PE & VC Due Diligence


Foundation Stones Ltd are an ‘Organisational and Leadership’ consultancy. Incorporated five years ago with the sole purpose of “Helping organisations to help themselves,” making sure the people are right to step change the delivery of their Strategic priorities.

To achieve this, they apply their unique approach, utilising proprietary technology in conjunction with their I.P. to allow them to:

1.     ‘Critically analyse’ both, the Leaders’ and Employees’ current level of Alignment and Engagement to the Strategic priorities of the Business.

2.     Using this knowledge, they create a bespoke intervention to align and engage the people behind your strategic priorities. This step changes performance.

Within the world of PE/VC, Risk Analysis is a major part of the process of due diligence and yet there is little or no meaningful risk assessment of the ‘most important resource,’ its people; are the people ‘right’ to actually deliver the plan the Management team are selling on paper?

We are able to ‘Critically analyse’ the Leaders’ and Employees’ current level of Alignment and Engagement to the Strategic priorities of the Business. The output of this analysis is a full report outlining whether a key individual, the leadership team or the whole organisation is aligned and engaged behind the business strategy and its priorities. With this knowledge, we understand if they are willing and able to deliver the strategic priorities critical to Business success.

What we do and when to use us

We have a range of products that can be used to assess specific concerns e.g. Culture, general Engagement/morale, willingness and ability, general people practices etc.

We can also carry out the conventional individual people assessments e.g. verbal, numerical and personality profiling/assessments etc.

We have two primary assessment products: -

1.     Direction and Meaning Assessment or 'engagement' (D&M assessment); The most important responsibility of a leadership team is to set the ‘direction’ of its business; why is it there? How does it see itself in the future? And what is it going to do to get there? As well as this direction, as Leaders we are here to inspire/motivate our people to want to deliver their part in this. Foundation Stones are able to assess the level to which the Leadership teams, and/or the Organisation as a whole, are Aligned and Engaged behind the direction set for the business.

2.     ‘Change readiness’ (or ‘Broad Spectrum’) assessment; This is a comprehensive review, not only do we carry out the D&M assessment (above), we also assess the Culture and People Practices of the Leadership teams/and or the organisation as a whole, to identify any specific areas that could materially impact (good or bad) the successful delivery of the Business Priorities. 

Intervention programs

 In addition to the Assessment products, we also offer interventions for Leadership and extended leadership levels. These are designed to work with those teams in order to help them confront the issues of misalignment and then agree and align as a team behind their collective strategy and deliver their agreed strategic priorities. These programs are bespoke to the relevant business teams and therefore no two are the same.

When to use Foundation Stones?

We would recommend using us at three specific stages in the life of the Business: -

1.     Initial Due diligence – (pre-acquisition) To assess risk levels on the delivery of the business plan by the Leadership and/or Organisation as a whole; are they ‘aligned and engaged’ behind the business plan? Are they ‘Able and Willing’ to deliver it?

2.     100 Day planning/’on-boarding process’ – This is a critical stage for any P.E. Company to ensure the business is focused and is driving towards the agreed plans. We can assess the underlying truth as to how Aligned and engaged the Leadership and Organisation is to your plans. We can (should you wish) at this stage, carry out an Alignment program with the team/s in order to align them behind the strategic imperatives that must be delivered.

3.     Mid-term review – How is the performance to plan? Is there a need to change ‘direction’? has the business Context changed?   e.g. Socio-economic changes, Consumer/Customer needs, Stakeholder requirements, Employee expectations etc, etc. We are able to give you clarity on where the Leadership and Organisation ‘stand’ in relation to your requirements (whatever they are), are they Aligned and Engaged? Again, we can (should you wish) at this stage, carry out an Alignment program with the team/s in order to align them behind the strategic imperatives that must be delivered.

What we deliver

Direction and Meaning (D&M) Assessment: This will outline the Leaderships/and or Organisations level of Alignment to the 18 critical motivators (primary drivers of behaviour), from this we are able to specify the material issues that (if left unchecked) will risk the successful delivery of the business plans. If required, we can carry out an alignment program with the team/s in order to align them behind the strategic imperatives.

Change Readiness Assessment: In addition to the D&M assessment output (above), you would receive a Risk Assessment report covering 8 additional Key Performance Indicators for that organisation (e.g. will the culture help or hinder delivery). These KPIS will specifically look into factors that will either enhance or detract from the level of alignment and engagement required to deliver the results demanded by the owners and their business plans. Included within the report is a set of Foundation Stones recommendations as to how to resolve the material issues identified.

Our unique approach/Philosophy

Every Business is different; therefore, every business Context and strategy is different. The Foundation Stones philosophy is built on this premise and that is why we firstly focus on thoroughly understanding Your Context and strategy, it is only with this knowledge that we can accurately assess the alignment of the leadership and employees to your Context and strategy.

The second premise of our Philosophy; is that every one of us has a ‘MASK’ behind which we can disguise what we truly ‘think and feel’, (this is done for many reasons), but it is why we at Foundation Stones employ our unique conversational approach to getting ‘behind the masks’ of your people to learn what they truly ‘think and feel’ about your business strategy and Context.

Finally, we are here to ‘help organisations help themselves’, and it is from this position that we help your people to align and consequently deliver long term (sustainable) change that will drive performance.


Foundation Stones can assess if the people are ‘right’ at all stages of the ‘deal’ process (Due Diligence, launch and Mid-term review) and intervene if requested.

This process is carried out with little fuss or disruption to the people or business, it is incredibly fast and great value.

At Foundation Stones, we understand the need to have business ‘savvy’ Consultants with many years’ experience, that is why we only use ‘seasoned’ practitioners who have the ‘hard and soft’ skills necessary to support the required improvement.


What our customers say

“This sort of insight is particularly relevant for businesses about to change ownership, embarking on an M&A strategy or going through fundamental change. It is a great due diligence tool to find out the people capability of a business.”

— Amanda Williams, HR Director, Quorn Foods
“I believe that Foundation Stones are the missing link in the due diligence process...”
— Gareth Voyle - Chairman Vision Capital Food Portflio
“Foundation Stones was not at all disruptive to my operation and was completely focused on my business and my issues. It is the first effective ‘risk assessment’ product for people that I have ever come across, it identified material people issues and material opportunities with the strategy I was trying to deliver and gave practical advise on how to fix those issues. Critically it identified significant risks that my people were likely to cause my business that had not yet materialised, that I was then able to sort.”
— Ian Michalski, Managing Director, Palethorpes