My Leadership Strengths partnered with a large national children’s charity to make a strategic investment in leadership capability closely aligned to their business plan.
A major UK children’s charity had a strategic need to build leadership capability across the organisation. With several hundred operational and office based managers in a highly distributed workforce, managers were struggling to deal with challenges including high staff turnover, limited resources and maintaining the high standards required by OFSTED. Investment in leadership development was piecemeal and varied considerably between functions, meaning budget was not aligned to business priorities. The first step was to identify priorities, which we did through work with the Chief People Officer and Executive team to build a Strategic Workforce Plan (SWP), closely tied to the 5 year business plan. A key recommendation was to invest in managers, by establishing clear behavioural expectations, providing on the job learning, and building a management development program.
A management competency framework (MCF) would underpin this work, which we designed and implemented in partnership with the client. The key elements of the work we led were:
- Establishing a Design Council: A representative group of stakeholders from across the organisation, which defined the design criteria and played a crucial role in decision making and building advocacy
- Specification & Competency Definition: We conducted a cohort analysis of capability frameworks and best practice to explore different design options to ensure the framework would be robust and meet the requirements
- Co-Design and Piloting: Testing early prototypes with different occupational groups was invaluable to shape the design, whilst getting managers curious about how the new MCF could support them in their role
- Implementation Plan: This was not simply internal communication. We developed a range of toolkits, guides, bite-sized learning sessions, briefings and an animation to really engage managers at all levels
- Embedding: After a successful launch, we set about integrating the new MCF into Job Descriptions; embedding it into the Performance Management process; creating a physical toolkit of competency cards; creating a suite of learning workshops and self directed learning activities; along with a flagship management development programme
“There was really good feedback about the Management Competency Framework. People described the tools and training to be really helpful’’Investors In People (IIP) Assessor
The outcome for the client is that they now have a powerful framework that is embedded across the employee lifecycle, really works for managers, and which is recognised as contributing to their strong Investors in People (IIP) and OFSTED independent ratings. At the most recent IIP ‘check in’ the assessor commented “There was really good feedback about the Management Competency Framework. People described the tools and training to be really helpful’’. There is real organisational advocacy for the MCF at all levels, including from the Board Trustees, who have commented:
‘’Very punchy and positive. Aligned with values and culture which is great. Also not complicated. Quite often see a competency framework that is so complicated colleagues get lost in it’’Board Trustee at the Charity
‘’I like the framework and that it is designed for self selection and analysis. It’s good to see the indicators for over and under use and very accessible development options. Easy to understand and use’’Board Trustee at the Charity
If you would like to find out more about how to define your needs, build a robust competency framework, or embed tools and learning to develop leaders in your organisation, you can follow our company page on LinkedIn or set up a time to talk us here