EFQM | Primary Partner

Emerging Business Improvement and Transformational Leader Award


Entry deadline: 31st October 2017
Emerging Leadership Award

Emerging Business Improvement and Transformational Leader Award

This award recognises an individual at the early stages in their career who has made an exceptional contribution in their organisation.  They have demonstrated the potential, ability and ambition to go above and beyond starting to drive change and transformation within their business in a single strand, project or department.

Why apply?

This is an opportunity to give individuals who show exceptional promise a well-deserved public ‘pat on the back’ at the early stages in their career. Whilst also showcasing your organisation with the dynamic, continuous improvement thinking of your emerging leaders.

Personal Development: Nominating an employee provides an opportunity to benchmark against peers and encourages good behaviours. The awards offers 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 the efforts of an unsung hero. Making the shortlist strengthens best practice and inspires peers and other future leaders 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. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

Application Criteria

Outstanding performance: How have nominees surpassed expectations and delivered stand-out results. How have nominees shown a willingness to accept challenges and embrace opportunities?

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?

Innovation: How have nominees innovated, to generate new ideas and opportunities to enhance performance or affect change?

Added value: How have nominees’ efforts delivered an enhanced value to customers and / or stakeholders leading to a demonstrable difference in their organisation?

£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.

Stephen Stewart

Early Talent Programme Lead at GSK


“I was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to be a judge in the BQF Awards. I am passionate about supporting the development of people and it is great to be part of this event to recognise and celebrate the fantastic work people are doing in leadership. Its also a great opportunity to learn and share best practice with other leaders.”

Read more

Steve is a HR practitioner with over 15 years’ experience in the profession.

Having worked in generalist HR roles in Alstom, BUPA and BHP Billiton, Steve moved to GSK and was the Site HR Lead at their Ulverston manufacturing base. Whilst in this role Steve developed a keen interest in talent management and career development. Having established an apprentice scheme at the Site, Steve followed this passion and progressed to a role in GSK’s Talent Management Centre of Excellence developing and growing their apprentice early talent route across multiple businesses and geographies. This award winning scheme is now helping 100+ people per year find paths into GSK and enabling them to progress their careers.

Steve splits his time between GSK’s Head Office in Brentford, home in Manchester and sitting on the train.

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.