Discover, Design, Deliver

Inclusive leadership

The client is committed to diversity and inclusion, and wanted a programme for their managers to go beyond words, and really help managers to reflect on their own practises and behaviours. Our approach was to avoid guilt, to share research, and to give plenty of space during the day to let managers, talk, think and explore their own situation. They day was a day of two halves, the morning looking at inclusion concepts, research, some scary facts and the business risks and benefits. Giving people plenty of time to accept that we all have unconscious bias, and to explore the implications for recruitment, performance management, coaching, talent development and meeting management gave people the space to accept that due to a range of factors unconscious bias, and the use of micro-inequities was hampering people reach their full potential.


The afternoon was spent exploring a range of approaches, tools, behaviours and skills that can really help managers manage their bias. This included being intentional, mindfulness, looking for facts and giving feedback to colleagues.

Bringing service to life

The client wanted to help all staff be aware of the impact of their behaviour on their customers, and there was an added dynamic of staff being an embedded service provider within their client’s premises, which can lead to added complexity of always being on stage and being under to microscope. We firstly held one day workshops for all people managers, working to define customer excellence, key critical moments for customer service, how they can lead customer service, how they can encourage problem solving and opportunities for excellence.


Each manager then had a half day workshop with all their team, where we explore critical moments, being on stage, some customer service opportunities and created a clear action plan.


Each manager and team then had three months to implement their action plan, before manager workshops reviewing success, some joint working to focus on creating an excellence culture, and commitments to on going team sessions to keep customer excellence at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Coach development

The client wanted to develop managers for two specific needs: one to develop line managers as performance coaches, and secondly to develop a pool of internal coaches who would serve as a resource to their colleagues. We developed two separate ILM programmes, one at level 3 and one at level 5.


Some common and key development challenges that most people encountered were the concepts of letting go of the solution, and enabling others to shine and grow.


The four day line manager as performance coach gave managers a deep understanding of coaching their team members, yes we covered the GROW framework, and then we moved way beyond it! Building rapport, empathy, core listening, challenging and creating action plans were part of the four days, with plenty of practise and feedback.


The seven day internal coach programme covered a wide range of topics, including contracting, challenging and giving feedback, emotional intelligence, the ethics of coaching, managing energy and various coaching tools that the coaches could use in a variety of settings.


Each programme was designed to give people core skills that can be used in a formal setting, and also in the “how are you, what do you think” level of interaction, so that people could deepen relationships, empower people and redefine their working patterns.


There were moments in the programme when people found it really hard!! The acceptance that telling and suggesting may not be the only ways to manage, especially when people have been using for years can be a challenge. Understanding that having a more flexible approach, getting people to think for themselves and creating the environment for people to do good work are now core functions of being a good manager took time to reflect, accept and embrace.


On receiving his award Ian Barrett said, “The qualification has given me a much wider view of how to bring colleagues on in the workplace, it’s made me look at so many things differently, including how I talk to people. It’s definitely helped me to develop as a manager.”


Shaun O’Dell was equally enthusiastic: “For me, it was about tailoring your management style to the different needs of each individual, a fundamental part of being a good manager and I’m confident the business will see a positive improvement as this style of leadership is adopted.”

The Courage Programme

The client wanted to raise the capability of people managers so that they developed a set of skills and capabilities to have meaningful and courageous conversations in a variety of settings. The programme was a modular skill building programme, with the emphasis on tools, frameworks, practise and skill building.

The key components of the programme were:

  • 360 feedback assessment before the programme, repeated at the end to measure learning success
  • modular skills building days
  • action learning.

The 5 day programme covered all aspects of courageous conversations and engagement which include:

  • Engaging people in doing their best
  • Understanding and motivating people
  • Giving performance clarity in expectations – objectives, outcomes
  • Having challenging discussions on performance – giving meaningful feedback
  • Following through on outcomes and feedback
  • Coaching for performance
  • Understanding and developing the potential in people.

The key success to any skill building programme is putting learning into action. Each manager was invited to participate in three half-day sessions where they shared their actions, outcomes and any challenges to receive group support, feedback, insights and suggestions on how they can progress.

Inspiring Women

Our client wanted to offer a programme to senior women, which would provide them with a forum to focus on their careers, their influence and their leadership. Offering women only programmes can be a challenge, with men saying what about us? When you read the research at the benefits of women only programme, we entered the bold space, and created a six day programme, run over 6 months, with one to one coaching to support each participant. The programme covered the following topics:

  • Your strengths (we used the Realise2 profile)
  • Developing and managing your career
  • Defining your personal brand
  • Your impact and influence
  • The physicality and physiology of influence
  • Acknowledging and managing your inner critic
  • Developing a vision for your team.

Where are some quotes from participants:

We believe we would not have got to a deep level of learning and development in a mixed group, people valued the space for reflection, to explore challenging situations, and the support that each participant gave each group member. The one to one coaching provided a valuable supplement, focussing on taking forward workplace development, reflections from the group days, and planning for brilliance.

We have worked with two groups now, and have another four booked in 2014 – 2016.

Change Agent development programme

We were approached to design and deliver a major development programme for a science-based company, who wanted to develop their talented people, to engage and create a group of people able to lead the business through changes in the next 5 – 10 years. Wow a great opportunity!

Each cohort consisted of 24 people, who experienced an 18 month development programme with the following components:

  • Self awareness day – using 360 degree feedback, MBTI, and Hogan Development Survey
  • One to one coaching – 5 sessions to create momentum, awareness and results
  • Performance coaching – a 4 day programme offering an ILM level 3 coaching qualification
  • Optional internal coach programme offering a level 5 coach qualification
  • Priority development – based on the areas identified through coaching and 360 as key risk areas (influencing, leading change, engaging teams and advanced communication were the modules delivered)
  • Next directions workshop – a day to reflect on progress, 360 degree feedback repeated and to plan career development
  • Leadership development – three days developing key skills and capability in the areas of leadership, strategy, vision, developing a high performing team and sustaining personal performance.

Clear briefing to participants and involvement of line managers were key elements to success, as well as having a small group of senior managers as advocates and sponsors, who were involved in reviews and feedback.

To date two cohorts of 24 people each have participated in the programme, and we look forward to having anther cohort soon.