We have a great deal of experience, and a long track record of excellence, in designing and delivering bespoke education and training programmes.
We know that organisational needs are often unique to a specific set of circumstances and individual context. We take the time to understand your learning requirements and to get to know your organisation and its culture in order to create tailor made courses that meet your needs.
NHS Wales Finance Academy
Working together with the NHS Wales Finance Academy, we’re helping to facilitate organisational change in Wales’ key healthcare institutions.
We’re helping finance leaders to move from arbitrary targets and annual budget cycles to more progressive forms of supporting system improvement and patient care, helping finance to flow across organisational boundaries.
In 2018, we began working with the NHS Wales Finance Academy to deliver an Executive Education programme for aspiring and Deputy Finance Directors. Finance Directors play an important role in propelling positive change across the organisations that they lead, so it was imperative they had a comprehensive understanding of the complex and integrated system that they manage. Cardiff Business School were tasked to deliver a programme that equipped the carefully selected cohort with the expertise needed to take on that challenge. The programme has involved two cohorts so far – the first cohort started July 2018 and the second cohort started in September 2020.
We designed and developed a bespoke programme working closely with Rebecca Richards, Director of the Finance Academy, to design and develop a bespoke programme of academic insights on financial leadership. The aim was to give the delegates the means to be able to apply their newfound knowledge as quickly as possible when back in their workplace. The programme was a mix of facilitated class-room sessions, personality profiling, executive coaching and course reading.
The outcome was a series of education sessions tailored to the organisational context within NHS Wales and aligned to their People, Innovation, Partnership and Excellence strategies. Over the course of eight sessions, our team of experts covered leadership, healthcare, innovation and finance, before a final phase of personal development and reflection.
Some of the topics included in the programme were:
- understanding the healthcare context
- value based healthcare
- understanding you
- systems leadership
- realising the potential of the team
- strategy and innovation
- innovation and commercialisation
- developing critical relationships
- corporate governance.
These were delivered by senior academics at Cardiff Business School. Feedback from the first cohort was very positive with participants commenting:
- "Resilience session was useful and good learning."
- "Masterclass sessions have been very useful."
- "Content gave lots of food for thought."
- "Good mix of theory and speakers".
In 2019 following a meeting with Sarah Lethbridge (Director of External Relations and Executive Education, Cardiff Business School) and John Parry-Jones (Business Manager, Executive Education), the Executive Education team designed a bespoke expert lean programme for Companies House. Companies House needed to develop a new team of change agents with a view to achieving Continuous Improvement (CI), self-sufficiency and longevity of purpose.
A programme was designed that ran over 12 one-day sessions. Delegates who successfully completed the programme were able to obtain a level 2a of The Lean Competency System accreditation.
The following zones of practice were covered:
- excellence in leadership
- high performing teams
- capability that delivers
- effective and efficient processes
- delivering results
- customer focus.
The aim of the programme was to help the change team successfully move through the different levels of the Companies House CI Maturity Matrix and build their CI competence so that they would be able to train others. All of the training materials were handed to Companies House for their own internal use as part of the programme.
The team were educated over a year with intense bursts of learning each month. There was an expectation that delegates completed a series of homework tasks between sessions, some of which were assessment based and some of which were shared in class.
Also included in the programme was a site visit to Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water. This provided an opportunity to learn about the deployment of CI in another organisation, giving the opportunity to compare and contrast, and to generate new ideas. The whole programme enhanced the cohort’s understanding and practice of lean and CI theory, whilst providing them with rich opportunities for reflection and double loop learning.
The programme was run by Sarah Lethbridge and her team of lean and leadership experts. All the sessions were recorded using Cardiff University’s state of the art Panopto recording system, so that participants could play back material when needed.
The final presentation session was due to take place earlier in 2020 but unfortunately Covid brought things to a premature end – hopefully there will be an opportunity to celebrate the delegates’ progress when we are allowed to be together again.
Feedback from attendees was very positive with delegates finding the sessions ‘really enjoyable and interactive’, ‘..really useful things to take back to CH’ and ‘...well structured’.
Th 21st Century Leadership Programme was run in collaboration with BT for Academi Wales (formally Public Sector Management Wales). Delegates were provided with an individual psychometric assessment and coaching followed by a three-day residential event included inputs from academics, practitioners, trainers and public sector leaders.
Access to a bespoke electronic portal enabled access to news and information updates as well as the facilitation of the group to become a learning community, prior to a one-day follow-up event designed by the group to leverage a collaborative challenge.
These two programmes, Power of Positive Leadership and Power of Positive Management, involved a range of core and elective modules delivered over three-day blocks by our staff and external trainers. Participants were required to complete a learning log and identify a 'Make a Difference Challenge'.
Professional interviews were conducted with either their line manager or a coach we provided. Learning was accredited by Continuing and Professional Education (formerly The Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning), enabling delegates to receive Cardiff University credits.
Principality Building Society
Work began when we met with a core team in the Society to assist them in the design of their Continuous Improvement (CI) programme.
We spent several days visiting many different departments and branches of Principality Building Society to better understand their particular learning requirements. A two-day programme was then created to train over 150 members of staff with some of the essential CI skills needed to start practising CI on an organisation-wide basis.
We helped the team to develop a series of exercises which formed part of the all staff road shows, to communicate the importance of CI to the whole organisation. We continue to assist Principality on their journey by providing them with an expert CI programme for their core change agent team, leadership coaching and train the trainer activities for their learning and development team.
The Lean Fundamentals of the global Lean Learning Programme involved working with Nestlé HQ staff to design a two-week learning programme which prepared their change agents with the necessary knowledge needed in order to embark on their Lean journey.
We have delivered the programme in three markets – Europe (five cohorts), USA and Asia. The programme focused on the evolution of Lean and the comprising elements of holistic Lean Enterprise Systems and was delivered using a variety of simulations and exercises. Later iterations of the programme included a focus on Lean leadership.
Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water
Fresh from winning an international award for their work in innovation, Welsh Water asked us to help develop innovation capacity across the organisation. The result was a bespoke five-day Embedding Innovation programme.
The first four days included knowledge transfer and exploration in the morning and a practical innovation work-stream in the afternoon, giving participants work on practical company improvements. The fifth day facilitated the process of embedding tools and methods throughout the whole organisation.
For more information about our custom programmes and how we can help your organisation, please contact Sarah, Hannah or John.
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