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NewsBites - Oakridge Video

Keeping you informed - our last edition for 2015

Welcome to Newsbites, the final one for 2015. As you can imagine, this is a bumper edition with lots to share and some top tip giveaways too.

In this edition:

  • We take a tongue-in-cheek look at evaluating Mr S. Claus's leadership style and how Mrs Claus fits in with the business as a whole - read the article: A very telling tale of Leadership this Christmas
  • We look at evaluating the ROI of Leadership Development Programmes in our Blog - ROI - A question of Mindset, Skillset and Visualset
  • As it is the time of year for Performance Reviews we share our 7 Top Tips for Performance Conversations and provide insight into coaching for high performance
  • It wouldn't be a Newsbites without sharing a Coffee & Chat with a member of the team. We invite you to get to know Oakridge's senior consultant, Andy Fleet. Andy also features in our case study on team effectiveness with the great work he has done with AstraZeneca at its Avlon site.
  • And if you were wondering whether your team is a High Performing Team, we have created a handy score card for you to download and complete
  • Lastly, we remind you of our remaining two events this year - the Talent Management Think Tank on the 4th December and STRIDE on the 10th December, both in Manchester.

We do hope you enjoy this edition, thank you for taking the time to read it and we wish you a fantastic and prosperous 2016!   

Blog - A Question of ROI - Mark Burbridge

ROI - A Question of Mindset, Skillset and Visualset

At a recent Oakridge event, which we hosted with Mills & Reeve and invited leaders in their various fields of industry, we shared and debated some very useful conversations about the impact and return on the investment around leadership and management development programmes, including what ‘megatrends’ are impacting on business and how this effects leaders and ways of working.

My colleague, Brigit Egan, provided an insightful presentation on the recent research we at Oakridge conducted this year with public and private sector organisations to establish examples of good practice on Leader and Leadership Development. The white paper report is titled: ‘Contemporary Policy and Practice: Leader and Leadership Development’.

We share with you briefly here just some of the key findings in the report we discussed:
1. Leadership development programmes now are much more aligned to the needs of the organisation concerned, followed by creating a strong performance culture.
2. Programmes are less prescriptive and more individually tailored.
3. Coaching is now the most consistently employed leadership development activity.
4. Whilst annual spend on Leader and Leadership Development programmes is often substantial there is little evidence of measuring the impact on either the individual or organisational performance. 

My focus here however is on the overall return on investment, the ROI for organisations –as one of the key issues discussed during the event.

There has been such a strong focus on evaluation forms over the years and some good initiatives around three-month follow up evaluations, however it occurred to us that perhaps we have been looking in the wrong area for evaluation?

Most of our recent leadership and management interventions have been designed after working closely with the organisation to understand what the business is trying to achieve and what expectations are of ‘Thinking Leaders’. Teasing out key drivers around costs, increase in revenue, smooth reorganisations and customer focus has enabled us to align development discussions to core business needs.
Oakridge's ROI MATRIX
But what of evaluating the impact of the development?

This is where we fall back on the core Oakridge philosophy around driving three key changes through development interventions of Mindset -> Skillset -> Visualset-> 

From a ROI perspective (please cllick on our  ROI Matrix opposite to view in full) it is important to measure the impact on the business, as well as on performance from a team perspective.  Let me share with you MORE here including ASCOM's ROI success case study
Team Excellence - Teams should excel
Keeping people aligned on the key business agenda is a must for any team. It's doubly important when you are an enabling team supporting the goal to be recognised as a High Performing team.

Most members of high performing teams report that it’s fun and satisfying to work on collaborative teams because they are asked to contribute to decisions and processes – and in so doing, they learn a lot along the way.   

But how do we as managers and leaders go about developing this sort of ‘Team Excellence’ within our own teams – and how can we truly tell that it will make a difference?

As a manager or leader of a team there is a correlation between how you and your teams perceive each of your roles. If you can lead a team to break out the shackles of just ‘doing’ and begin to start ‘thinking’ about why they exist, who for and what their key goals are, then achieving great outputs can become a distinct possibility.

Encouraging Conversations between team members is imperative to keep the roles and vision clear. When a team engages in extensive discussions, everyone gets a chance to contribute … even the introverts ...
Do you associate with being an Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert - Dr Travis Bardberry explains more HERE 

During times of change it is imperative that teams work together to diffuse tension and friction and to create the right solutions together.

When AstraZeneca made the decision to close one of its manufacturing sites at Avlon near Bristol, the senior management team (SMT) identified that it would need support during the period of change and the Site HR and Training Partner looked to Oakridge for support.

Oakridge's senior consultant, Andy Fleet, developed a bespoke, flexible and evolving Team Effectiveness programme to meet the specific needs of the SMT and their colleagues at the Avlon site, with results surpassing expectations. Please read the Case Study of their remarkable journey as a Team HERE
Team Excellence Scorecard
  Complete our handy score card to find out:  

"The process we need to begin thinking creatively and to drive the team to achieve that step change."

There are some clear indicators associated with excellent teams that you can benchmark within your own teams right now. We have prepared a 5-Point Score Card to help you ascertain where you believe your team sits in the "Team Excellence" rating. Please print it out HERE and complete. It may be enlightening and provide you with an insight into the support and guidance you and your team may need for 2016. Alternatively, you may find your team is High Performing and that Christmas party might need added fizz and sparkle to celebrate!
Performance review conversations
As the season of Performance Reviews commences we are asked by many of our clients “How do we coach for high performance, and can Oakridge offer support”. Here at Oakridge we have a range of in house programmes which includes a one day Coaching for High Performance programme offering delegates a range of practical tools and techniques including:
  • Performance Coaching Skills such as active listening and questioning techniques
  • How to move conversations away from the “what” and into the “How” and “Why”
  • Introduce the 5/5/5 coaching technique
  • Human Performance concepts such as Error Traps to performance as a frame for coaching discussions
  • Introducing key ‘Stop Think Act Review’ STAR tools linking into Emotional Intelligence and how this can help performance
  • Explore key questions around personal development and the introduction of Oakridge Futures.
Download our 7 Top Tips for Performance Conversations HERE

If you would like to find out more about this one day in house programme please do not hesitate to contact Joanne Sharp –
  4th December: Talent Management Think Tank, Oakridge Centre, Manchester  

At this, our last TMTT for 2015 on the 4th December in Manchester, we will be exploring the problem that when talent is in short supply, business leaders see HR as a valuable strategic partner, but when the employment market loosens up, HR suddenly seems like a nuisance, because we don’t like being told how to behave – and we see no immediate benefit of complying.  We shall discuss the opportunity this provides and discuss some proposed solutions.

This is based on the recent articles published by Harvard Business Review - “Why We Love to Hate HR…and What HR Can Do About It” and Forbes 'HR needs to raise its game if it is to take its place in the front rank' 

Please note this event is by invitation only however should you wish to attend please contact
STRIDE FESTIVE WINTER EVENT 10th December, Manchester
  DATE: Thursday 10th December 2015
  TIME: 5.30pm - 7.30pm
  PLACE:  Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester 

We are hosting this event to enable leaders, decision makers and women at all levels to find out more about STRIDECome and join us for drinks and canapes as we celebrate STRIDE and network together and hear from inspiring guest speakers. 

Please note that places are limited at this event and by invitation only. Please contact should you wish to attend.
A very 'telling tale' of Leadership this Christmas

As it’s our final Newsbites of the year and we’re feeling a bit giddy at the thought of the festivities ahead, we’ve decided to take a tongue-in-cheek look at what is going on for Santa Claus and Mrs Claus in Lapland right now.

It’s a busy time of year for both of them and if it’s not hard enough trying to deliver excellence to a tight 25th December deadline, they’ve got the added pressures of working alongside their spouse.   
Feeling undervalued and underpaid, Mrs C is a pretty resentful and angry member of the team at the moment so, as you can imagine, things are a little fraught.

Some of you may remember that in 2012, Mr C was given a rather scathing leadership evaluation that cited its core problems as ‘lack of leadership visibility, poor succession planning and talent management, ill-conceived objective settings, inability to tackle issues of conflict and poor communication’.  

Not much has changed. Please read the full article HERE
Andy Fleet

Who has inspired you and why? 
My daughter Megan, who despite having a chronic lung condition is the bravest and most positive person I know. I am 100% bias of course, however she has been so brave and she has battled with her health from the first 2 weeks of her life. She inspires me every day, she smiles and makes the most of every day - and smiles through so much with “lets get on with it attitude”. On a business and leadership front it would be the amazing vision and forgiveness of Nelson Mandela.
What is your proudest achievement? 
After becoming a father. It would be working with patients on the NHS and British Lung Foundation Programme. The delegates showed such determination to attend the training, the idea was inspirational (to train patients to support patient decisions and work with the NHS to make it an ever better NHS and improve patient experiences). Our work made a real difference to peoples lives and was nominated for a National Training Award from NICE.
What is the one item you would never be without?  
Sorry two items, pen and paper. I like to make lists, make notes (and sometimes draw very badly).
Tell us about your online profile … what do you use and why? 
I am on LinkedIn and my profile provides clients with a bit of my background. My passion is all about maximising peoples potential, aiming to inspire people to apply the tools or learning (and ultimately help them to do an even better job). I am a trainer who has been a manager, a department head and had the privilege of being a company director (lots of practical experience to support the theory).
What is the most inspirational book you have read, or quote you would like to share?
Book: The 3rd Alternative by Stephen Covey
Quote: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t  you are probably right” Henry Ford

What tip would you like to share that has been invaluable to you? 
Smile at the world and it will smile back at you (we all have the power of choice, make the most of your life, choose to be happy, be happy).
What time of day are you most creative or inspired? 
I love the morning.
Are you a coffee or tea person? 
Tea (and sometimes a coffee)

OAKRIDGE BLOG: Leadership Evaluation Of S. Clause

FORBES. COM - 3 Signs Your Leadership Style Is Too Tough 

LINKEDIN PULSE: Dr. Travis Bradberry: Are You An Ambivert?


YOUTUBE:  What Makes a Great Leader? Daniel Goleman and Harvard Business Review

  DOWNLOADS:   Please contact should you require more information.
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