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Business partnering

Engaging the business

We designed a bespoke HR consulting skills programme with a client to help their HR team make the transition from business partners to consultants.  This is a strategic shift in the HR service to support the new global operating model of the business.

The first workshop centered around helping consultants make plans to effectively engage key stakeholders.

It was the first time the team had come together for some time and so part of the opportunity was to create some shared learning objectives.

When we meet again in June we will be reviewing stakeholder plans and concentrating on those consulting skills that will make a difference to the team.

IEMA Conference

It might appear a little strange that we would attend the The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment Conference in London but our work around behaviour means that we become involved with a variety of organisations, occupations and professions.

IEMA auditors tend to be technical in background and focus.  Their credibility and confidence comes from knowing what to do and say.  However relying on this alone is limiting.  Effective auditors, much like effective consultants and business partners, understand they are influencing different outcomes and behaviours within the organisation they are working with.

Our work with auditors, consultants and business partners has brought about excellent results by blending technical and behavioural skills into an experience that enables participants to become more effective.

To read more see our case studies.

Getting the business behind training

How we get the cynics on board

One of the toughest challenges for getting a return on the investment made in development training is making it stick once people return to work.

Whilst the programme may have been excellent, and everyone will be clear about what they want to do back at work, it is hard for people to implement change without support or feedback in the business.

We go to great lengths to build good partnerships with our clients. We also work hard to get alongside line managers in the business - key stakeholders in the success (or failure) of development training.

If managers don’t understand the process, there is a danger they will not support or challenge people on their development plans. Worse, they might inadvertently conspire to sabotage the process, and more senior managers may meddle unhelpfully in the overall process.

We can overcome this problem and reap even greater rewards by involving managers in development programmes. We can involve them as facilitators, or invite them to input information, and network informally.

There are more exciting ways too - perhaps they can feel a little risky - but the pay-off is well worth the discomfort:

We’ve just run a programme where groups create their own presentations about their learning and then deliver this to a large group of managers, including Directors.

It can be pretty nerve-racking, wondering if the group will impress, because if they don’t the programme will surely be negatively judged and lose support.

But when a very influential and somewhat undecided manager leaves really impressed, the programme has a champion in the business that it didn’t have before … Perhaps the very best kind of champion.

This is experiential learning at its best. A meaningful challenge with the full engagement of the business.

Read related case studies here, and here.

How can you get the business behind development training?

Success!

We have just secured a big contract with one of our major clients. The contract is their personal effectiveness training framework and covers areas such as presentation, writing, influencing and media skills. As a result of the win we will be able to continue to provide their Influencing People at Work, Influencing Businesses and Introduction to Networking programmes.

We have also been selected to work with them to design and deliver a new programme called Business Partnering. They, like many other large companies, are adopting this approach with their internal support functions such as HR, Finance, Corporate Affairs and IT. We’re delighted to be able to continue our relationship with them, and especially to be involved in the Business Partnering programme.