How I work with you
Step One: Making contact
I try to reply to messages within 24 hours, unless I am travelling, and do not have regular access to the internet. Initially my goal is to establish whether or not I can help you. I like to have an exploratory conversation with you about your requirements, the what, the why, the where and the when. If we are both happy about working together, we can move swiftly to Step Two.
Step Two: Understanding your needs
Where possible, I like to meet you at your office. Prior to the meeting, I will send you some thought starter questions that we can discuss either face-to-face or online. You may wish to share these questions with those who will be participating in the event. Time allowing, I like to connect with as many participants as possible during the planning stage. Online surveys are a quick and efficient way of information gathering, and can be supplemented with focused conversations, either face-to-face or online. Doing this sends a signal to the participants that their needs and expectations are being taken into account. It helps to build a climate of mutual trust and respect, and can save time when the actual work begins. The more you can tell me about me about your organisation, the people and the context in which you operate, the easier it becomes for me to design an event that will meet your needs.
Step Three: Developing a bespoke solution together
I will send you a draft schedule or training plan with specific and measurable aims and outcomes, a description of the tools and methods that I am proposing, and a list of resources needed. At this stage your feedback, comments and suggested amendments are essential to help me create a bespoke event. One of my specialisms is to tailor the content and design of an event to the culture and sector in which my client works. I do this in a number of ways. I use case studies and examples that are relevant to my client’s business. I also invent thinking tools and exercises that use language and concepts that are familiar to the people I am working with. Working in this way helps to engage and motivate participants.
Step Four: Agreeing and implementing the plan
The amount of planning time needed depends on the complexity of the event. As a general rule I allow two days planning for each delivery day. For example, a two day strategy meeting for 30-40 participants can take approximately 3-4 weeks to plan. A five day leadership programme that includes skills development, input from experts and conversations with a range of stakeholders requires a minimum of three months’ planning. Finding an appropriate venue with accommodation can take longer, and I recommend starting to plan complex events 6 months to a year in advance.
I plan training and meetings systematically. Working with my client, I identify the needs, agree the learning outcomes, and then create a plan that will deliver the change or outcome required. I am resourceful and resilient in changing circumstances. Should it become apparent that departing from the agreed plan will help us to achieve our goals more efficiently and effectively, I have a proven ability to be flexible and adaptable.
I strongly believe in the value of planning thoroughly to ensure that a programme or event meets my client’s needs and expectations. Once you are happy with the aims, outcomes, and activities, I can get on with producing slides, handouts, and any other materials that may be required.
Step Five: Capturing the learning
Evaluating the success of training activities can be challenging for a number of reasons. Participants don’t have time to complete complex forms, and the time required to analyse the feedback and write a report can be difficult to justify. Depending on your requirements, I can suggest a number of tools and methods to encourage participants to share their feedback, and present the information in a format that stakeholders will want to read.