The newly formed organisation was formed around a group of technology & operational specialists and entrepreneurs with a core of knowledge & background in the sector. The range of experience covered seasoned campaigners through to young talent.
The industry was a unique community so whilst knowing each other from previous organisations, many of the individuals had not worked together before. Being able to gel quickly and effectively as a leadership team was key, as was attracting others from the industry where it was likely people would have to be recruited on the basis of ‘potential’ and ‘personal values’. A bridge would then have to be created across which generic skills could be transferred to have in place a strong, capable and adaptable team for when the next generation of products came on stream.
Their market was global and the business had a ‘window of opportunity’ which they had to grasp and penetrate quickly. The priorities within the original group were to move from technology driven to a better balance with production and customer service levels. This required review of processes as well as personal leadership. Multi million $ capital investment had been made in the business and with the introduction of a Balance Scorecard, performance was no longer measured on performance by production volumes alone. As they were entering high volume levels, cost per unit, where percentage point changes had a dramatic effect, meant old habits had to change.
AVASST facilitated the management team’s development of a 3 year plan to attain the growth and realise the ROI required. Integral in being able to deliver the objectives within the 3 year plan was the need to grow the organisation rapidly, develop a leadership team to guide the business and a management team with a high level of competencies right across the business from Supervisor to Director.
A cascaded Leadership Development Plan (LDP) was chosen as the vehicle for both improving the competence of the leadership group (16 people) and the tool of empowerment for the individual. The core knowledge for the programme was developed, bespoke for the customer, and then adapted to suit the teams as it was cascaded down through the organisation to form the backbone around which the changes could be formed. This enabled the use of a common language, toolkit and baseline concepts. To ensure that the programme reinforced the direct link between personal knowledge and business benefits that the customer required, the content included several design features:
- A Business Excellence module to introduce business strategy and links to KPIs
- A Manufacturing Excellence module
- A Business Support module (Finance & HR)
To improve operational performance:
- Core enabling tools module (Facilitation & Project Management)
- The discipline of Daily Management
- Team Development
To encourage personal growth:
- Personal Effectiveness
- Psychological Assessment
To introduce the concept of Action Learning, the facilitators commented each week on Learning Logs.
Towards the end of the programme Personal Development Planning (PDP) template was introduced and after several iterations, each delegate had produced their own PDP. This was anchored with personal development objectives where their delivery was based on opportunities and resources available in their working lives and related to business objectives.
Each group worked and presented on a key business issue, the outcomes of which were carried forward into Phase 2 of a Team Development Programme (TDP)
ROI evaluation continued over a two year period. Six months after the LDP started there were already positive signs e.g. increased levels of motivations, increased levels of tolerance, more constructive questioning of business decisions & greater acceptance that time and effort were best directed at those things within the control of the individual. In a more substantive sense, conflicts between staff and with suppliers had delivered financial benefits e.g. renegotiation of transport contracts.
Perhaps one of the most powerful, but less quantifiable, benefits was the recognition by the International Vice President that the leadership group were tackling difficult tactical issues much earlier than before and, as importantly, were raising strategic questions as well.