The Client

Manufacturing Organisation Cross-cultural and cross-functional collaboration

During 2016/17, the Human Results team worked closely with a large manufacturing organisation with multiple sites in the UK  and on the Continent, who embraced the challenge of cross-functional and cross-cultural collaboration, through a variety of learning and development solutions. Their companywide approach involved over 500 employees, a team of external trainers and total commitment and buy-in from the SMT.

The Project

Challenge 1: A Tradition of Promoting from Within

Whilst a worthy strategy, often appointments and promotions were based on performance in a previous role; often a role without people management responsibility. In addition, a transactional leadership style deeply embedded in the culture, was transferred from generation to generation; ineffective behaviours towards motivation and performance management were often encouraged, congratulated and, consequently perpetuated across the business.

Challenge 2: Retaining and Nurturing Talent

Whilst succession planning was a key focus for Intervention 1, there was still the challenge as to how talent could be retained within the business, particularly within specialist roles when opportunities for promotion were often limited.

The Solution

Intervention 1: 2017 Leadership Academy – ‘from Transactional to Transformational’

The introduction of formal training, 1:1 coaching and completion of an Institute of Leadership (ILM) qualification, aimed to equip practicing and aspiring managers with the knowledge and skills required to lead motivate and manage people, whilst promoting innovation and change through practical problem solving and effective decision making.

The project was a huge success, seeing 100% attendance at all events, all assignments submitted to deadline and 100% pass rate. Most importantly, cross-cultural and functional relationships were forged, a common understanding of organisational success factors was developed, a robust understanding of the need for change established and a proactive and courageous approach to positive performance management recognised.

Intervention 2: 2017 Emerging Talent Programme – ‘from Good to Great’

By submitting a formal application to enter the Emerging Talent Programme, candidates were observed and ‘tested’ over a two-day period. Completion of a Managerial Assessment of Proficiency (MAP) gave each individual a detailed personal report, highlighting their percentile score against 12competencies, two management styles, and eight communication/personality profiles.

Successful candidates then came together each month (for six months) to work on areas for development, highlighted through the MAP Diagnostic. The key aim of this approach was to develop a team of individuals who were able to lead and influence continuous improvement and change programmes across the organisation as required (often with ad-hoc teams, with little or no personal or official authority).

A hugely practical programme using facilitation and team coaching strategies rather than more traditional training methods. Smart, highly motivated individuals – sort after by competitors. Not necessarily motivated by status or salary, but instead motivated by challenge and recognition for innovation and positive impact on change.

Key themes facilitated during this programme, focused on communication styles and personal brand, (how do you influence others when you have no reporting authority to delegate responsibility and/or accountability?) collaborative problem solving (how can you use a facilitative coaching style to dig deep to uncover root cause and barriers to success?), self-discipline, resilience and mental toughness (how can you hold yourself accountable and stay motivated in the face of conflict and potential failure?)

The opportunity to ‘Re-MAP’ at the end of the programme was offered to each candidate, however, they chose a slightly different path to assess their own development. Using a 360 diagnostic, we were able to elicit feedback from those individuals who worked alongside each Emerging Talent team member. This was fed back through 1:1 coaching and Individual Action Plans were created to ensure continued development occurred after the Emerging Talent programme came to an end.

These individuals will also play an important role in cascading a Fit for Future Programme: It’s OUR Business throughout the organisation during 2018/19.

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