Co-op leaders are “in the zone”

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 6 September 2011



(2011), "Co-op leaders are “in the zone”", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 43 No. 6.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Co-op leaders are “in the zone”

Article Type: Notes and news From: Industrial and Commercial Training, Volume 43, Issue 6

As part of its organizational development, The Co-operative identified the need to focus on driving consistent development of its top 500 leaders. But how to reach this diverse and dispersed group, and challenge, motivate and support them?

The Co-operative and e-learning company Kineo teamed up to address that challenge through the leadership-development zone, an online portal that serves as a focus for leadership development.

The Co-operative recognized the need for an online portal to act as a focus for its leadership development. With this in mind, it commissioned Kineo to help it to realize what this could be like. Over a nine-month journey, The Co-operative and Kineo teams collaborated to develop the requirements together, with a range of internal business partners.

Moodle was seen as the ideal solution for several reasons:

  • open source means a cost-effective start point with no on-going user-licence fees;

  • the open-source nature enabled Kineo to adapt the way Moodle worked with content creation, publishing, search and display;

  • Moodle houses and supports blended learning solutions effectively;

  • mechanisms for feedback are provided, such as surveys and polls; and

  • Moodle is flexible and scalable and so provided a solution that could meet current and future needs.

Within the first three months of launch up to 50 per cent of The Co-operative’s senior leaders have made use of the portal, and that number continues to grow. Key to achieving and sustaining this success is ensuring the site is actively managed and marketed. This was factored in from the outset.

Mark Harrison, Kineo director and consultant to the project, explained: “We could have ended up with a well-presented website with useful content that nobody looked at. This was identified from the start as a risk by The Co-operative team behind the project and so together The Co-operative and Kineo and came up with an approach that means there is a constant draw to the site … The Co-operative is using working groups to identify and help to design and develop the topics and so everything on the site is fresh, relevant and important.”

Commenting on the overall project, Jackie Lanham, director of group resourcing and development at The Co-operative, said: “The project has surpassed my expectations. The leadership-development zone has acted as a real catalyst to the formation of a learning culture in The Co-operative. Easily accessed learning at the point of need enables our leaders to be the best they can be.”

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