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Strategy Activation - Virgin Trains East Coast - 'Amazing Activists' Managers Conference


Amazing 'Activists' Managers


'Strategy Stations'


'Amazing Future' Strategy

This event brought together over 400 managers, over two days, and focused on immersing them all in the business’ new ‘Amazing Future’ strategy.

The Challenge

Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) had been through it’s fair share of change, and in response pulled together a new business plan. INVOLVE’s goal was to create a 1-day event that immersed all 400 Managers in the new plan, whilst giving them the motivation, skills and confidence to involve their local teams in making it become reality.

This event could not be defined by flashy set production, dry ice or famous guest speakers. It needed to work with limited AV, in a Virgin office, and focus on real tangible business outcomes.

The Solution

The event centred around creating ‘Amazing Activists’ – a cohort of passionate Managers that would go forth and engage people in the ‘Amazing Future’ strategy. Working closely with the Communications team and key content owners, INVOLVE designed 5 interactive ‘Strategy Stations’ to help bring to life each of the strategic priorities. Interspersed throughout the day were short and sharp MD talks.

The event finished with a high energy celebratory ‘march’ where teams demonstrated and performed their commitment to making it all happen. Teams exchanged points they had amassed during the day to ‘purchase’ props and materials to support their teams final performance!

Activities for the ‘Strategy Stations’ included:

  • Reaching our Revenue – Managers had to build a physical representation of the commercial plan in a race against the clock, before engaging in a debate on the topic. 

  • Changing the Game for Good – Managers raced against each other to match up the new features of the next-generation Azuma train with associated customer and employee benefits. Following this, a high energy ‘myth busting’ activity removed the Azuma myths from the conversation, ensuring managers could leave the session confident and ready to ‘bust the myths’ with their teams.

  • Amazing Customer Experiences – Managers focused on the roles of six real VTEC employees who agreed to become cardboard cut-outs for the day! Managers brainstormed actions and behaviours each employee could demonstrate to help create an irresistible customer experience. The session wrapped up with managers coming up with new ideas for a VTEC ‘Signature Move’.

  • We are Virgin – Managers spent time exploring belief building, focussing on the concept that our beliefs influence our behaviours and performance. The session culminated in building a large ‘belief wall’, consisting of bricks labelled with VTEC successes over the past three years and the skills and qualities that enabled these successes.

  • Operational Improvements – Using printed tablemats and cog segments, groups worked to assemble key messages into complete cogs relating to the five main operational improvement areas. Only once these cog segments were in place did an animation play on screen rotating the four strategic priority cogs and in turn delivering VTEC’s end goal.

The Results

Managers were asked before and after the conference how well they understood the ‘Amazing Future’ strategy – they could score the answer anywhere from a 1 to 10. The number of managers who scored the following statement between 8 – 10 “Do you understand our ‘Amazing Future’ Strategy” doubled from 33% (pre) to 66%.

One of the Managers said: “This conference was an amazing way to find out more about all aspects of the business and the challenges that some colleagues face. It helped me to see how we could make things easier for each of us and was a real reminder that behind the role there is a human with feelings.”

Get in touch
+44 (0) 20 7720 0105

Give Ashley a call to find out more about our work with Virgin Trains East Coast, or to discuss how INVOLVE can help your business.