, we also recognised that a purpose statement can be little more than corporate graffiti. We set about embedding the purpose into the psyche and the ways of working. There was a launch campaign, a group of firestarters to galvanise change, guides to writing and making purpose-led decisions, creation of executive level Purpose Council and adding magic with things like the purposefest.

The impact of creating and embedding purpose is difficult to measure. However, the work directly fed into Virgin Money’s progressive approach through Covid with initiatives like Money on your mind and into shaping A Life More Virgin.

Transforming the return on performance management

There is a raft of evidence that classic performance management is ineffective, written up in places like Gallup and It’s even been attributed as one of the key reasons for Microsoft’s “lost decade”.

At CYBG we fully redesigned the approach to performance management. That review looked at the bureaucracy, the logistics, the decision making, the psychology, the emotional connection and the ROI. 

We transformed the performance approach to be grounded in positive psychology and focused on raising performance. There’s now a team-based, improvement focused approach to performance, delivering significant organisational benefits including saving around 40FTE worth of admin time, an increase in engagement of c. 20% and an improvement of up to 60% in manager capability.

Over time we’ve supported our partner, Clear Review in promoting the approach to other organisations, and we’ve seen it replicated elsewhere. It’s tough to change – performance transformation remains a top priority for many organisations, but CYBG/Virgin Money has benefited from five years of a better approach.

Moving leaders from burning out to switching on

Most of us are knowledge workers – we rely on our brains working well. However, it is still too rare to actually invest in helping people to maximise their brains working well.

We’ve done this in two organisations – Lloyds Banking Group and CYBG/Virgin Money.

In 2013 talent reviews at Lloyds Banking Group showed a pattern of leaders who could drive hard, but weren’t so well connected or able to think more broadly. We could see leaders getting burnt out from the financial crisis and its fallout. We were effectively paying millions of pounds on leadership salaries for a group of leaders who couldn’t think at their best.

We began a leadership transformation starting in the safe space of leadership programmes:

  1. added breadth of perspective by getting leaders working with charities.
  2. got leaders focused on human engagement by introducing storytelling skills.
  3. got leaders to look after their brains by introducing mindfulness to leadership development. This was pretty fringe in the corporate world in 2013, but came to be massively important for leaders.

By 2016 at CYBG we were able to apply more science. As a company 8 months out of an IPO it had leaders who needed to move from a subsidiary mindset to being much more expansive. We worked with psychologists and neuroscientists from the Positive Group to help leaders build an understanding of how their brains were operating, and how they could build skills and practices. This approach laid the groundwork for changes to performance, culture and purpose over coming year. 

LinkedIn is flooded with messages about the future of work – the hybrid hokey-cokey, 4-day week, Friday afternoons off and so on.  There’s an awful lot of superficial solutions, rather than evidence-based, thought through solutions to the future of work.

At Virgin Money we did a raft of research into what makes work effective, complemented with investigation into physical, mental and social impacts of the pandemic. We investigated impacts of isolation, being sedentary, risk of PTSD, risks to relationships and memory, the needs different demographic groups. We looked at the 4-day week and other patterns. 

We used all of this evidence to shape the future work proposition – A Life More Virgin. It’s called that because it’s about life not just work; and it’s wherever you’re starting from it can be “more Virgin”, more experiential, entrepreneurial and fun.

The central theme is increased autonomy and responsibility for colleagues, much more adult-adult relationships, and treating the team as the core unit of performance.  This plays out in flexible working approaches, people leadership, employment policies, inclusive practices and supporting wellbeing.

Running through all of this is a rounded view of how we enable people to work at their best. That’s meant thinking about diversity, about wellbeing, about psychological safety, about technology and collaboration, about management and then bringing them all together.

The killing of George Floyd in 2020 led to a massive upswing in awareness of the need to do more around racial equality. We looked at what peers were doing, but we were also determined that we’d create meaningful action, not just superficial progress.

That meant that in addition to traditional corporate plans of action, we started to stretch into different areas:

  1. Treating leaders as humans: we identified that many of our senior leaders wanted to do the right thing, but were stuck. They’d not got the skills, language or understanding to confidently discuss or act in relation to diversity. While the diversity arena had moved on, leaders hadn’t We addressed this by working with Hive Learning to create nine-weeks of social learning to get leaders comfortable, confident, and committed to action.
  2. Career Progression: we recognised that for changes in decision making and awareness, we needed more diversity at every layer of the organisation. Like others we looked at attraction, but we also wanted to accelerate the careers of our existing talent. We created a career sponsorship programme to accelerate the careers of colleagues from ethnic minorities – a long-term approach to shift the flow of talent through the organisation.
  3. Working with communities – we could see that there was a gap between the corporate world and some of our communities in the UK. We started to work with Kings Talk Live, to create events supporting Black men in London and beyond, and to support around corporate careers, entrepreneurship and mental health.
  4. Our approach to the future of work, A Life More Virgin, was designed to be as inclusive as possible. That meant allowing for people to celebrate national and religious festivals, flex working for things like Friday prayers, or respecting the varied impact of the pandemic on different social groups.