A Clevedon-based manufacturer and supplier of kayaks and related gear with 45 people, which responded to a mailing about the Coaching For High Growth scheme. I visited the senior management team to find a business that was building a great reputation worldwide and making money, but wasting resources through firefighting its way through lots of problems. It had become successful through its technical excellence but the training it had done had not been in the essential skills for working with other people nor in management and leadership.
I started by having one-to-one chats with a representative sample of people and identifying the main issues. I set these out in a report which the senior management team and I debated and which they then used as guide to help them prioritise their business planning. The funding scheme mentioned above meant they got all this at no charge.
The next stage was to agree some objectives for a series of four half-day in-house management training workshops – necessary because of shift patterns – and design the training to meet them and to suit the audience. The sessions were aimed at boosting self-awareness of different styles of leadership and team roles, and gave hints and tips on motivation, coaching, assertiveness and delegation.
Two groups of ten senior staff, including the directors, participated. They made public commitments on what they were going to do differently back in the workplace and accounted to the group for this at the next session. The feedback acknowledged the workshops as “very thought-provoking”, “a great contribution to our successful business” and “made a big difference to the smooth running of the place”, and I have been asked back to do some more work on skills development.