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A Talent System for the workforce of the future.

A more defined and tailored experience for an inclusive approach to talent management.


How many organisations can honestly say they touch people’s lives on a daily basis?  Most organisations like to think they do.  Surrey County Council genuinely does.  With a vision to make Surrey a uniquely special place for people to live, work and learn, and where no one is left behind, this was a highly visible and impactful assignment.  Like many other local authorities across the UK, Surrey was facing unprecedented challenges before the COVID-19 pandemic, including dwindling resources and growing demand for their services – and Covid 19 simply accelerated those issues.

The brief

Surrey knew that the only way they could deliver their vision in this environment was by developing a “workforce of the future”.  And we’re not talking about small changes.  Surrey’s workforce of the future needed a modern, agile working environment and a modern agile talent management system.   We were asked to develop a Talent Strategy and System fit for the future, that was simple, offered a fair deal to all employees and created an agile workforce.

Why Blue Grape?

We brought our experience from organisations undergoing transformation, where the “usual solutions” simply didn’t fit anymore.  But we also brought our ability to manage relationships, cultural norms and collaboration skills.  Considering something as far-reaching as a Talent System meant we needed to build trust, buy-in and credibility fast.   We knew that the traditional “exclusive” approach to talent management that offered opportunities to a small minority, was not going to create the engaged and agile workforce they needed to respond to increasing public demands.  We didn’t consider a 9 box grid!

What did we do?

We found what was most important first – a system that reflected their vision of “a uniquely special place for people to live, work and learns, and where no one is left behind.”  We identified that the system needed to enable easy movement of people between roles and teams, be based on objective assessment (not subjective) that’s easily understood, put people in control of their own careers and development and be simple and administratively light!  So we put our agile hats on, drafted some suggestions and went out to the organisations to run some pilots.  Change of this size needs to be tested, updated and tested again – co-creation with end-users.

The Results

We created a concept of “Know Grow Flow” ™.  A simple but powerful Talent Framework, including a system to measure an individual’s behavioural competencies and identify strengths and development areas; a succession planning system and a career framework.  

Rather than siloed processes run centrally from an HR team, we created a system that cut across the traditional hiring, development, succession and engagement processes.

A system that started from the point of hiring, through onboarding, development, career planning and succession.  With the individual at the heart of it, learning about themselves, their natural preferences and how those preferences helped, or hindered their performance.


In the post-pandemic world, traditional Talent Management systems aren’t relevant anymore.  Employees want greater influence and decision making responsibilities about their career and development.  We build Talent Systems that start with self-insight for the individual, so organisations can offer exciting, realistic opportunities for them to use their skills and preferences every day.  That’s modern Talent Management – and there’s not a 9 box grid in sight!

Read about why
people love us.

People love us because of our ability to quickly understand your business needs and translate these into pragmatic people solutions.

People come back to us because we’re human, genuinely nice people and love building lasting relationships with fun people who want to do great things!

HR Project Manager
HR Project ManagerFinancial Services
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I had the great fortune of working with Rhiannon on the delivery of a global systems integration project.

Rhiannon was instrumental in ensuring the platforms success spear heading our Group wide upskilling programme. Her personal commitment and willingness to confront the challenge of change was exceptional.

Without her personal drive, consultative mindset and unfailing customer centric approach in both responding to our ever-changing requirements and the broad development needs of our workforce we would not have effected the change we have.
Head of People Development & Training
Head of People Development & TrainingFinancial Services
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Rhiannon very quickly gets to grip with the culture of an organisation and demonstrates the perfect style to build rapport with participants.

Her creativity in the design of workshops is exceptional and the way in which she combines blending learning elements worked incredibly well with the learners at my last organisation.

I recently had the pleasure of supporting Rhiannon with over 20 workshops embedding a new online performance review system and she maintained motivation and energy at all times.
Head of Procurement
Head of ProcurementGovernment Function
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One of the biggest challenges you can undertake in your job is to arrange a team away day. My advice for you is to ensure you know what you want to achieve, pick a suitable venue but most importantly pick a facilitator who can support you to achieve what you want.

Rhiannon managed to understand our problem, the best way to approach this and how to deliver on the day. After three phone calls her understanding of who we were and what we needed to do was amazing. The only negative feedback I have had from the team is why we didn’t get her in sooner.

My thanks for a great day and keeping us focused on some big and difficult topics. Would thoroughly recommend and will certainly ask Rhiannon for more support going forward.
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hero logo blue grape talent
hero logo blue grape talent
hero logo blue grape talent
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