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Improving Human Resources Effectiveness

March 6, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Leadership in Management Assignments - No comments yet

Topics Covered:

Worldwide Express Distribution CompanyPrincipal Client: Human Resources Director

Business Issue

The Human Resources Director wanted to improve HR Managers’ impact and effectiveness in the business.  The opportunity of a worldwide HR Conference was identified to run a large scale Effectiveness Workshop.  The aims were to consider the business context, HR’s role in enabling success and the implications for personal effectiveness.  Other aims included: reviewing communication and promotional activities within the business, examining the consulting process, reviewing HR/client relationships, developing influencing skills and sharing best practice.

How We Helped  

We designed a full day conference programme that included some pre-conference diagnostic work for participants.  The programme was agreed and addressed the business context together with current research about the financial benefits of effective people management and HR’s role in building successful organisations.  Working sessions examined the present role of HR around the international operations of the business and then considered communications and marketing, the HR consultancy process, HR/client relationships and influencing skills.

Outcomes and Result  

Fifty seven managers attended the conference from the worldwide country operations.  The business research was well received and stimulated some lively debate about how the HR community could improve its business impact.  The working sessions generated outputs that many managers said would help them work more effectively with line managers.


Team Leader Development

March 6, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Leadership in Management Assignments - No comments yet

Topics Covered:

Major Investment Management Company – Principal Client: Head of Human Resources

Business Issue

Investment Management team leaders had traditionally been appointed for their professional and technical success.  Executive management had identified the need to improve the managerial capabilities of the team leaders, especially in relation to managing people, individually and in teams.  Specific development areas included: the role of leadership in management, managing performance, giving and receiving feedback, building relationships with their team members and across the organisation with other functions, team effectiveness and shaping culture.

How We Helped

Initially, we met with key senior executives to discuss their expectations of the intended programme and obtain their views.  Following this diagnostic phase, we designed a two module programme of three and two and a half day’s duration.  Each module was designed for a maximum of ten participants with a 4-6 week interval to allow for some digestion of learning between modules.  After gaining agreement to the design and topic content of the proposed programme, we were asked to run the modules for two streams of managers.

Outcomes and Results

Module one commenced with some initial team building among the participating managers to enable learning during the programme and lay foundations for further team development.  Key learning sessions  were: personal organisation and managing others, leadership in management, leadership style, motivation and motivational analysis, communicating work requirements and leading team development.

Module two continued to develop learning and practice for managing teams and included: assertiveness and influencing style, influencing groups and individuals, managing conflict constructively, communication, giving and receiving feedback, managing performance and coaching.  The coaching element of the programme comprised of an overview of coaching, performance improvement and development planning, and coaching style to give managers a flexible approach.  Practice coaching sessions were undertaken using real case examples brought from work.


Talent Review, Personal Development and Coaching

March 4, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Talent Management and Personal Development Assignments - No comments yet

Topics Covered:  

Worldwide Banking Corporation – Principal Client: Senior Division Head

Business Issue

A senior divisional Head of Operations had determined that he had arrived at a time in his career when he wanted to take stock of accomplishments and review opportunities for further development as a basis for planning the next steps in an already successful career.  Supported by his more senior management, we were requested to design and provide a Personal Development and Coaching Programme.

How We Helped

The Programme consisted of two phases: talent review and assessment followed by a series of coaching sessions.  The talent review involved an in-depth structured career development discussion which covered autobiographical and career history, personal ambitions and aspirations, current development areas and aims and capabilities in relation to a range of general management competencies.  The career development discussion was supported by a number of psychometric and behavioural inventories.  After analysing all the data, we provided a feedback session to present and discuss the output of the talent review which included a summary of strengths and development opportunities.  This was followed by a development planning session to agree an overall development strategy and development objectives.  This development plan provided the basis for the coaching sessions.

Outcomes and Results

The development plan was shaped as aims were achieved during coaching meetings and longer term goals were established and activities commenced for their accomplishment.


Board Workshop Programme

February 27, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Strategic Change and Organisational Effectiveness Assignments - No comments yet

Topics covered: 

European Moving Services Company – Principal Client: The Chief Executive

Business Issue

Following a reorganisation, a new executive team was given enlarged responsibilities for a bigger geographical area.  The Chief Executive aimed to establish foundations quickly to create a growth strategy and wanted to bring the executive group together to discuss the critical opportunities and agree the key elements of a framework for running the business.  In particular, a new vision for the business and its people was identified as important following a succession of changes.  It was also critical that the group of executives leading the business were developed into a leadership team which would command respect and engage the next levels of management and communicate the new direction to the whole company.

How We Helped

Initially we held individual meetings with executive team members and developed an agenda for discussion with the CEO.  This included our recommendations for objectives and session design for a Board Workshop Programme.  After getting further input, we developed the workshop programme objectives and session content and obtained agreement for the complete design.  Then we facilitated the Board Workshop, gained everyone’s contribution and collated the decisions generated by the sessions.

Outcomes and Results

A new sense of common purpose was established among the executive team and this, along with inputs about the type of organisation the company aspired to be contributed to the creation of a new vision for the business.  Executive accountabilities and interdependencies were considered and grey areas clarified.  Guiding principles were developed to shape organisational behaviour and service delivery to enable the sustainable achievement of good performance.  A new set of performance measures that were relevant to the whole organisation were also identified for further development.  A review of strengths and weaknesses was completed in relation to the performance measures.  Finally, a short term development plan was agreed for widening the ownership of the new vision, address the priorities for development and commence the implementation of change.


International Conference

February 27, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Strategic Change and Organisational Effectiveness Assignments - No comments yet

Topics covered:          

International Automotive Distribution Company – Principal Client: Chief Executive

Business Issue

Following a de-merger from a broad based multinational, this newly independent company wanted to test and develop its business strategy with its international management leaders from around the world.  It was very important to gain commitment to the new direction from this group of executives.  Also, the executive team wanted to enable each regional executive to recognise the benefits of being an independent organisation with the opportunity of developing a stronger and clearer presence in their local markets.

How We Helped

An international conference was scheduled and we were asked to assist with its design and provide focus with facilitation.  This involved a series of meetings with members of the top team and some regional executives to identify and shape the strategic issues for consideration and potential development.  We proposed a design for the working sessions in the conference programme and with the executive team agreed the details of each session’s working process.  We also helped the Chief Executive with the final preparations of his introductory talk.  Then we worked with executive team members to facilitate the two-day conference.

Outcomes and Results

The main strategic opportunities were discussed and common global themes informed key elements of the new strategy.  Company common purpose was clarified and strategic goals identified and developed.  Also the operating style of corporate head office was reviewed in relation to how it could foster team work and innovation across the international organisation.


Executive Workshop and International Senior Management Conference

February 27, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Strategic Change and Organisational Effectiveness Assignments - No comments yet

Topics covered:

Information Systems (IS) Division of Multinational Automotive Distributor – Principal Client: Information Services Director

Business Issue

Historically, this IS Division had provided what was expected of a support function.  The new IS Director and colleagues on the executive board wanted to raise the profile of IS and its contribution to the business.  Many areas of the organisation would benefit from improved information delivered in a timely way to the points of decision making.  In particular, it was felt that customer service and supply chain performance could be made more effective and efficient through better IS.  It was also expected that project management could  be more easily executed and that innovations could be gained from a more proactive approach.

How We Helped

Initially we worked with the IS Director to scope the aims for an executive workshop to involve the top IS executives in shaping the future purpose and direction of the Division.  Afterwards, we designed the programme and led the facilitation of the workshop.  Then, we designed and provided facilitation at an international conference involving the senior management from around the world in the planned change.  Subsequently, we designed and ran some working groups to develop the detail of the new strategy and a new measurement framework to improve contribution and shape a new relationship with the business.

Outcomes and Results

The executive of the Division and the senior international management were involved and helped with building a new framework and strategic direction for the Division.  Also the details of the new strategic purpose and mission, together with critical success factors, key performance indicators and a set of competencies were developed for implementation in the management of divisional activity.


Strategic Board Workshop – 2

February 27, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Strategic Change and Organisational Effectiveness Assignments - No comments yet

Topics covered:

Large Transportation and Moving Services Company – Principal Clients: Chief Executive and Human Resources Director

Business Issue

With the appointment of a new Chief Executive and other changes to the Board of this UK and Ireland Company, a new strategic focus was required for the top team.  There was a need to establish common purpose and determine how the business areas would contribute to the overall goals of the Company.  Other issues to be clarified and agreed related to executive accountabilities and the key management processes to achieve operational effectiveness.

How We Helped

Initially we met with all the Board members individually and interviewed them about their views of the critical strategic and organisational issues.  Following this we designed a Board Workshop programme to discuss and agree with the Chief Executive.  We prepared the detailed sessions within the agreed objectives and programme timetable and  communicated these to the Board members and then facilitated the Workshop.  Finally, all the Workshop decisions were collated for Board implementation.

Outcomes and Results

A new Company purpose was confirmed which included the style and manner of how the business would be run and interact with its stakeholders.  The focus of each business area contribution was agreed and accountabilities aligned to the overall purpose.  A framework of critical success factors and key performance indicators was outlined to ensure the business areas and functions could measure achievements in a coherent way.  The major operating processes were reviewed to ensure effective executive leadership and control of revenue growth and profitability, utilisation of assets/cost management and reward management.  Finally, a medium term development plan for the next eighteen months and a short term action plan for the next three months were agreed.


Senior and Middle Management Leadership Development

February 27, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Leadership in Management Assignments - No comments yet

Topics Covered:

Information Systems Division of Financial Services Organisation – Principal Clients: Head of Human Resources and IT Director

Business Issue

Following a merger of two financial organisations, the Division aimed to improve its overall effectiveness by developing senior and middle managers together and in particular, focus on improved service and responsiveness to the business.  Other aims included better productivity through improved planning and objective setting, increased efficiency by raising accountability for cost and quality management and improving communication between IS managers to gain greater harmonisation of effort to achieve business goals.  The development aims were set against the background of the recent merger, where the cultural differences were most prominent between the two IS organisations.  The development programme was planned to foster cultural integration.

How We Helped

To accelerate the design and development of the programme, the client held a design day to discuss the learning aims and anticipated learning content required to meet the managers’ development needs.  After the design day discussions, we responded by producing a development programme consisting of two modules, the first of three days duration and the second of two.  Each run of the programme was to be attended by ten managers.  The first module focused on leadership and motivation and the second on communication and influencing.

Outcomes and Results

After the development of the programme was completed, we were asked to lead its delivery with the support of internal staff.  The first module addressed the learning styles of participants and then focused on leadership and the role of the manager in a business organisation.  Participants considered their leadership styles and how they could improve their impact in motivating and engaging people in common purpose.  Adapting to the different needs of individuals to enable the most effective leadership approach was a key learning topic.  The second module focused on communication and influencing capabilities to support people management and also to develop more effective client relations with business managers.  Further leadership development was completed with an emphasis on leading and developing teams.


Senior Management Leadership Development – 2

February 27, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Leadership in Management Assignments - No comments yet

Topics Covered: 

Large Financial Services Group – Principal Client: Head of Management Development

Business Issue

This large Group wanted to revitalise its approach to leadership and management development including its succession planning process, to enable the implementation of a new business strategy.  A new group wide competency framework had been created to serve as a foundation for building better management capability.  Management Development had a history of success in the organisation and it was expected that the new approach would establish a development culture that included an active approach by managers to managing performance.

How We Helped

We worked with the new competency framework using level five competencies (the highest level) to design a Senior Management Development Programme of three modules, each approximately three days duration, covering business, personal and managerial effectiveness.  The broad concept of the three modules was for managers to: develop their knowledge of the external environment and business market for their industry;  develop a better knowledge of themselves – personal capabilities and interpersonal skills, and to develop the leadership and managerial capabilities to deploy their business knowledge and personal capabilities in engaging their people in achieving high performance.  After the design and development of the programme, we were asked to lead delivery.

Outcomes and Results      

Over a three year period one hundred and twenty senior managers from across the Group completed the programme.  Business topics included the competitive environment, strategy, shareholder value, managing change, process management, market analysis and building effective organisations.  Personal topics included decision making and judgement, communication, developing self-awareness, working with others and organisational culture.  Leadership topics included direction setting, strategic, inspirational and operational leadership, team effectiveness, influencing style and leading change in customer orientation.      


Senior Management Leadership Development – 1

February 27, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Leadership in Management Assignments - No comments yet

Topics Covered: 

UK Subsidiary of Worldwide Express Distribution Company – Principal Clients: Chief Executive and the Human Resource Director

Business Issue

A UK subsidiary of a relatively newly integrated international express distribution company wanted to develop their senior managers reporting to board, and the next level managers.  The overall purpose was to develop managers’ business understanding and managerial capabilities.  Specific learning aims involved:  business direction and strategy, how worldwide marketing, finance and administration operate, business planning and the cascade into departmental objectives/budgets and individual objectives.  Managerial capabilities to be developed were identified as: leadership effectiveness in performance improvement, developing others and team development.

How We Helped  

Initially we conducted interviews with the directors and then ran senior manager focus groups.  This enabled us to build a detailed understanding of the development needs and how the content and style of a business leadership development programme should be designed to meet such needs in the prevailing company culture.  We designed the programme to cover:  the competitive environment and business strategy, business planning and financial awareness, marketing, supply chain and facilities management, managing change, leadership including leadership style and leading team development, coaching for results and creativity and performance improvement.  Learning review meetings were held three months after the main programme.

Outcomes and Results 

Three development programmes were delivered followed by three learning review meetings.  Twelve senior managers attended the first programme followed by a group of twelve next level managers and finally a group of fifteen next level managers.  The development was well received by the participating managers.


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