EFQM | Primary Partner

Business Improvement and Transformational Leader Award


Entry deadline: 31st October 2017
Leadership Award

Business Improvement and Transformational Leader Award

This award recognises an individual who has made an exceptional contribution and long-term positive impact through a career of transformation and continuous improvement. They are highly respected professionals continuously looking for new ways to innovate; responsible for leading people; developing tangible strategies and goals over a sustained period having an enduring impact.

Why apply?

This is an opportunity to give your high-achievers a well-deserved public ‘pat on the back’ whilst also showcasing your organisation with the dynamic, continuous improvement thinking of your employees.

Personal Development: Nominating an employee gives the opportunity to benchmark against peers. The awards offer the chance to network with like-minded leaders and share best practice ideas.

Reward and recognition: Nominating an employee is a great opportunity to recognise their efforts through external acknowledgment and recognition. Making the shortlist strengthens best practice and inspires peers to follow in that individual’s footsteps. If a nominee doesn’t make the shortlist, going through the process and the internal recognition in itself is invaluable.

How to apply?

Entry is simple – by completion of an online application form and submission of supporting evidence.

Nominations must be made by a reporting line manager / head of department or a relevant director, the nomination should be endorsed by an additional peer or stakeholder (with testimonials for supporting docs). Self-nominations will not be accepted.

Application Criteria

Outstanding performance: How have nominees surpassed expectations and delivered tangible business benefits and stand-out, long term, sustainable results?

Teamwork/leadership: How have nominees demonstrated themselves to be a passionate team player / leader showing high levels of collaboration, including leading by example, transferring knowledge and motivating others and building skill and capability in others?

Innovation: How have nominees innovated, to generate new ideas and opportunities to enhance performance or affect change; do they demonstrate a learning mindset and continuously look for new ways to innovate?

Added value: How have nominees’ efforts delivered an enhanced value to customers and / or stakeholders leading to a demonstrable and valued benefit?

£125 + VAT

per entry

£125 + VAT

per entry

Dates for your diary

Entries close

6 November 2017

Judging begins

November 2017

Shortlist will be announced

December 2017

Ceremony night

Thursday 15 March 2018

Award Sponsor

BT Supports Leadership Awards

BT is very proud to be a BQF founding member and we are delighted with the addition of the two new Leadership awards recognising individuals who are making significant contribution through leading change and transformation.

Having leaders who are brilliant change agents plays a huge role in creating the environment for our people to succeed; in delivering for customers and shareholders alike as well as nurturing the growth of  our businesses and our people.

Karen Leftley, Head of Change Practice at BT, says: “Many of us are experiencing that the only constant thing these days is change so this is a great opportunity for organisations to recognise the individuals leading transformation and change, those who are making a difference today and developing and inspiring the next generation of change leaders.”

Martyn Brett-Lee

Commercial Director of London Midway Attractions at Merlin Entertainments Group

1405013. 22nd May 2014.
Martyn Lee.

“With the economic challenges facing many organisations today, companies need to innovate and change more than ever. Having led transformational change at multiple organisations, I am excited to be judging this year’s Business Improvement and Transformational Leader Award. I look forward to hearing from talented individuals who are surpassing expectations in this important field of work.”

Read more

Martyn leads the commercial operations of Merlin’s flagship London attractions, including the London Eye, Madame Tussauds and SEALIFE London Aquarium.

Before joining Merlin, Martyn led Operational Transformation across Europe for ODEON Cinemas. He was responsible for strategic improvement of operations focusing on service, process and performance, supporting the sale of ODEON to their leading global competitor.

Martyn started his career with Sainsbury’s Supermarkets where over 15 years, he held a number of senior management positions both in store and centrally; including, Store Manager, Operational Development Manager and Head of Central Operations. During his time working centrally, Martyn oversaw projects and programmes transforming the store operating model.

He is a Business and Finance graduate and a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management, chairing their London Peer Learning Group. In 2015, Martyn took a year’s career break to travel the world with his wife.

Karen Leftley

Head of Change Practice at BT

Karen Leftley

“I’ve been involved in change and transformation for over twenty years; and my role in enabling people to learn grow and develop the skills and capability to make great change happen every day is something I am hugely inspired by.  The UK excellence awards are a brilliant opportunity to showcase our best talent and recognise those people who deliver some amazing results in the work they do. I’m excited and incredibly proud to be so involved with the BQF especially as they celebrate 25 great years!”

Read more

Karen Leftley Head of Change Practice, leads the development of our change and transformation capability pan BT and is responsible for the design and development of our change method, tools and techniques. As part of this, Karen also offers help and support to other businesses, charities and academic organisations to show how to blend theory and practice into operationalised application. Karen is a non-executive director on the board of British Quality Foundation.

Frank de Souza

Quality Culture Programme Manager at GSK


I wanted to be a BQF Award Judge to support the recognition of the great work people are doing in their roles to inspire, motivate and engage and lead from the front, true leadership sometimes goes under the radar, so it is an honour to play my part in being able to recognise these people and be inspired while doing so.”

Read more

Frank has held various leadership, consulting and management positions across several different industry sectors, including – Electronics (Laird Technologies), Automotive (Nippon Denso) and Aerospace (Airbus).

His background is in Lean and Change Management which provided him the opportunity to join the pharmaceutical giant; GSK in 2012, when he became an Operational Excellence Expert at one of their manufacturing sites which was going through a major transformation programme.

He now manages a Global Culture Change programme for GSK focusing on a culture of Quality.  Leadership and people engagement is at the heart of this programme and reflects Frank’s passion to help people “grow, develop and evolve” by focusing on their mindset and behaviours.  This passion for people change has also led him to qualify as a professional coach and NLP practitioner.

He is also a keen advocate for the EFQM model and has developed a Quality Culture assessment based on the model which he has shared with BQF to promote and share with our members.

Awards FAQs

Can I nominate more than one person for this award?

Yes, you can enter as many individuals as you like for this Leadership Award.

Can I nominate myself for this award?

Individuals cannot apply themselves but should be nominated by a reporting line manager/Head of/Director or previous employer.  The nomination should be endorsed by an additional peer, stakeholder or client.

When is entry deadline?

Entry deadlines for the Innovation, Lean Six Sigma and Leadership awards are all on the 31st of October.

Awards Ceremony

For our 25th Anniversary we’ve relocated our awards ceremony to Guildhall – London’s powerhouse since the twelfth century.

2016 Winners

Find out more about the 2016 winners, sponsors and host, Karren Brady.