Formed as a result of a Cabinet Office report, our client organisation came into being in 2008 as a result of the merger of the roles of an existing agency with two functions from a separate government agency (whose work continued). The agency has a total staff of 25,000 people.
The Project Context
In the context of a newly formed organisation that incorporated existing functions from another public sector agency, the Leadership Programme was a key component in delivering the new organisation’s leadership and management development strategy. It focused on developing the leadership capability of Senior Civil Servants in order to better deliver the agency’s business objectives.
The Leadership Development Programme needed to create a greater sense of accountability among senior managers, build on their capabilities and experience, and focus on the development of critical leadership skills and behaviours, including:
- Self-awareness and personal effectiveness
- Taking responsibility and carrying risk
- Leading in transition and leading change
- Strategic thinking – and making the space for it
- Innovation and creativity
- Engaging teams and partners
- Communicating better with teams, customers and stakeholders, the public, Ministers, Parliament and the media
The overall Leadership Programme was a 10 month development journey, to which participants dedicated an average of 2 days each month.
In addition to workshops, personal Breakthrough Challenge projects and Board Level presentation, the programme included 1:1 coaching, the use of MBTI® and FIRO-B®, and a bespoke 360 degree instrument around the agency’s Leadership Behaviours conducted both before and after the programme.
Team Coaching was provided via Action Learning Sets, each of which worked on a group project to influence key stakeholders and present recommendations for a strategic change across the whole organisation.
Evaluation and Results
The effects of improved leadership saw productivity increase by 35% in some areas, with operational teams reaching their targets. This was achieved through introducing new processes, greater team cohesion, use of coaching techniques to empower staff and by communicating a shared vision.
New recruitment processes resulted in a reduction in recruitment turnaround times, and improved capability planning provided consequent savings in staff costs. Three staff successfully applied for new Grade 6 posts within the organisation. One staff member directly attributed the Springboard Leadership Programme to his development of the skills and self-confidence he required to progress.
“Very helpful to step back from everyday tasks to analyse performance/developmental areas.”
“The most beneficial management programme against all others I’ve attended; I was able to use the elements immediately in the workplace which supported me with the changes I was experiencing.”
“I have really grown in confidence; this has been demonstrated in meetings and was shown on my 360 by my peers and direct reports.”
“A fantastic eight months during the most challenging months of my working life. I feel happier to come to work now.”