Challenge: How to Upskill middle management to maximise workplace application potential
The challenge for a major industrial products company was to increase middle management’s strategic agility in the face of increased market pressures and heightened expectations from a broad customer base. Middle management required the right level of confidence and mindset for the organisation to succeed in an increasingly complex, uncertain and ambiguous marketplace. They needed upskilling to discern the business’s strategic imperatives, whilst becoming empowered to make timely decisions and rapidly execute on opportunities.
Workforce geographical dispersion combined with demands of the current operating environment made it impractical to take people out of the business for an extended period. Short 1-2 day courses typically don’t lead to discernible changes in mindset and behaviour unless coupled with other integrating activities.
Virtual Classroom – a Tailored Solution
Executive Perspectives developed a 12 week learning journey via the creation of a virtual classroom. This was combined with group syndicate exercises to keep the cohort focused on the outcomes. A series of strategy sessions and business simulation rounds culminated in an intensive ‘face to face’ workshop with Senior Executives to enable practical application back to the business.
Program Structure overview
- Strategy Know How Sessions tailored to the company and focused on applicability to current organisational issues and challenges.
- Customised Computer Business Simulation: Brought the learning alive as participants worked in Syndicate teams in a competitive market environment. Many issues and challenges faced by the organisation were mirrored. Real time application of new knowledge acquired in the Know How sessions was applied and debriefed. Decisions made were saved back to a cloud based processor enabling a seamless virtual experience.
- Collaboration Technology to successfully create the virtual environment:
- Webex for connecting to the group as whole
- Lync/Skype for screen sharing technology and virtual syndicate work particularly in relation to the business simulation
- Thread – Proprietary Learning Technology platform allowing for access of course structure and content in a social media style environment where collaboration is enabled
- Structured and comprehensive Leaning Journal: brought focus and discipline to the application outcomes required for each of the discrete learning modules embedded in the leaning journey.
After implementation, 96% of participants reported significant effectiveness improvement at work.
- One of the best opportunities to learn I have had in my career.
- A very useful application of strategy tools to a great simulation.
- Good fun and educational.
- Stimulating, entertaining.
- Useful way of importing information in a practical and fun environment.
- Very useful. Learnt a lot about myself and business acumen.
- Engaging and thought provoking. The simulation was a great idea to generate conversations around the strategy sessions.
- A great way to reengage with broader strategic business thinking that is often lost in day to day management.
- Great program for a study that is on top of your day job. I appreciated the tempo and ability to perform the tasks within the desired timeframes.