Aston partnership reaches finals of global award

Higgs EFMD award

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between West Midlands based law firm Higgs & Sons (Higgs) and Aston Business School was named as finalist in the Organisational Development category in the prestigious 2014 European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) Excellence in Practice Awards.

The EFMD Excellence in Practice Awards (EiP) recognise outstanding and impactful Learning & Development partnerships in the domains of Leadership, Professional, Talent and Organisation Development. Award winning entries must demonstrate strong business impact, excellent programme management and operational excellence.

More than 30 entries were submitted for the award and the jury panel was composed of 25 representatives from companies, business schools and executive development centres. The category provides competition from large global organisations, some of which have over 120,000 employees.

Krishna Balthu, KTP Associate responsible for managing the project said “We strongly believed that our project had a great story to tell about organisational development. Our case study being recognised on a global platform like EFMD awards truly means a great achievement for our team and the KTP programme at large."

Higgs embarked on the partnership with Aston Business School in July 2011, led by Dr Ben Clegg from the Operations & Information Management Group at Aston Business School. The KTP, which was rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Technology Strategy Board, allowed Higgs to develop and embrace a new firm culture and revolutionised the firm’s existing business processes, resourcing models and client communication. The partnership also enabled Dr Ben Clegg to apply his own technique, Process Oriented Holonic (PrOH) Modelling, to a professional services firm for the first time.

The KTP project has provided Higgs with increased features in the press and several other awards. The firm have been named as an early innovator by The Lawyer in their UK 200 report and received a top place for ‘Excellence/or innovation in law firm financial management’ at the inaugural The Lawyer Management Awards 2013.

Glyn Morris, project champion and Finance Director at Higgs said of the nomination: “We are thrilled to be chosen as finalists alongside some very prestigious and large organisations. The success and recognition we’ve had for the KTP has been beyond what we could have ever imagined and we’re looking forward to working on a second KTP with Aston Business School.”

Dr Ben Clegg commented: “I was delighted to hear of our nomination in such prestigious awards against such large global players. The success we’ve had in this KTP is a testament to all the hard work put in by everyone involved.”

Notes to editors:

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships - is Europe's leading programme helping businesses to improve their competitiveness by enabling companies to work with higher education or research and technology organisations to obtain knowledge, technology or skills which they consider to be of strategic competitive importance. The UK-wide programme is overseen by the Technology Strategy Board (, the UK’s innovation agency, and supported by 16 other public sector funding organisations.

To learn more, or to make an enquiry about KTPs at Aston, please contact Martin May, KTP Manager, or 0121 204 4253.