29 Aug 2018
Foundations of Management

Foundations in Management by Mitchell Phoenix – 4 days down, 1 day to go!

Having recently joined Mitchell Phoenix, I enrolled onto the Foundations of Management programme to achieve a deeper understanding of the way it works, the content and observe Kevin’s delivery style along with the delegate response and interaction.

Beyond that, how much more would I actually learn about the fine art of management with 25 years’ experience already under my belt? There was an element of ‘old dogs….new tricks…’

With most of the clients and delegates I’ve engaged with since joining it’s apparent that the ‘Governing Change’ programme is what Mitchell Phoenix has become famous for over the years.

Well, let me share a bit of background to the ‘Foundations in Management’ programme.

It was launched in 2012 to fulfil requests from regular clients whose senior leaders had benefitted from the Governing Change programme. They wanted a development programme, with all the benefits of the Mitchell Phoenix proposition, which could be cascaded down to their emerging and key middle managers. Managers who they recognised would play important roles in the future of their respective businesses.

Much of the training content used to put together the ‘Foundations in Management’ programme is ‘borrowed with pride’ from ‘Governing Change’. What distinguishes the two programmes is the skilful way in which Kevin delivers the content pitching it in a relevant way and at an appropriate level for the delegates.

Having now completed 4 of the 5 workshops, the benefits are exceeding my lofty expectations!

Day 1 enlightened us with the cornerstones of time management.

  1. Be prepared (Preparation = 90% of success)
  2. Be concrete with all forms of communication
  3. Delegate (Up as well as down)
  4. Be decisive (Procrastination is the thief of time!)

Day 2 was all about improving people performance, always a favourite of mine!

I was reminded that a leader needs to be an ‘animator’ and there are a number of important tools to support this, gaining a flow of ideas through a brainstorm, communication with purpose and a clear intended action, dealing with criticism, acknowledgement and recognition are key sources of motivation. I now say ‘Yes’ more frequently than ‘Yes, but…’

The biggest revelation on day 2 for me, was discovering the ‘open question’ is the strongest tool when in a performance-growth or coaching situation.

Day 3 focussed on becoming a leader, starting with a look at our own leadership profiles – always makes for interesting reading!

I found it really useful, having such a vast topic defined simplistically as ‘creating an environment in which people can excel’ which is then governed by four principles:

  1. Demand the utmost of ourselves
  2. Demand the utmost of our people
  3. Provide assistance (ask yourself…Why do they need me?)
  4. Protect your people from fear and negative influences

The key question I found most valuable in ‘gaining commitment’ – which is always challenging – was: ‘Can I count on you?’

Day 4 was all about generating change by improving your own personal contribution.

Topics included, the importance of written communication, positive confrontation, reprimanding and the power of asking questions, ‘open’ of course!

The significant take-outs for me from this workshop were:

  • Reverse order preparation when communicating in any way – firstly think what action do I want to encourage? Secondly what is the incentive for the recipients or audience? Then working up the conclusion to get buy-in. There will be some supporting facts. Finally, work up the introduction which clearly defines the purpose of the communication.
  • If you approach a reprimand with the objective of helping an individual, it will be much more effective all round, rather than an opportunity to vent frustration!

We finished the day with a fun exercise of the group trying to sell Kevin the idea of joining us on a ski holiday, when he can’t stand skiing!! This demonstrated beautifully, after about 80 mins of asking the right (and the wrong!) questions and listening, that we could persuade him to join us!

The real ‘glue’ that makes so much of the learning from the days stick, is the accountability and responsibility the delegates are given to go back into the workplace in between monthly seminars with clearly set ‘homework’ to apply and then report back on at the next workshop. It makes it real and very practical and guess what, it delivers results!

So, has this ‘old dog learnt new tricks?’ Absolutely, bring on day 5 …..

We have two places available for the next series of Foundations of Management, the dates are:

Foundations of Management Series 2-2018

Seminar 1: Thursday 27th September

Seminar 2: Tuesday 30th October

Seminar 3: Tuesday 27th November

Seminar 4: Tuesday 8th January 2019

Seminar 5: Tuesday 5th February 2019

We also have one place available on the next series of Governing Change starting on Thursday 20th September.

All of our 2019 programme dates have now been published.

For an ‘at a glance’ overview of our proposition please open up our digital brochure.

Jamie Chisholm – Business Development Director