A Blank Canvas logo - We solve business issues with an innovative HR approach


Designing, delivering and maintaining efficient and effective organisations






Designing, delivering and maintaining efficient and effective organisations

By listening to you, we at A Blank Canvas ensure that your business is set up to meet your exact needs in terms of organisation design and business processes, and that it is compliant with relevant industry and legislative frameworks through transition to completion

Organisation Design and Development

HR System Design, Develop and Implement

Employee Alignment

Operational Performance & Competence Management

Talent Management

Performance Management

Cutting Recruitment Costs

Compensation and Benefits

Employee Relations



Case studies

Develop and Implement Business Based Quality Management Systems

Review Existing Quality Management Systems against business need

Remedial Activities on non-conformance/observation

Aligning Industry Specific Systems (BSI, QMS, FSC, BBA, BM Trada, etc.)




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Find out more about our services.

Our Team at A Blank Canvas have proven skills in a wide variety of Business Management Sectors and are able to offer the range of knowledge, Skills, and Experience to help you to address the following business challenges…

HR Services

Organisational Design and Development

Creating organisations that optimise around plant constraints, operational processes, planned maintenance and workload volumes.

Planning Change Processes, including recruitment, retraining, and redundancy.

Delivering change through well designed restructuring programmes.


HR System Design, Development and Implementation

Identifying business needs, organisation culture, and employee expectations.

 Mapping Business Need with Statutory obligation to deliver fair policies that reward the right behaviours.

Recognising the unique demands and expectations of each and every organisation.


Employee Alignment

Measuring employee engagement.

Establishing effective employee communications.

Supporting companies to define policies and systems that will increase commitment.

Maximising shared understanding of business goals, values, and objectives.


Operational Performance and Competence Management

Developing Competence Frameworks aligned to business systems.

Constructing bespoke programmes based on business needs.


Talent Management

Establishing systems that identify high performance, high potential and key personnel

Developing Reward Systems that ensure that talent is rewarded in a structured manner.

Developing Succession Plans and Career Mapping Programmes.


Performance Management

Providing advice and guidance on the management of employees in matters relating to performance, capability or conduct.

Supporting business in their handling of difficult employees.

Changing Performance.


Cutting Recruitment Costs

By reducing labour turnover and improving recruitment and induction effectiveness.


Compensation and Benefits

Reviewing internal grading structures, and external competitiveness.


First Point of Contact

Major incident Support to Local Line Management

Stakeholder relationship management, including Police, Legal, Media, and Insurers.


Employee Relations

Developing Dispute Resolution, Union Recognition, Efficiency and Other Agreements.

Supporting organisations in Union Negotiations.


QMS Services

Developing and Implementing Business Based Quality Management Systems

Listening to business leaders

Constructing Systems and Procedures based on their needs

Delivering ISO 9001-2008 compliant systems

Delivering training on Systems and Procedures

Handholding through Accreditation

Reflecting Continuous Improvement


Reviewing Quality Management Systems

Undertaking sense and suitability checks to assess QMS alignment.

Proposing Recommendations and Implementing Change


Remedial Activity on Non-Conformance and Observation

Identifying Root Causes of System Failure and establishing action plans.

Supporting Line Management


Aligned Industry Specific Systems

Specific Industry Standards built into QMS (e.g. FSC, MSC, etc.)

Our services

HR Services icon
Tick icon for Business-based Quality Management Systems


John Huckstepp

John is a Senior HR Practitioner with 22 years HR experience, 10 years at Board Level. He is skilled in improving organisational performance and profitability within challenging environments, transforming stakeholder relationships, and implementing value-added talent management systems and processes. He holds a Master's Degree (M.Sc.) in Human Resource Management from the University of Salford and is both a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & development and a Specialist member of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management. Amongst his achievements, he has:

Reduced £750k in Labour Costs by aligning Plant and Organisational Structure with Sales, Operations and
Maintenance Demands

Worked with Safety Professionals to reduce Employers Liability Insurance by £540k

Negotiated removal of factory bonus saving £225k, meeting group company targets, retaining personnel and reducing costs of redundancy

Saved £180k annual recruitment costs by changing recruitment and induction processes, and reducing labour turnover

Saved £150k annual sickness and overtime costs by changing sickness reporting and overtime approvals procedures.

Helped UK Operational Division to achieve highest score in Operational Environment in Group Engagement Survey.


Greg is a system oriented Compliance Professional with Eight Years in Quality Management and 30 years in Operational Management. Throughout his career, he has systematically implemented SHEQ requirements into daily process activities.


He achieves results through developing strong customer, regulator, industry body and internal stakeholder relationships. He delivers results that meet or exceed expectations without sacrificing conformance criteria. A meticulous professional, with a coaching style, a positive "can-do" attitude, supporting and encouraging colleagues providing timely advice and guidance for peers within a framework of systems and document control. Amongst his achievements, he has:


Achieved £250k per annum savings through waste stream recovery processes

Saved £125k by changes to systems resulting in reduced raw material demand

Reduced inventory of finished and raw material of £1m

Led formal audit processes with BSI, BM Trada, BBA, FSC, HSE, EA, Local Authority, BRE, etc.

Used Lean and Continuous Improvement Processes to improve business performance, efficiency and organisation.


Managing Director

Consulting Partner

Greg Butler

Who we are

John Huckstepp MD, skilled in improving organisational performance

Case Studies

Organisation, reward structure, and deployment plan design


A Risk and Safety Management Organisation looking for an opportunity to engage with the largest capital expansion project in the Southern Hemisphere approached A Blank Canvas Ltd to design an organisation, establish a reward structure, and deployment plan.


The Organisation, which consisted of four teams: Enabling Construction Operations, Developing & Implementing Systems, Specialist Resource Provision, and Human Performance was constructed to enable flexibility through shift operations and engagement with local construction engineering teams belonging to the Principal Contractor and their Principal Partners.


On completion, A Blank Canvas Ltd supported the production of the response to the invitation to tender documentation and established links with strategic partners to quickly and effectively fulfil the contract requirements.


The Client says: ‘It’s not often that one encounters a highly committed individual who is prepared to deal with the unexpected in a calm and unflappable manner. John is one of those dedicated detail orientated few who have admirably risen to every challenge thrown at him. As a savvy, perceptive and commercially orientated HR professional, John is ideally suited to any organisation run by a forward thinking leadership team.’


This client has gone on to re-engage A Blank Canvas Ltd on subsequent occasions to address HR and business performance challenges.

European sales organisation design and implementation


After a Portuguese Company had removed Production Operations from the UK, it needed a new Sales Organisation to supply market demands from its European Operations.


John Huckstepp defined the new organisation and recruited from pre-existing resources to ensure maximum from start knowledge. He developed new employment contracts reflecting business need and statutory obligations, sourced the location, developed the office design, and project managed the office move.


A Project Member said: ‘I found John to be meticulous in his planning and preparation for projects, he demonstrated commitment to achieving results and he also demonstrated his professional credentials in HR management and an advanced knowledge of employment matters, particularly regarding collective consultation and industrial relations’

Successfully addressing long-term absenteeism


When a manufacturing operation in the Republic of Ireland was looking to re-structure its back office function and address long term absence, they approached A Blank Canvas Ltd.  A successful process of addressing long term absence was set in place, enabling the organisation to move forwards with its organisational plans.


The Plant Manager said: ‘I would heartily endorse him as an extremely knowledgeable and dedicated professional who was an invaluable help to me’.


John Huckstepp


Ross Mackenzie, Director at OTL

I worked closely with John for 15 months in a fast moving dynamic situation. John is creative and professional, he can make things happen fast, and his great sense of humour makes him a pleasure to work with.


Mark Guyer, Site Director at Service Graphics

John brings a real clarity of purpose to Human Resource Management. His ability to strip away unnecessary complication with well-grounded and incisive thinking is a huge strength. His complete grasp of the challenges of culture change and strategic management make him a dependable ally for any director of operations and an important asset for any business navigating its way through organisational change.


Carlos Eduardo Addor, Gestão de Marketing e Vendas

John lead the team in projects with huge pressure conditions, always respecting the team members and keeping the morale high. I can assure that John is a professional that always brings a new point of view and fresh ideas to break up paradigms. His competence on building strong teams and bring results
is unique.


Will Bateman, Associate at Eversheds

I have found John to be creative, positive and successful in his approach to finding solutions to challenging HR issues, while retaining a particular focus on the operational and
commercial implications.

Greg Butler


Alan Whitrow, Operations Manager at Boden & Davies

Greg always provided a very professional approach in all aspects of his work. He was very approachable and very helpful in assisting to prevent any quality or production issues with his vast knowledge of this industry.


Kerry Quilter, Quality Engineer

I have known Greg for nearly 20 years. Greg is a very capable Operations Manager and Methodical Quality Expert. Greg always considers all possible effects of decisions that are made. He has an excellent grasp of Business Management always striving for improvement. Greg is an excellent man manager and has the respect of all those who have worked with and for him.


Mark Charles, Director and Owner, ADOPT-FIT Ltd

Greg provided us with excellent product feedback and worked with us to enhance our customer understanding. His attention to detail was instrumental in helping us to deliver
product improvements.



What people say about us



01772 811 677

07919 477 248

A Blank Canvas Ltd

18 Meadoway





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If you have a specific challenge and would like to talk through some options in confidence, please do not hesitate to contact us.


01772 811 677

07919 477 248


A Blank Canvas, 18 Meadoway, Tarleton, Preston, PR4 6NA


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