Tag Archives: learning and development

Setting your company up for success. RiverRhee Newsletter May-June, 2018

By Elisabeth Goodman, 28th May 2018

Our new partnership with The Innovation Practice to facilitate workshops on team strategy, behaviours and working practices

RiverRhee has been facilitating team building and development workshops on and off for several years now.  We recently facilitated one of these for a team at Red Balloon. The result, as Karen Schmiady (Head of Fundraising and Communications) says, can be “a highly motivating and inspiring day [with] many useful actions that will really make a difference.”

RiverRhee has struck up a new partnership with The Innovation Practice, which is proving very exciting!  Ludo Chapman of the Innovation Practice and I have been talking to CEOs, COOS and HR Directors in SMEs about how we can help them set up their companies for success.

Together, we are offering an enhanced package for senior management teams and members of their organisations.  Ludo Chapman and I have been talking to CEOs, COOS and HR Directors in SMEs about how we can help them set up their companies for success.  The result is that we are developing workshops that are tailored to the organisation and to its requirements.  They typically include one or more of the following elements:

  1. Shaping and articulation of your strategy (purpose, values, key performance indicators etc.)
  2. Agreement on your core behaviours  – how you will communicate and work with each other and with others outside your team. (This is supported by analysis of your individual and team strengths.)
  3. Diagnosis and enhancement of your current working practices – through observation, team questionnaires, and discussion.

Successful organisations combine well-articulated organisational strategies with good people practices

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) continues to provide valuable insights on the latest thinking for successful organisations.  Ranjay Gulati combines a number of roles with that of Chair of the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School.  His article “Structure that’s not stifling” in the May-June issue of HBR (pages 69-79), reinforces what we are aiming to do in our new partnership with The Innovation Practice:

Ensure clarity of purpose and direction

combined with

practices that enable people to be at their best

Ranjay Gulati refers to the established phrase “Freedom within a framework” as one way to describe this approach.  Essentially, if people understand their organisation’s vision, mission, purpose, goals, values, rules of working – whatever the relevant mix of these is for their organisation – then it provides them with a framework within which to operate.

The “freedom” component is about giving people the ability to make their own decisions about how they will operate within that framework.  The decisions can be to do with customer service (as the author describes for Alaska Airlines), with employee terms and conditions or with product innovation (as he describes for Netflix).

Although Ranjay Gulati does not say too much about the actual practices that would enable people to be at their best, he does make a few passing references to the importance of education / training (aka learning and development), as well as role modelling by senior managers, and making time for “after action” discussions and reflection.

 

Learning and Development can have a very real impact on an organisation’s bottom line

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege to participate as a judge for the category of Learning and Development in the finals of the UK Employee Excellence Awards.  Entries came from a variety of sectors and from large corporate organisations as well as smaller ones.

UK Employee Excellence Awards

What struck me was the passion of those presenting the entries for their awards – and these were CEOs and other C-suite managers, as well as HR professionals and individual team leaders.

The best entries were able to relate how their Learning and Development programmes were having a positive impact on their company’s bottom line and to the quality of the service they provided to their customers.  This positive outcome was in addition to enhancing individual’s personal and professional development, and their perception of being valued by the company.

The programmes described included ones for management and leadership skills and for professional and ‘soft’ skills for the whole organisation.  The participants also described varying approaches for performance management and review.

Employees were involved to a varying extent in the actual development of the programmes.  Some award participants also used external support to develop and initiate their programmes before taking them over in-house.

Could we help you with shaping and implementing your learning and development strategies?

Many of the organisations that we work with have had a slow start to 2018 as senior managers’ and HR practitioners’ attention has been on securing the latest round of funding, or dealing with relocations, major organisational changes and/or recruitment challenges.

We have seen knock-on effects for learning and development, which frequently takes a lower priority.  However, if you have a performance management / review process in place, your employees will be identifying requirements which may be going unmet.  Addressing these requirements will have a positive impact on motivation and retention, on helping your employees be at their best and, ultimately, on your organisation’s success.

We have experience in designing and implementing performance management processes, in carrying out training needs analysis, and in helping organisations to identify appropriate learning and development programmes.  These programmes could include any of our own in-house courses and workshops, but we would be equally happy to guide you towards alternative suppliers of face-to-face or online programmes.

Could we help you with this?

Do get in touch if you would like to find out more about RiverRhee, and how we can help you to create exceptional managers and teams.

See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at elisabeth@riverrhee.com or contact Elisabeth on 07876 130 817.

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As you prepare for 2018…RiverRhee Newsletter, Jan-Feb 2018

By Elisabeth Goodman, 8th February 2018

Snow drops in the winter garden

Snow drops in the winter display of the Botanical Garden, Cambridge

Many of our clients are in the midst of planning their objectives, and their learning and development goals for 2018.

So this newsletter is a reflection on some of the ways that RiverRhee’s learning and development resources have been evolving in the past year – in case this resonates with your needs.

Exploring mindsets as well as ‘how to’ processes

How we think about ourselves and what’s possible can have as great an influence on our capability for doing something, as having the right tools, skills and knowledge for doing it.

RiverRhee’s courses have evolved since our early days in 2009 to include more and more of the softer or people aspects of our work, as opposed to just the ‘how to’ process.

So for instance, our Lean Sigma training emphasises the mind-set of continuous improvement, and of seeking out problems so as to prevent them recurring, rather than rewarding fire-fighting.

Effective Project Management relies on creating and sustaining a high performing team, and of understanding the soft skills that people bring to it. These are just some of the challenges and opportunities of working in a matrix environment and on multiple simultaneous projects.

Managing Change is of course all about understanding how people are perceiving and experiencing change and how to respond to that to get the desired outcome.

And, Sharing Knowledge and Collaboration will be easier to do in a climate of good relationships and trust.

Our ability to:

are all as much a factor of understanding and working with the strengths of different personality types, as adopting smart personal and team practices.

(*Assertiveness is our newest course and is currently in development.)

Accessing the rich resources of Neurodiversity

In November 2017, we delivered a seminar on Neurodiversity with Carol Fowler, co-sponsored by Abzena and Babraham Bioscience Technologies.

We are now offering in-house seminars on this topic, with a view to building managers’ and HR professionals’ awareness of the rich resources that could be available to their teams.

How we recruit, interview, and support people with Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD and other cognitive differences will determine how well we can access the unique skills that they bring and ensure their well-being at work.

Going beyond introductory management skills

Delegates at RiverRhee's June 2017 Introduction to Management course

Delegates at RiverRhee’s June 2017 Introduction to Management course

Our 3-day Introduction to Management course (running next on the 13th-15th March) continues to be our most popular course.

With over 100 managers having now taken part, some of them are now looking for options to develop their skills beyond the introductory level.

We now offer a 30-minute follow-up call as an integral part of the course, as well as the one-to-one coaching that each delegate received during the course.

Our Associates are also available for further one-to-one personal coaching – to which we bring various specialisms such as dealing with Dyslexia, coaching in French, and transitioning to leadership roles.

In 2017 we added Transition to Leadership and Coaching Skills for Managers to complete our portfolio of resources available to managers beyond the introductory level.

Tailored in-house programmes

All of our courses can be tailored for in-house delivery.  In 2017 we worked with 4 clients to customise and deliver variations of our management and individual contributor courses for their staff.

These programmes included tailored versions of:

(*We were delighted to have Alison Proffitt join the RiverRhee team of Associates in January to support us with this and our other offerings.)

Concluding thoughts..

Hopefully there is food for thought there for you as you prepare for your learning and development in 2018.

Do get in touch if you would like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house workshops and one-to-one coaching, and how we can help you to create exceptional managers and teams.

See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at elisabeth@riverrhee.com.

 

 

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