Ordnance Survey

Ordnance Survey (OS) has been providing accurate, reliable and detailed geographic information for more than 200 years. Today, it is a dynamic and “modern” organisation employing over 1400 people. Whilst justifiably proud of its rich heritage, it is committed to leading the way in technological innovation.

As the recognised market leader in its field, OS is synonymous with mapping expertise, offering a wide range of internationally renowned products for both business and leisure, from complex digital information to traditional walking maps.


The operating context for OS has changed beyond recognition over the last 20 years. In the past OS effectively had a monopoly in its markets. As the ability of other companies to obtain the information it sold increased, so too did commercial competition. OS realised that to move forward successfully, a new operating paradigm was required. The culture, vision and employee behaviours would need to change and become much more commercial.

The Challenge

The Odyssey Group was asked to work with the OS sales teams to produce a high impact strategic/commercial selling skills programme for key personnel. The head of the Partner Alliance Programme recognised that team members were operating as managers of ‘customer accounts’ rather than as sales people, reacting to requests for data rather than proactively building relationships and seeking out new clients. Individuals needed to be up-skilled to allow them to work effectively within the new commercial operating environment.

The Solution

A comprehensive research project was undertaken to ascertain skill levels and identify development needs. Findings were presented to the client leading to the development of a strategy for the programme. As a consequence we were asked to create a ten-day high impact commercial sales training programme delivered over six months to include coaching and e-based support between modules.


A dramatic upturn in revenue. As OS cannot compete on licensing or pricing variables the upturn is being driven by how people are behaving and communicating when interacting with clients.

Everyone in the team has “raised the bar” in terms of behaviour and business & financial acumen. This has resulted in a team of high performers committed to realising commercial benefit for the organisation.

We were asked to roll out the programme to a further 52 account managers after news of the success of the team spread throughout the organisation. We continue to help the organisation transform its ability to operate in the new business environment.