Tag Archives: team 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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Still thriving in times of uncertainty. RiverRhee Newsletter, January – February 2017

By Elisabeth Goodman, 25th January 2017

We are in the midst of change

Our readers will not need us to spell out the nature of the changes that they are currently facing!  Change brings uncertainty. Some of us will be quite relaxed and happy to wait for developments. Others will yearn for greater certainty, involvement and control.

enabling-navigators-of-change

Here are a few things that you might already be doing for yourself, and also some others that you could consider…

(RiverRhee works with managers and teams, so those are who we are targeting in this newsletter – but many of our tips can of course apply to anyone at work or in their home life.)

Look after your physical and mental health

We all have things that help us to feel better.  Some, like food, drink or going for a walk have short-term benefits.  Longer-term benefits could be gained from spending social time with colleagues, friends and family, focusing on doing your work to the best of your ability, or developing a new area of expertise.

taking-time-to-connect-with-nature

Connecting with nature on a bright winter’s day.

Volunteering to organise a team building activity, finding ways to help colleagues, joining a workplace representation group – these are all things that could help you to feel more involved and so better able to cope with the uncertainty around you.

(I myself do a range of volunteer work, and recently donated, through RiverRhee via the Work for Good platform to Red Balloon – Cambridge, a charity that helps young people who have been bullied or suffered other trauma which means they are no longer in full time education.)

Whatever the approach, it has to be the one that is best for you.  You will know what that is.

Remember what’s important to you – and focus on your strengths

I have recently written a blog on how to help people discover what they enjoy doing the most at work, and how they can do more of that.  Sometimes just concentrating on what you do well, your strengths, can provide a much needed oasis until the desert sands have

stopped blowing around you.  This kind of coaching is something that RiverRhee Associates can support.

The same can be true for a team: focusing on its current purpose, and on how to do that well, will help to channel people’s energy and develop good practices to work from, whatever the future might bring.  This kind of team building, with team diagnostics and workshops is something that we support, and indeed did so with a local team during December.

Connect with your internal and external networks

This is a really important role for managers, and one that they will be best able to focus on when their team has achieved ‘high performance’: when team members have attained a certain level of autonomy.  The team’s stakeholders (customers, suppliers, senior managers, professional peers etc.) will be an important source of information during periods of uncertainty.  They will also be key people to influence and negotiate with in terms of the team’s future.

Dan Ciampa, in a December 2016 article in Harvard Business Review (“After the handshake.  Succession doesn’t end when a new CEO is hired”, p.60) emphasises the importance of building effective relationships with key stakeholders for CEOs who want to effect change.  The same is true for any level of manager who wants to have some level of influence over the fate of their team, at any time.  As Ciampa points out, understanding the “political dynamics” at work is a key factor for success.  Another factor is understanding the values and working practices that might influence any decision making (the culture).  A manager’s awareness of these will grow the more she keeps in touch with her internal and external networks.

Take advantage of free external events and networking opportunities

Free events or networking meetings could provide a welcome distraction from brooding about uncertainty! They could also provide some very helpful information about the change, or other resources to help you cope with it.

We hope that our upcoming event at Babraham’s new conference centre, The Cambridge Building, on Thursday 2nd February – What is your relationship with time? – will provide you with all of these benefits, and look forward to seeing you there.  If you cannot make it, but would like to explore this topic and associated ‘personality productivity’ resources, do get in touch with me at elisabeth@riverrhee.com.

Spend time on personal development and on developing the team

Periods of uncertainty can also be a good time to focus on developing personal and team skills that will be valuable to make use of in the future – whatever that might be.

We have a wide range of coaching and training opportunities for managers and teams, several of which will be running in February and March, and for which we still have spaces available.  These include:

  • Introduction to Management – 14th-16th March
  • Introduction to Lean and Six Sigma – 21st February
  • The First Steps in Selling – 22nd February
  • Introduction to Project Management – 23rd February
  • Managing Change – 28th February

 

 

 

 

We also had a very positive response to our “Good Practices in Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration” on-site course with CILIP which we ran three times last November, and look forward to opportunities to run it again during 2017.

figure-4-5-mountain-rescue

Illustration for a team collaboration exercise from “The Effective Team’s Knowledge Management Workbook”, RiverRhee Publishing, 2016

“The foundational principles of Knowledge Management were clearly explained.”

“The interactive nature was welcome.”

“Delivery was excellent”

“Good, well structured.”

“Real life examples”

 

 

We look forward to exploring how we can help you thrive during these times of uncertainty

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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Developing your team in 2013. RiverRhee Consulting Newsletter, Jan – Feb 2013

Developing your team in 2013

When RiverRhee Consulting started up in 2009 much of the Western world was already experiencing economic problems. There has been little let up since.

Companies have a choice at this time to tighten their belts and/or to invest in the development of their staff in anticipation of better years to come.  Some of our clients have chosen to do the latter, and it is thanks to them that we can continue to offer a rich portfolio of training for the coming year.

Our January – February 2013 bi-monthly newsletter therefore focuses on our range of training, and how it could help you to develop your team in 2013.

Customer relationship management and change management

It may on first sight seem strange to discuss customer relationship management and change management in the same breath, but both of these activities require listening to and understanding your stakeholders in the context of your business objectives, and then shaping and delivering your products and services, communication, training and / or support accordingly.

Our revised UKeIG course Marketing and internal change: a case study based approach… , that Elisabeth Goodman is delivering in conjunction with Shaida Dorabjee, explores this association in more detail.

Our off-site Change Management courses have been amongst our most popular over the years.  Other courses scheduled for 2013 include:

As with all of our courses, we can develop tailored versions for delivery within your organisation.  Our course with CILIP is an example of one such offering:

We can also deliver an updated version of our original course for the CILIP East of England branch:

Operational excellence, Process Improvement, Lean and Six Sigma

Many organisations are looking for ways to ensure that they deliver quality to their customers whilst managing growing demands on their time, with limited resources (‘doing more with what you’ve got’).

The Lean and Six Sigma principles and tool-set are variations on approaches that people have used to improve the way they work over countless years, and they are continuing to evolve.

Our interactive workshops have been very popular, and have enabled our clients to identify ways to improve their processes and address their challenges, as they learn.

Our scheduled course for 2013 is:

Other courses a-waiting scheduling, available on demand or that can be customised for your needs include:

Knowledge Management

Although this concept has also been around for many years, project and operational teams still grapple with how to make the most of the internal and external insights and expertise available to them.  We have a course available through CILIP, and can also help people make the most of social media tools such as LinkedIn to meet this need.

Project Management

Project management techniques can be applied to individuals’ everyday work, to broader team goals, or to an organisation’s more strategic programme of work.  The approaches involved are not rocket-science – but with careful planning and on-going management, individuals, teams, and organisations as a whole can ensure that they achieve their operational and strategic goals to the desired time, cost and quality in as painless a way as possible. These are examples of the training that we provide or can customise for your needs:

Enhancing team effectiveness

Being able to help your team to work more effectively is what we are most passionate about.  All of our courses are variations on this theme.  But we can also address the effectiveness of your team as a whole: personal awareness, relationship building, team development and more.  Here are examples of the courses that we can deliver for you, including our first one to explicitly include MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator):

If you’d like to find out more

Do get in touch if you’d like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house courses, and how we can help you to enhance team effectiveness and create an exceptional team.  See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at elisabeth@riverrhee.com.

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