Case Study on developing a Senior Leadership Team

Leadership development programme for Housing Association senior managers

Background to the Leadership Development Programme

We were selected to run a leadership development programme for the Senior Management Team (SMT) of a highly successful and well known Housing Association.  We designed the programme based on extensive engagement with the client and were able to access results of both the Executive Teams’ and SMT’s assessment processes and the Association’s  360 feedback system.

Tools used to identify senior management training needs

The outputs from these were crucial to ensure we correctly identified the leadership training needs for this Senior Management Development Programme. So we were able to use personalised feedback profiles for each individual, guidelines for analysing the results, implications for Personal Development Plans and one-to-one feedback sessions.  Fundamental was the use of the competency framework and the building on solutions that were already in place to meet development needs that had been provided at individual level.

We went on to provide a robust, forward thinking and well supported Development Programme that met both collective and individual needs, closed any gaps and equipped SMT to excel across all required competencies.  We ensured the crucial link to business plan objectives.

Overview Of Our Leadership Development Solution

Our task had been to address the individual and collective development needs, within the context of live organisational and strategic issues and challenges.

Tools used to deliver the management training programme

To achieve this, we chose a combined approach using a series of workshops, supplemented by action learning sets, individual, mentor supported projects and a live SMT group challenge.  This was worked on collectively to plan and execute a strategy to overcome that challenge.  The solution devised by SMT was to be presented to Executive Team at the end of the programme.  This added further value corporately.

The action learning sets and the group challenge improved team working and SMT members worked together to develop team and individual skills.  The combination of workshops and the other activities encouraged managers to critically reflect on and share experiences and skills.  To encourage and support this reflective process, managers were also required to keep a reflective journal.

Outcomes of the leadership development programme

The programme, which in total spanned nine months, received excellent feedback from both sponsors and delegates.  The delegates made the most of the workshops and now have advanced skills and techniques to provide transformational leadership of their teams. They completed individual projects all based on actual and relevant challenges within their particular specialisms. They also worked together to solve a complex organisational set of issues during a time of considerable change. The action learning sets proved very popular and added real value. It proved such a successful way of learning that most managers wanted to continue this mechanism after the development programme had finished.

As a result of this successful leadership development programme, we were requested to work with the Executive Team to develop their leadership skills still further and we are working with the Housing Association this year on other management development and staff training initiatives.

Feedback from the leadership development programme

Here are some examples of the feedback we received.

“Thanks so much for a wonderful two days, your achievement in meeting the needs of a disparate group – in terms of skills and understanding – was excellent. All the feedback that I have had has been positive. We are also delighted with the support material – it is extremely comprehensive and I am really looking forward to reading my copy.”

Human Resources Manager

“The Senior Management Development Programme: I thought it was a fantastic, wonderfully challenging, interesting and a very professionally delivered couple of days. Thank you very much for what I consider to be a great opportunity.”

Head of ICT

“Just wanted to send you a note to say thanks for your efforts over the last couple of days. It was really interesting and your facilitation and knowledge was first class.”

“Having been a Director in my last role and now seeing the world from a slightly different perspective again, I find leadership theory and techniques very useful tools..”

“I look forward to working with you again on the Action Learning sessions.”

Head of Asset Management

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