Designing developmental workshops for a client

The situation

The manufacturing company had done very little management development or behavioural training for many years. It was facing intense competition and needed managers to think hard about how to get more value from their people. It could not use compulsion or instruction, the managers had to want to be more active developers. My client decided to lead this project and to deliver the solution himself.

The solution

We designed together workshops that incorporated our best thinking. They were a joint venture. We would share our thinking, refine it to a rough shape and then I would write a detailed “doable” design. We would then go through this together, clarify and refine it and then I would write a revised draft.

My client then delivered a pilot course using the materials and design and I observed. We then incorporated my observations, his experience, and the participant’s feedback into the “final” design. In practice, he would always tweak the design after every run to make it more exciting for the clients and more fun to deliver.

The results

Both courses have been very well received everywhere (except once in Russia), which is gratifying as the cultures of the host countries vary widely. We think the secret is that we draw heavily on the participant’s own successful experience of developing people and being developed or being in a successful team. The learning is almost all by sharing ideas and experience or doing things – there is no “instruction”.

Stories from the client

People Development

One very senior European Manager attended the People Development course.  He was seen as very opinionated and agressive and junior staff hated working for/with him.  After the course he spoke to me at length about Active Listening and he realised he was a very bad listener.  His approach has now softened and, although not perfect, junior staff are ready to work with him and respond well to his leadership.

Team Building Workshop

The European Financial Service Centre team have put in place the techniques learnt on the course and the turnover has reduced from a high level, they have become a more effective team and people are taking on more responsibility.  I noted yesterday when I attended the European Management Meeting that the European Financial Service Centre is showing over a $1million saving in transactional costs per year.  I don’t think we can claim all the savings but Team Building has helped!

If you would like help using this idea, or have any comments or questions please contact me. Thanks, Nick