This time last year, Azure had just started to undertake the first of a new signature leadership programme, designed to bring together the very best ideas from the hundreds of leadership development programmes we have run over the years. The Practical Leader Programme, is designed for aspiring leaders, middle managers, and those wishing to develop their skills in leadership and management, and as the name suggests, has ‘practicality’ at its heart. The first programme has now been completed, with participants having recently made high impact presentations, completed their assignments and gained their ILM accreditation. We are delighted by its success, and as well as the business benefits experienced by the participating companies and positive feedback received, we gained enough interest to commission a second and third programme.
As well as being able to learn and apply new skills and gain a qualification, participants were able to learn from those in similar positions belonging to other organisations, whilst making friends in the process! During their final presentations, participants told us how the programme had given them the confidence to make real improvements in their own areas of responsibility. Some of the stories we heard were truly inspiring. Positive changes the participants said they made included:
- A successful business case for a new member of staff to help overworked employees
- The atmosphere and performance of a team completely changing for the better through staff changes and motivation techniques
- New performance management processes being implemented, leading to performance issues being identified
- Training needs being highlighted and employees being developed accordingly
- Clear performance feedback processes implemented
- A new time reporting system being implemented, reducing in less problems from large amounts of ‘toil’ being accrued
- Close relationships being developed between managers from the same organisation on the programme, enabling them to support each other through an acquisition
11 participants, all with a range of management experience, and from a variety of organisations including accountants, insurance brokers, a charity, and a national healthcare technology provider, took part in the comprehensive programme lasting 11 months. As well as interactive training modules on a range of leadership topics, participants undertook a 360° feedback exercise, produced their own development plans and engaged in one-to-one coaching sessions with an accredited Azure coach. A couple of work-based assignments, an ongoing reflective journal and a final presentation ensured participants also received the ILM Level 5 Certificate in Leadership & Management, a degree level qualification that will help them stand out from the crowd, aiding their further leadership aspirations for the future. Many of the participants were also able to take advantage of LEP Skills funding.
Here’s what people had to say about Azure’s Practical Leader Programme:
“Thank you again for the last 11 months of the course. I found it extremely interesting, thought provoking and it absolutely gave me the tools and confidence to move forward.” – Programme participant
“We’ve certainly seen the benefit of the course. (Participant) has transformed her team and is doing a fantastic job.” – Manager of programme participant
“Very effective, delivered and explained extremely well. Gave me the required information to take some theories away and put them into practice.” – Programme participant
We are currently recruiting for a third programme, beginning in May. If you or anyone you know is interested in being a participant of the Practical Leader Programme with the option to undertake an ILM Level 5 Certificate in Leadership & Management, click here for more information, or here to send an enquiry.
Our sincere congratulations go to each participant – you were all fantastic and we hope you are able to continue to grow both as individuals and as leaders.