HFL is in the business of the world class doping control and sport science laboratory based in the UK. HFL is the only laboratory in the world engaged in both sports doping control and contract research. This background in high-integrity forensic quality analysis makes HFL uniquely placed to support pharmaceutical and drug surveillance sectors. HFL’s core services span healthcare, pharmaceuticals, biotech, canine and equine regulatory testing, equine feed and sports supplement testing. HFL is also involved in a number of worldwide research projects. As a result of David Hall’s leadership HFL became a privatized company freeing itself from its governmental restraints, which allowed for the diversification of their testing abilities.
1. Why is communication so important in changing culture?
Change alone will only get you so far, unless you take the time to engage people across the entire organization. By sharing vision and creating a since of leadership, employees will be more likely to engage in the process and work together in a collaboration. David has even established boundaries to see that communication flourishes through limited group sizes to 20, which we believes to allow people to be more conducive to participation.
2. What are the techniques HFL uses to promote internal and external communication? How do the ‘ informal’ reinforce the ‘ formal’ techniques?
The techniques that HFL uses to promote internal communication are the formation of groups, state of the union addresses, informal ‘ coffee and cake’ sessions, and email. For external communication David had developed what he calls the Business Intelligence Group which sole job is to trawl the outside world for new ideas and to establish bench marks for its activities. Anyone who sees or hears anything going on outside of the company is responsible for passing it on so it can be shared, while also allowing for project teams to take the idea further.
3. Why is creativity and innovation important at HFL?
Creativity and innovation are so important at HFL because the services that they offer are going through constant development. The industry changes at such a rapid pace that it would not take long to fall off of the top as the industry leader. New ideas and ways of thinking will help to provide energy that creates an environment and culture that maximizes performance. Their culture provides an environment for the free exchange of ideas, to push the boundaries, and to harness the collective energies of the people that make up HFL Sport Science.
4. How is it promoted and what benefits has it brought?
Innovation is promoted because it provides that stepping stones by which the company continues to survive. Innovation made possible to not only control the areas of doping control for horseracing, and greyhound racing but to also advance further into the divisions of human sports testing.
5. Give examples of how HFL has used technology to achieve its aims.
HFL has use the technology to achieve its aims by creating an email systems which allows the employees to voice their opinions, concerns, and ideas which the consequences of being put on the spot or having the hassle of other peoples interfere or knowledge of what is being asked.
6. How important was David Hall to the process of change experienced at HFL? Give examples.
David Hall has been the key element for the success which has been enjoyed by HFL. The processes began when David brought about a culture change program which included developing HFL as a creative and innovative organization focusing on maximum output from the staff. Being that positive thinking was a large part of this he always took it upon himself to encourage staff and use a lead by example type of technique, he prefers to ‘ animate and facilitate’ rather than the conventional ‘ command and control’, this has resulted in HFL being on the forefront in the industry.
7. Why is it important to replace senior managers who block change?
It is important to replace senior managers that resist or block change because it will ultimately affect the culture of the organization. Someone who does not want to get with the program will also cause problems with the team dynamics, communication, collaboration, and discourage enablers from getting done what is in the best interests of the company.
Having been started and founded by leading scientists in the 1960’s HFL has been the leader in developing new technologies for drug testing, while also publishing hundreds of research papers around the world and constantly discovering new ways of solving problems. David Hall has brought a lot of culture and created a working environment that is so prized that it has made it to ‘ The Time’ list of the best 100 places to work. This overall mix has allowed for the formation of a very flexible and innovation organization.