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How Perspectiv helped Severn Valley Railway (SVR) to solve problems that were threatening its viability and bring about profound and productive change.


The background

Mike Ball, Deputy Chairman of Severn Valley Railway (SVR), asked us to help transform their Engineering Services Department. They were struggling to service sufficient steam locomotives to keep the business viable. Staff motivation was low, volunteer engagement was declining and SVR was having to hire in steam engines from elsewhere just to carry on.


The goals they set

  • To halve turnaround time for steam locomotive overhauls

  • To improve productivity, volunteer involvement and staff motivation

  • To create an environment of problem solving, team work and trust

  • To improve management, leadership, and technical skills throughout


How Perspectiv made a difference

We worked with SVR over a three-year period, facilitating and coaching management to lead their own changes. This in turn enabled staff and volunteers to improve their performance.


Building credibility

We began the process by building the credibility of top management among the staff, which led to a better working climate for all. With the introduction of various creative problem-solving tools, the team developed a more consistent, shared vision of the needs and goals of SVR. As a result, performance across the board improved.


SVR’s results

  • Key staff were trained in the use of creative problem solving tools

  • A new locomotive overhaul programme was established

  • The number of volunteers helping in the workshops rose

  • SVR returned to having a full fleet of operational locomotives

  • SVR redeveloped the Bridgnorth Site, with offsite storage facilities


The achievements of SVR’s Engineering Services Department, and the key role played by Perspectiv, were formally recognized by a Silver Facilitation Impact Award from the International Association of Facilitators.


“I am convinced that the guidance from Perspectiv, their approach, the creative problem solving tools they introduced and their mentoring of the new and younger management team were significant factors in the improvements that have been achieved.”

Mike Ball, Deputy Chairman, SVR.

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