The Lens - Changing Perspectives

Increased Staff Engagement

Cornerstone saw their staff engagement increase, measured through staff survey, during their partnership with The Lens.

Research (Employee Engagement Does More than Boost Productivity, Harvard Business Review) shows that organisations with high levels of employee engagement:

  • Are 22% more productive.

  • Have lower absenteeism and staff turnover.

  • Find staff want to come to work, they understand their jobs, and know how their work contributes to the success of the organisation. 

Mairi Martin, HR Director at Cornerstone said:

“One of the biggest challenges to innovation is that staff are engaged. You need something to make a positive difference, and the challenge is how you actually do that. I’m really excited because I think The Lens, over the coming years, will give our staff the opportunity to do things they will never been able to do before and that’s like gold dust. And for us, we see this as a great way to engage staff.”

You can hear more from Mairi Martin about why Cornerstone partnered with The Lens in our video.

Developing People and Ideas

Intrapreneur Mandi Brown , a very experienced care and support worker was new to Loretto Care and a qualified football coach. She used these skills to develop a new service called Walking Football which helped increase the well being and physical activity of those she worked with.

Those participating gave great feedback and Mandi applied to The Lens programme to secure funding to grow the idea.

Her own journey was not easy, by her own admission. Mandi had never pitched for investment before and found the idea of presenting to a large audience very challenging. She told us she was on verge of leaving the programme on more than one occasion. Yet Mandi’s motivation for her idea and recognition of what she was

learning meant she attended all the workshops, growing in confidence and skill.

She found that the workshops and coaching helped develop her idea while growing her ambition to replicate it through a league across the organisation. Mandi’spitch was successful and with the money from the Investment Fund she is now able to test her idea with a plan to replicate and scale Walking Football across Loretto Care.


“The Development Workshops were totally different, the process has been amazing and you get to work with great people. The people from The Lens are absolutely fantastic; the encourage you and get behind you.”

You can hear more from Mandi’sWalking Football Project and her

journey by watching an interview with her. You can also find out about her experience as a Judge by watching her follow up interview.

Innovative Ideas

Intrapreneur, Kasia Owczarek, identified a problem at Renfrewshire Council. The translation service that was being used was expensive, difficult to use and did not meet the needs of their customers. This resulted in high costs for the council and, in some cases, the service not being used at all.

Her winning idea was to develop an Interpreter's Bank. It would take the elements of the service in-house which would provide the necessary language support for those trying to access council services in a format which is inclusive and beneficial to the customer. It would also reduce costs from £174 per hour to £68, a saving of 61%.

Kasia plans to run a pilot project with 6 schools in Paisley at a cost of £15k. This will allow her to evaluate the feasibility, time, cost of the Bank as well determine if there are any unforeseen challenges.

Laura McIntrye, Strategic Planning Manager, said:

“I’ve been absolutely blown away… today’s been a lesson for everyone – that the best ideas come from the frontline.”

You can hear more about Kasia’s idea by checking out her Pitch Video as well as checking out the highlights from Renfrewshire Council’s Final.

Radical Innovation

Intrapreneur Stuart Fyfe proposed a pilot programme to help Prince’s Trust better meet the needs of the young people they work with. He argued that embedding mental health support, through short focused interventions would improve outcomes for young people and lead to increased revenue for the organisation.

He found that:

  • More than 20% of young people declared they had mental health problems, and in one programme it was 46%.

  • 70% of staff believe that better support for young people is a necessity.

  • Mental health was 1 of the top 3 barriers to young people achieving positive outcomes.

Whilst still at an early stage the pilot is having an impact. With external funding secured from Glasgow City Council the Prince’s Trust are able to provide targeted support that will help improve young people’s life chances. Plans are underway to learn from the pilot and expand the service across Scotland.

Dan Jardine, Head of Partnerships said:

“This was a catalyst for something bigger. It’s made us think about how we can combine our expertise of working with disadvantaged young people and specialists in mental health. We are really excited about the difference Stuart’s idea will make.”

You can hear more about Stuart’s idea by checking out his Pitch Video and his thoughts on being involved with The Lens.

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