How do you shape a business to be as agile and responsive as the product it offers?

The challenge

In a constantly evolving, technology-led organization, what matters above all else is the ability of its people to evolve and grow at the pace of market developments. Vistaprint is a world-leading custom marketing materials business. Yet there was a real and growing risk of a skills gap opening between its technological and human resources.

It also knew that the traditional consultancy model – with its tendency to make dependents of “host” organizations – would be expensive and ineffective for what Vistaprint wanted to achieve.


Our goal was to properly embed best working practices within Vistaprint teams. So we devised a work-based learning program that would help people adapt – and actually adopt – the skills required to tackle new and emerging projects.

Data and our own experience tell us that work-based learning is highly effective. By learning “on the job” in real time, you can encourage cultural change too. With this as our guiding principle, we developed an education pathway for Vistaprint people to follow.

It was built around our approach to work-based learning – Value, Flow, Quality (VFQ). This allows learners to quickly apply new practices to their day-to-day work. We also introduced an Expert Coaching Program to enable Vistaprint to build up Agile leaders from within, with less reliance on external consultants.

The Vistaprint Executive Coaching Program ran for 18 weeks, and explored VFQ topics in detail. With work-based assignments, participants could see the results of what they were learning, which led to continuing engagement from learners.

Our impact

The core focus for our learning program was to close the gap between potential technological advances at Vistaprint and the reality of the skills available among its people in deploying them. This fundamental transformation means that Vistaprint is now able to fully deliver its brand promise to customers.

The education pathway we created has established a common language for change and development at Vistaprint. This is helping to shift the culture in a more innovative direction. And by developing pools of expertise within Vistaprint we’ve also minimized its reliance on external consultants, which is reducing the overall cost of change.

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