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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Training gets estates team on track
Lancaster University’s estates-management team – which recently oversaw a £180 million investment programme in new centers of excellence and student residences – has improved its internal and external relationships through a leadership-development programme.
Brathay, a people-development consultancy, worked with each individual’s beliefs, drivers and motivations to improve business and individual performance throughout the estates-management team.
Through a diagnostic consultancy process, Brathay helped to articulate the problem, the vision and the solution. One-to-one coaching sessions were then conducted to tackle any resistance to learning and development, to help individuals to identify their personal objectives. This gave the individual an opportunity to consider behaviors at a personal level.
Implementation of a three-day leadership-development programme as a group followed the coaching sessions, focusing on developing behaviours to meet the challenges facing the department and individuals. Following completion of the programme, the team developed its own vision of how it should be and appointed a project manager for its own development.
Mark Swindlehurst, Lancaster University director of estates, said: “The team at Brathay recognized that our timescales were extremely tight and that we needed to be in a position effectively to manage major redevelopment of the university site, but they were undaunted by these challenges.” “It was important for our estates team to take ownership and develop a clear plan for achieving the division’s ambitions, which is exactly what they have done. In the autumn term some of the new student accommodation had not been completed on time, but the whole team was there together, managing the situation and supporting each other, avoiding a potential crisis. They would not have done this before and students and parents were reassured at how the situation was handled. This is a really good example of how performance has improved in a very short time.”
Godfrey Owen, Brathay acting chief executive, said: “We pride ourselves in custom designing each programme to fit with the requirements of individuals as well as to align with business needs. Our experiential programmes reflect on experience, including participants’ real encounters from work, to ensure that learning is both relevant and long-lasting. We hope that, by improving individual performance, Brathay can help the estates team to continue to provide exemplary service to the university.”