Chief Executive Nick Barrett says…

We contacted Sharpstone Skinner when we needed a facilitator for our All Managers Group away day.  This is our group of directors and key managers who all have a stake in the running of our organisation.

We had worked with someone else over a period of time but about 3 years ago, felt we wanted a change and Helena and Caryn were recommended by one of my directors who had worked with them previously. Helena had successfully facilitated one of our SMT away days and she and Caryn had also worked extensively with our Fundraising Department.  On this occasion we wanted to ensure we spent our days away with the All Managers Group, talking about more than operations. We needed to work on how we function and ensure we are in the best possible shape to lead the organisation and grow our plans and activities.

The Outward Bound Trust

Sharpstone Skinner advised…

facilitating the days with a mixture of self-awareness sessions, some formal input on current management practice and a chance to apply any learning to practical work to help the Trust progress.  We already had our “Ways of Working” – our declaration of how we operate and behave and Helena wanted to work with us to make these real, alive and measurable across teams.

What happened next?

I worked with Helena to plan these sessions which she facilitated over a period of two and a half days together and she now regularly facilitates our All Managers Group meetings with me and our SMT away days, once or twice a year.  Helena understands us well and is able to be “one of us” when she works with us, whilst still retaining the ability to bring in an outside perspective.

What results did we see?

The Group were undoubtedly focussed and engaged during the sessions but the real results were seen when they took the learning back to their own team and centres and applied it.  We saw better management overall, a focus on activities that keep us delivering to our mission and an environment where we could be proud to say that we really do practise what we preach in the way we support, challenge and develop our staff.  Managers from the group have gone on to have their own team development sessions facilitated by Sharpstone Skinner so the messages and the learning remain consistent across teams.

We like working with Sharpstone Skinner because…

they take the time to get to know us properly, the sessions are a good mixture of the practical and implementable (with the odd helpful theoretical input) and because it tends to be down to earth, fun but challenging. They’re good at what they do and have helped us get better as an organisation.

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