Release date: 2009-05-05

Echelon Learning Signs Partnering Agreement with HT2

(PRZOOM - Press & Newswire) —  St Albans, Herts, United Kingdom, 2009-05-05 - Organisation development consultancy Echelon has agreed a partnering arrangement with HT2 to collaborate on implementing the World Class Diamond, a diagnosis and benchmarking model for organisations which are seeking to become truly ‘World Class’


The World Class Diamond model is the product of a three year research project jointly conducted between HT2, Warwick Business School and Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick.

Alistair Morrison, managing director of Echelon explained: “Organisations must improve continuously if they’re to survive, and measuring their progress over time and benchmarking against the marketplace are powerful drivers of progress. The current economic climate reinforces the need for organisations - public and private - to become more efficient and to reduce costs but, at the same time, to deliver great customer service.

“The World Class diagnostic is an excellent resource for guiding the activities necessary to achieve balanced and sustainable organisation development,” he added. “We’re delighted to be using the World Class diagnostic and believe it will add significant value for our clients.

Alan Betts, managing director of HT2 as well as being an internationally published author, a visiting professor at the University of San Diego and a doctoral researcher at Warwick University, commented: “Becoming ‘world class’ is a goal many organisations aspire to – but we wanted to know how to define and measure this accolade. So, in conjunction with Warwick University, we uncovered two key questions that all world class organisations ask themselves: ‘how are we doing?’ and ‘how can we get better?’

“The results of this research project produced the World Class Diamond model - and it can help organisations to answer these two key questions and establish a world class standard,” he said. “Using this information we can establish how far along the World Class Journey an organisation currently is and look to highlight opportunities to change current practice to improve upon this score.”

He added: “We consider a ‘world class’ organisation to be an organisation which is as good as anyone, anywhere in the world and better than any organisation in the locality.”

The model recognises that there are several levels at which an organisation can be considered ‘world class’. The World Class approach allows for departments or functions to be measured as separate entities, giving a more detailed picture of the organisation’s strengths and weaknesses.

Unlike other measures of its kind, World Class establishes a benchmark against the standard itself, not other organisations’ scores. The model is already in use across the globe and in a range of industry sectors.

Alistair Morrison said: “Unlike other business improvement models, World Class does not prescribe the actions your organisation must take in order to become ‘world class’. Rather, in order to develop strategically coherent plans, it seeks to understand the wider context within which your organisation is working.

Betts commented: “Our World Class research has shown us that one of the key properties which world class companies share is the propensity to ‘get out more’ - that is, to escape the boundaries of their own organisation and investigate what other companies are doing.”

“The World Class Diamond provides us with a rigorous and highly valuable research methodology that will enable us to offer our clients a more detailed insight that will help them continue to build the performance and agility of their organisations while, at the same time, delivering improved customer satisfaction and ROI,” Morrison said.

For further information, or to arrange an informal discussion on the World Class diagnostic, contact Alistair Morrison at alistair[.] or +44 (0) 20 8568 1500.

About the World Class Diamond Model
Created by Dr Dawei Lu of the Warwick Manufacturing Group, Dr Simon Croom of the University of San Diego and Alan Betts of HT2 Ltd, the World Class Diamond is the result of a three year research and testing period. The World Class Diamond articulates the four areas that identify world class organisations:
• Operational Excellence;
• Strategic Fit;
• Capability to Adapt;
• Unique Voice.

Using the World Class Diamond model it is possible to diagnose an organisation’s strengths and weaknesses and benchmark these positions against competitors. Working with authorised World Class consultants, organisations can then look to develop the areas of the model that are most critical to their organisation as a part of their World Class Journey.

About HT2
HT2 is a leading provider of e-learning and business development services to organisations in the UK and in the wider world. At the heart of HT2’s offering is the concept of ‘Hi Tech, Hi Touch’, delivering the best blend of technology and human intervention in its solutions.

About Echelon Learning Ltd
Echelon ( is an organisation development consultancy with a 20-year track record of delivering targeted communication, training and performance support solutions that really make a difference to corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations and professional bodies.

The company helps its clients create and sustain improved operational performance by developing high levels of employee engagement and competence that leverage their ability to achieve outstanding results, particularly in times of change.

Echelon publishes a wide range of business and management solutions that offer job support and lifelong career development.

Clients include: Channel Tunnel Rail Link, London Overground Rail (LOROL), Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, Department of Work and Pensions, Festival Housing Association, NHS, Royal Town Planning Institute, T-Mobile, Translink.


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