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Leadership Team Development and Skill Building

 

Overview:

The client, a large IT company approached Delta to explore how they could develop the skills of their Leadership Team AND strengthen the identity and teamwork within the team as well. The leaders were primarily IT professional who headed up project and department teams and had little or no Leadership training or experience. Delta was given a 'wide open' template to work from, with the client being available to invest serious time and dollars into what they felt to be a very important stage in the development of their leaders.

 

The Needs Assessment

The Delta Needs Assessment process included a series of steps over a 4-week period to identify the primary needs and key learning points required to give this team of leaders their best opportunity available to develop their skills and their team.

  • We conducted in-depth interviews with the Senior Leadership from the team.
  • We conducted interviews with the Human Resource Directors for the organization.
  • We distributed a Leadership Skill and Team Survey to all the potential participants.

 

Designing The Solution

Once the assessment process was complete, the Delta Design Team got to work and organized the outcomes from the assessment into a solution strategy to accomplish the objectives as outlined by the team leader and the organization HR department. Through our assessment analysis, we discovered a lack of continuity in leadership skill, style and attitude within the leadership team. We further discovered that the leadership team did not consider themselves a high-functioning team, with conflict and mis-communication rampant throughout the team. We began to develop a long-term training and development solution that focused on a series of 7 Primary Objectives:

  1. Develop and deliver a Leadership Development Program series that fully meets the unique needs of the Leadership Team.
  2. Introduce the Leadership Team to a consistent set of leadership principles, practices and tools.
  3. Increase knowledge and the value of the leadership skills/effective leadership behaviours of the participants.
  4. Provide the leaders with powerful, workable tools to apply immediately for increasing their leadership effectiveness.
  5. Strengthen the identity and increase the overall value of teamwork within the leadership team.
  6. Return and report measurable value to for their investment in this training series.
  7. Accomplish all these objectives with a high-degree of energy, enthusiasm and fun.

The Solution

Delta developed a 'Leadership Series' training program that was delivered to the team in a one-day format on a monthly basis. The series began and ended with a Leadership Team Development Program to gather the team around the strength of their teamwork, common values and a common commitment to developing their skills and leadership team excellence. Over the course of one-year, Delta delivered this training series utilizing a group of training professionals with a variety of skills and expertise in a specific sequence of Leadership Development Topics:

- The Fundamentals of High-Performing Teams -

- Understanding Contemporary Leadership Practices -

- The Leader/Manager Balance and Situational Leadership -

- Leadership Communication Skills and H.B.D.I. -

- Negotiation Skills for Leaders -

- Conflict Management and Resolution Skills -

- Facilitation and Meeting Management -

- Managing Change -

- Problem Solving Skills -

- Decision Making Skills -

- Performance Management and the Appraisal Process -

 

The Outcomes

As the Leaders entered the program series, there was a great deal of resistance and skepticism about the need or value for training that would take them out of the workplace. During the first program in the series, these attitudes changed dramatically and every member of the Leadership Team began to embrace the process and the value of the training. The sessions were high-energy and these was clearly a great deal of value being transferred, as the participants became engaged asking questions and working diligently to absorb as much as they could. Delta created a series of Application Strategies for the program series that produced some very exciting outcomes.

  • Each program in the series was evaluated for content and value by the participants.
  • Each Leader began a 'Leadership Project' at the beginning of the series. This project allowed the leader to identify a key area within their workplace scope they wished to improve, and their project was to apply the learning from the program series and report back after each session.
  • Personal Action Plans and Self Directed Learning Strategies allowed each leader to personalize their learning and make the most of applying what they had learned across all areas of their responsibility.
  • Buddy Systems allowed for the leaders to effectively support each other back in the workplace as they implemented changes in their style and action as leaders.
  • On many of the series topics, Pre and Post Skill Evaluations were conducted to enable the leaders and the client to measure performance improvement and the need for further changes.

 

The Follow-Up Process

Delta enabled a unique ongoing follow-up process to compliment this series of Leadership Training. Each program in the series ended with a specific focus on how the learning would be applied and the Leaders took away clear action plans for follow-up as outlined above. At the beginning of each new program the Leaders reported on and discussed how they applied the learning from the previous program and what types of effects that application had. To further reinforce the outcomes from the program series, Delta initiated a powerful follow-up process that included:

  • An on-line follow-up process that involved creating a specific Web Site for the Leaders and this Leadership series. In between programs, leaders could 'log on' and review the objectives for the entire program, download program multimedia presentations that supported their workshop handbooks, download post-program Publications that contained all the new insights and action plans the group created during the programs and engage in on-line assessments and evaluations from the program.
  • Delta designers and facilitators met with the team's Senior Leaders and HR Directors from the company after each program to debrief the outcomes and adjust the agenda and content for the next program in the series.
  • Each Leader received a Certificate of Completion for each topic in the program series.

 

The Result

Throughout the program series, our evaluation and assessment process clearly indicated that the program series was having a major impact on the participants. Observations from the team's Senior Leadership and the organization HR Directors supported the outcomes of the evaluations, indicating that the harmony, effectiveness and value of the Leadership Team had improved dramatically. Conflict was down, cooperation was increased, communication between the Leadership Team was greatly improved. On a final note: As a result of the success if this training series, the client organization has begun working with Delta to create similar program series to be delivered to other groups of supervisors and managers within the organization. It appears that the impact of performance improvement within this Leadership Team was noticed throughout the organization and everyone else "wanted in" on the value of this type of training initiative.