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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Dixons managers make the right connections
Article Type: Notes and news From: Industrial and Commercial Training, Volume 43, Issue 5
Twelve middle managers from UK electrical retailer Dixons learned more about their leadership styles in a two-day training program at Scalford Hall Management Training Centre, Leicestershire, UK.
The program, named “Leading for success”, was based on the principles of experiential learning, which is the process of making meaning from direct experience. The training aimed to help the managers to understand their own leadership style, identify where a change would bring benefits and set personal goals to apply their learning.
Experiential learning is centred on behavioural change. “This often involves people letting go”, said Jamie Richardson, part of the Dixons training team, which organised the event. “It ensures that members of their team can be used to their maximum potential and often requires the leader to go into some uncomfortable areas of his or her own behaviour. It is because of this very personal nature of the program that, by using an experiential form of development, a real and sustainable change in leadership behaviour can be made.
“The feedback individuals receive and the commitments they undertake are both personal and business related and therefore have more weight and meaning when they are transferred into the workplace; this is key to the success of the program, as all aspects relate to their implementation in their own work environment.
“The delegates’ feedback was very positive. They thought it was a superb way of putting real meaning into their learning, having first spent some classroom time understanding the theory behind the individual exercises and challenges.
“The delegates left truly understanding their own leadership behaviors and having received candid feedback from their experiential-learning co-ordinator. They were able to apply the behavioral changes willingly and eagerly back in their workplace.
“Using the experiential-learning facilities also brought some inspirational qualities to the day, giving the delegates the ability to take personal responsibility to make a difference to their parts of the business and their own career paths”.
Jamie Richardson continued: “Scalford Hall was a very easy and pleasant place to work. The delegates felt relaxed and well looked after. The staff were always willing to please and nothing seemed too much trouble. It was informal but professional”.
Dixons Group has sales of £6.5bn and more than 1,400 stores across the UK, Ireland, the Nordic countries, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Its companies serve more than 100 million customers across Europe every year.
The group puts a lot of emphasis on performance management, training, coaching and mentoring to identify and develop high-fliers. It offers more than 500 training and development options to employees.