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Royal British Legion

A leadership story of success...



Develop an executive leadership team, deliver the vision, mission and strategic plan for the future.


When Chris Simpkins joined the Royal British Legion as Director General, the organisation was facing a complex set of challenges, not because it was failing but because it was continuing to excel in delivering the services it provides.

With the 90th anniversary on the horizon Chris turned to Merriweather to work with and develop the performance of his Executive Leadership team to ensure that the Legion remained ‘fit for purpose’.

Business Challenges

  • Develop and implement a strategy that would ensure that the Royal British Legion remained ‘fit for purpose’
  • Strengthen the strategic capacity of the Royal British Legion
  • Create and adopt a new vision and mission
  • Prepare for the 90th anniversary
  • Review governance structures
  • Develop welfare activities and services to respond to the needs of serving and ex-serving communities including families and the bereaved
  • Act as the national custodians of Remembrance and guardian of the Military Covenant
  • Grow and develop the Executive Leadership Team

The Measure of Transformation

The Executive Leadership Team at the Royal British Legion was very much an operational team, constantly busy with the day to day running of the organisation. The Merriweather Business Improvement Programme gave the team the discipline to focus on urgent strategic work.

On 30th September 2010 the Royal British legion launched its ‘Pathway to Growth’ strategy. As part of the strategy the organisation has committed to raise £90m in its anniversary year and contribute £25m over the next 10 years into the MOD’s recovery capability for injured service personnel.


BIP Success factors reported by the team:

  • We know what we are trying to achieve
  • A motivated team
  • Communication is much better
  • More energy in the Executive Leadership Team
  • More discipline

BIP Success factors reported by the leader:

The Merriweather programme provided a grounding and a reason for the Executive Leadership Team to unite and deliver

Coaching and candid feedback provided us with a critical friend

We agreed the strategic direction for the organisation and the challenges we would have to overcome to implement our vision successfully

"Through the Merriweather programme we have been able to work on developing the strategy, particularly with respect to the many challenges that we will face on implementation. We have grown as a team of leaders and Merriweather will continue to act as our critical friend to keep us on course."

Chris Simpkins

Director General

Client Reviews


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