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Leadership in Management Assignments

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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.


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.


Improving Human Resources Effectiveness – 2

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

Topics Covered: 

International Automotive Distribution Company – Principal Client: Human Resources Director

Business Issue

The international automotive distribution business had recently de-merged from a larger multinational.  As the largest business entity, the new company wanted to develop its HR function to move beyond HR administration and be able to contribute to business effectiveness and performance.  There was an expectation that HR should exert greater influence to improve management practice and performance outcomes.  To establish the new HR role, a conference was organised to include all HR professionals from around the world and our assistance was sought to design and lead a programme of development.

How We Helped  

To assist the development of a new proactive HR role, we designed the conference programme to develop consulting capabilities, including the consultant’s role, the main elements of the consulting process, the consultant/client relationship and to improve the impact of the HR professional’s relationship management and influencing skills.  The HR participants also considered developing their marketing and communication capabilities and approach to managing change.

Outcomes and Results

A new HR role was agreed between the conference participants which reflected the aim of the company to have an HR function focused on performance improvement and organisational effectiveness.  Real company issues were identified for consultancy and changes in the HR/line manager relationship and participants practiced influencing skills and giving and receiving feedback.  Finally, change strategies were developed by the various HR disciplines and personal development plans agreed.


Career Development and Equal Opportunities Survey

February 25, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Leadership in Management Assignments - No comments yet

Topics Covered: 

Large Building Society – Principal Client: Human Resources Director

Business Issue

After a period of recessionary pressures followed by a return to some positive economic growth this large building society wanted to better understand the views of its employees in relation to the Societies’ policies and practices on career development and equal opportunities.  A survey was commissioned to cover the whole employee population to produce findings that would inform learning and development plans and investment.

How We Helped  

Initially we analysed the quantitative survey findings and produced a full report of responses, an analysis of career development and equal opportunities information and made recommendations for learning and development and organisational improvements.  Following this, we conducted some qualitative research using focus groups, to better understand the causes of the views and opinions highlighted by the quantitative survey.

Outcomes and Results

The Focus Groups enabled a cause and effect analysis to be developed and identified precise and robust recommendations to be prepared for a Board sub-group responsible for implementing change.  We recommended actions in relation to: executive leadership, building a performance development culture to be shaped by a framework for manager and staff development, specific manager responsibilities for people development and key topics for development in leadership and management.  Many of the recommendations were accepted leading to new initiatives in career management and policies for equal opportunities.


Developing H.R.’s Effectiveness

February 20, 2014 - In Assignment Portfolio, Leadership in Management Assignments - No comments yet

Topics Covered:

International Automotive Distribution Company – Principal Client: Human Resources Director

Business Issue

This distribution business had recently de-merged from a larger trading multinational.  As the largest business entity, the new company wanted to develop its HR function to move beyond HR administration and be able to contribute to business effectiveness and performance.  There was an expectation that HR should exert greater influence to improve management practice and performance outcomes.  To establish the new HR role, a conference was organised to include all HR professionals from around the world and our assistance was sort to design and lead a programme of development.

How We Helped  

To assist the development of a new proactive HR role, we designed the conference programme to develop consulting capabilities, including the consultant’s role, the main elements of the consulting process, the consultant/client relationship and to improve the impact of the HR professional’s relationship management and influencing skills.  The HR participants also considered developing their marketing and communication capabilities and approach to managing change.

Outcomes and Results Achieved 

A new HR role was agreed between the conference participants which reflected the aim of the company to have an HR function focused on performance improvement and organisational effectiveness.  Real company issues were identified for consultancy and changes in the HR/line manager relationship and participants practiced influencing skills and giving and receiving feedback.  Finally, change strategies were developed by the various HR disciplines and personal development plans agreed.


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