Client Story

Hans Knudsen Instituttet

Growing services to help more people overcome barriers to work

Hans Knudsen Instituttet (HKI), a Danish non-profit, helps vulnerable people overcome social, physical, and mental barriers to find rewarding employment. To reach even more people and maintain its leading profile, HKI wanted to strengthen its strategic focus.

In a pro bono engagement, our strategy experts worked with the HKI leadership team to shape their ideas for growth and innovation. Together, we pinpointed the best opportunities to expand services and reach target groups – and identified priority initiatives to drive progress on strategic ambitions.

Amplifying impact in a changing sector

For non-profit organisations like Hans Knudsen Instituttet (HKI), innovation is vital for growth.

The sector where HKI operates is changing fast. Employers are expanding support to enable different employees to thrive in the workplace – from mental health services for people struggling with anxiety to adaptations for people with disabilities. Government, too, aims to get as many people as possible into work by connecting people who are suffering mental health challenges with potential employers, for example.

HKI have deep expertise in this space. They’ve been delivering education and employment services on behalf of local authorities for almost 30 years. Their team saw many exciting opportunities to expand services and support more people. But they wanted expert insight to bring clarity to complexity and understand the best way to maximise the organisation’s impact.

We had ideas for future growth, but also plenty of questions: What are our strengths and how can we capitalise on them? Where should we focus to be most effective? Which innovations promise real impact?”

Bringing fresh perspectives to drive innovation

Like HKI, we share the purpose to build a positive human future. We also have a long track record and deep expertise in developing pragmatic strategies to accelerate growth.

We tapped into this experience to launch a strategic evaluation of the sector and HKI’s position in it. This included interviewing key players and potential clients to understand market needs and emerging opportunities. We also took a deep dive into HKI’s capabilities to assess the organisation’s strengths and identify how to apply them for maximum impact.

We also uncovered pain points and needs from target groups and clients and conducted an internal assessment to generate ideas for growth. The 60 ideas that we uncovered were then presented, matured, and prioritised together with the leaders of HKI. Ideas included expanding services geographically and targeting new types of customers, such as insurers. Also in the mix was developing new services for currently unserved client groups. So too were making services more accessible through an app and making services more holistic to provide clients with wrap-around, tailored support.

The project was a great opportunity to blend our commercial and strategic insights with the sector specialisms of the HKI team, bringing together different perspectives and expertise helped drive innovative thinking and kickstart the growth journey.”
Growth strategy expert at PA

Focusing in on key opportunities

Ideas and insights from these activities gave us the raw material we needed to shape a new growth strategy with HKI. Our recommendations set out emerging opportunities, including identifying those that will need significant operational change to realise. They also delivered pragmatic proposals for more immediate action – indicating priority steps with the potential to deliver rapid and powerful impact.

PA created valuable thinking space, helping us shift our focus from day-to-day operations to future direction. We were pleased with PA’s collaborative approach. Close working meant we co-created the foundations for a fresh strategic direction that the whole HKI team can get behind. The experience has given us new confidence in discussing and sharing ideas for our future.”

“Clearer strategic focus will be vital to enabling HKI to strengthen its reputation as the ‘go to’ brand in its sector,” confirms PA’s Operating Model expert, Johanne Olsen. “We’re proud to have been able to support the non-profit as it moves forward on its growth journey.”

The big winners from this will be the vulnerable people HKI works with. With the expansion of HKI’s services, more clients will experience the positives that employment can bring: economic security, a sense of purpose, and opportunities for personal growth.


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