Last week I attended the Training Journal summer conference. A selection of winners from last year’s TJ awards explained what they’d done to transform their organisations, and along the way, win a significant award.
The presentations were (mostly!) great, and very varied: the organisations presenting included housing, health, engineering and a football stadium, while the projects ranged from apprenticeships to leadership development, via learning transfer and customer service. But what really interested me was the similarity between these award winning organisational development projects.
All of the programmes were essentially culture change programmes. Most of presentations explicitly mentioned the need to change their organisation’s culture - to be more performance driven, more customer focussed, more innovative or whatever was the focus of that intervention.
And all of the programmes seemed to use a two stage model of organisational change: stage one was to identify a small group of people who were keen to live the new culture. Sometimes these were explicitly recruited as change champions, sometimes they were invited to learn to be internal trainers, sometimes they were just the early adopters who took part in a pilot programme. But in every case, the success of this first phase meant that phase two, the bigger roll out, was a resounding triumph.
For me though, the very best bit of the day was hearing the genuinely life changing effect these programmes had had on individual change champions/internal trainers/early adopters. Some of them were there to tell their stories and their stories were truly inspirational – Lucy and Nadine especially, thank you!
Once again I’m judging the leadership awards this year – do contact me if you want to know what makes an award winning entry