GIRI leadership training - a case study

15 Feb 22

“Every achievement starts with the decision to try,” says Lynden Haworth of Galliford Try’s decision to take the plunge on GIRI training. “The training was commissioned because we recognise we can do better, we want to do better, and we need to do better – both as a company and an industry.

“Our company strategy is for sustainable growth. A key aspect of this is delivering excellence for our clients while protecting the environment and creating greater social value for the communities in which we work. Eliminating or reducing error will play a key role in helping us deliver our strategy.”

Galliford Try has taken a staged approach to the implementation of the training. The company was involved in the testing phase of GIRI’s training, initially delivering 12 leadership courses to 104 delegates. Since then, in what Lynden calls the ‘consolidation phase’, three more leadership courses have been delivered by GIRI to a further 30 members of staff, two of which had to take place remotely because of the pandemic.

In 2022, Galliford Try entered the scale-up phase and plans to deliver additional leadership training as well as GIRI’s Training Across Interfaces and Supervisory & Management Skills courses on three of its key highways projects: the Grantham Southern Relief Road (Phase 3) for Lincolnshire County Council, and two Regional Delivery Partnership schemes (A303 and A47) for National Highways.

“We believe the real benefits of the training will be best realised if we deploy the training across a wide cross-section of our project delivery teams,” explains Lynden. “We hope this scale-up in 2022 will drive improvements on the schemes involved and demonstrate the effectiveness of the training programme to the wider business.”


Galliford Try hopes the training will help staff have open and honest conversations about error, understand the causes of errors, and realise that error is not an unavoidable consequence of its work.

“We want our people, and those who work with us, to understand that behaviour has a huge impact on the errors that occur on our projects,” says Lynden. “We want to nurture a behavioural approach to improving our performance in relation to error in the same way we improved our performance in health, safety, and welfare.”

For Galliford Try, this means reduced waste, reduced health and safety risk, improved cost and time certainty, happier clients and staff and sustainable growth.

Success story

The training has already paid dividends on Galliford Try’s Grantham Southern Relief Road (Phase 2) project, which involved piling works for a new bridge using a top-down construction method.

“We used a similar construction method on another scheme some years earlier, with some serious errors and expensive implications,” says Lynden. “We were determined not to make the same mistake again.”

Galliford Try used GIRI’s Leadership training to bring together leaders from within the company, the client, designer, and supply chain to focus on this element of the project. “This gave us a forum for open, frank discussions. Actions taken eliminated significant potential costs and resulted in more than 200 contiguous piles being completely defect free, with 100% vertical tolerance compliance.”

The impact went beyond that one project, as the tools and ideas learned were applied by one of Galliford Try’s regional managers to a different project that was experiencing difficulties with surfacing works.

“GIRI’s Get it Wrong exercise and the ‘cause, concern, countermeasure’ approach were used to drill down into the difficulties affecting the project and mitigation actions were successfully applied by the team,” says Lynden. “This shows the skills and tools learned in the training can, with the right behavioural approach, be implemented again and again.”

For more information about GIRI's error-reduction training, visit our course pages.

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