The Central Office of Information (COI) is the Government’s centre of excellence for marketing and communications. As a non ministerial department reporting in to the Cabinet Office, COI works with government departments and the public sector to communicate issues that affect the lives of every citizen – from health and education to benefits, rights and welfare.

Anne Calleja worked directly with Fiona Wood, COI’s Director of Research, and her management team over a three year period. The challenge for the team was to become able to respond more quickly to the fast changing environment in which they operated, and to develop a much stronger team ethos to enable them to work more effectively together. Anne devised a number of initiatives to help the team transform themselves and the wider unit. This included developing their leadership skills and learning how to step out of their comfort zones.

Another key strategic objective was to enhance the internal and external perception of working within the Research Unit at COI, thereby increasing key employee retention and attracting new talent to the organisation. Anne worked directly with Fiona and her senior team, firstly to help them work better together and, secondly, to help them lead their own teams more effectively. Anne coached the Team Heads about leading their own Team Away Days, which also proved a great success.

“Anne was a delight to work with”, says Fiona Wood, “She clearly understood the value of team relationships in the context of our organisation and she was not afraid to challenge both our preconceptions and also the status quo in order to improve the processes that we had in place.”

We are delighted to report that the COI won the “Best Place to Work in the Research Industry Award” in 2008.