New Directions ILM Programme
Victoria Deane: Our journey started in 2011 with a meeting with our managing director, myself, when I was in the commercial training team, we didn’t even have a learning and development team at that point. We went up to the University and we spoke a little bit about our vision of finding managers for our business. That doesn’t mean to say that the managers that we had weren’t any good but I think they literally felt that they were the finished article. More than anything we knew that perhaps they weren’t and we needed to look after them, support them, develop them, but also start thinking about the future because we were really undertaking a massive growth spurt of the business.
Kevin Christie: There was an opportunity there, where Victoria was moving into a more people management role, to look at the impact of leadership management on that business. So we got together and started figuring out what we could do with her people to tackle some of the big ticket items for their organisation and just develop from there really.
Victoria: For people in our business that had that talent or had that opportunity to think ‘yeah, I think management might be for me’, but they didn’t perhaps have that exposure, and they didn’t have any awareness of how good they’d be as a people manager, so we put on a level 3 and I’m so excited to say that 100% of the cohort has been promoted since achieving their ILM level 3 in leadership and management.
Kevin: What’s absolutely key is to try and understand exactly what clients need, because our clients all need different things and one of the principals of the way we develop programmes, and sometimes we describe them as bespoke, but we’ll spend a good amount of time with clients to understand their culture, understand where they are within their business objectives in their business planning, so that we know exactly how to position the learning and development for the people that come on the programme and really looking at what that development work can impact their bottom line performance of their business, whether that’s increase profitability, whether that’s increasing market share, whether it’s making a better job of retaining good people. So we get close to clients in that way to ensure the development is exactly what they need.
Victoria: Kevin is an inspiration, he’s an excellent practioner, an excellent facilitator, and more than anything it’s an absolute pleasure to work with him and to align our business to the what is now the ILM programme here at New Directions. Yes it’s an ILM programme, yes it’s accredited, yes it’s the award and certificate of leadership and management, but it’s a New Directions model which means that it has value and it’s embedded in the day to day practices of our management team.
Kevin: We leave no stone unturned to make sure that clients are able to acquire qualifications if they want them. And what level people come out with and people who maybe haven’t studied at university for many, many years or maybe never have, so we break down those barriers and make sure that the development solution is vocational and that their actual aim, if they have to do a piece of work for an assignment, that it means something in the workplace as well.
Victoria: The difference that the programme, the difference that the leadership and management programme has on individuals is that they are self-aware. They are also able to see how best to manage their teams and I also think they start thinking about their leadership capability which is really, really exciting and realising their potential as individuals. And I think because we’re looking at how we manage our people, how we care for our people, which is emulated by Kevin as the facilitator, that there’s a link isn’t there to our culture as an organisation, the values that we have here at New Directions, so that ultimately that’s embedded into the course content and the course content changes, it’s changed every time we’ve run a programme because we evaluate the programme fully. So the University are keen to find out about what went well, what we could do differently, how we could improve and it’s never going to stop improving because of the questions that they ask and that how much they care.
Kevin: The satisfaction really is when you see the results of the organisation as well as individuals growing, so each one of that level 5 cohort where there were four people all had promotion towards the end of the programme, obviously hugely satisfying but seeing the individuals grow in confidence and talk almost a better management leadership language and questionably motivates the people that they’re working with and gets the best out of their performance.
Victoria: What I’m even more excited to tell you about is our second cohort that are still studying and finalising their assignments. We did a little check and after the 1st of April, 61% of that current cohort have been promoted into a team leader or management role. We are growing our own, and that’s down to our partnership particularly with the university, particularly with Sharon and particularly Kevin. We are so lucky as an organisation to be working with the University of South Wales.