Successful Conclusion of a Management & Leadership Development Programme for Outlook Care, Essex, October 2014

Posted by: David Woollard

DWHRC, in collaboration with Amanda Cowan Consulting, recently concluded a Management & Leadership Development Programme for Outlook Care in Essex.  The Programme had run over eight months and was rounded-out with a celebratory follow-up session at Outlook Care's flagship establishment, Foxburrow Grange, in Colchester.  The photograph below shows the programme participants with their certificates, together with Amanda Cowan, David Woollard and Penny Taylor, CEO of Outlook Care:


 Some feedback from the participants includes:

"A really big thank-you for putting this valuable course together and investing your time and knowledge in me.  It has made a positive difference and I have very much enjoyed it...a programme I will easily recommend to anyone to complete".

"I feel I have really grown in confidence throughout the past few months. The course came at a good time in my career and having been in this particular post since July 2013, I now feel I own it rather than perhaps playing at it. I feel I need to repeat that actually - I have definitely grown in confidence and am much more self-assured.   I appreciate the way the course has made me self-reflect. This is uncomfortable at times, but it enables you to have a good understanding of what works for you and for others".

"It has been a pleasure to attend the course and I found that all participants were open and honest and extremely helpful to each other. The trainers were knowledgeable and presented well.  I have overcome the fall out of prior dark-side behaviour and encouraged the confidence of one of my team-members... I have engaged with others to understand joint needs and looked at ways to improve processes to assist the end users of my service".

From the outset, it was decided that a key element of the design of the programme should facilitate the “transfer of learning” to the real world, i.e. it should not be a purely classroom-based programme.  The final design of the programme therefore featured a number of different elements:

  1. A multi-directional feedback process at the start of programme to help each participant identify and prioritise their management and leadership development needs.
  2. A variety of self-assessment questionnaires, e.g. on leadership and communication style preferences and the dark-side of personality.
  3. Four taught classroom sessions on:
    1. Developing positive management and leadership skills.
    2. Managing, monitoring and reviewing performance.
    3. The manager’s role as coach.
    4. Managing change.
  4. Participation in an Action Learning Set, to address work-related or organisational development issues.
  5. Participation in a series of three telephone-based coaching sessions with a programme facilitator, carried out at different stages of the programme, i.e. one towards the start of the programme, one in the middle and one towards the end, primarily intended to address personal development issues.
  6. “Kick-off” and “follow-up” sessions, designed as “book-ends” to properly initiate and conclude the Programme. 

The kick-off session took place in February, which included a scene-setting session by Penny Taylor, Outlook Care’s CEO, with the four classroom sessions taking place from March until June.  The follow-up event took place in October, with the supporting Action Learning Sets and telephone-based coaching sessions happening at appropriate points along the way.

Feedback from all stakeholders was extremely positive - please follow this link to view a case-study of this project.



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