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In many organisations, for various reasons, review of management performance and planning for development is done inadequately. Managers receive scant information about how well, or badly, they are doing their jobs and, because of time pressures, are not given good-quality feedback about what and where they are doing well, what and where they are not and how they could improve.

This is short-sighted: managers who receive objective analysis of their performance, supported by behavioural examples of the impact and results of their actions, are in a position to be able to learn about, and experiment with, behaviour which will work better for them, for the people they are managing and for their organisations.

The analysis is carried out in as objective a manner as possible, utilises available information e.g. job performance reviews, psychometric data and feedback and includes a prescription for action to ensure performance improvement over the short to medium-term. It does not include a complete development plan.

aim

Objective analysis of management performance and ability

objectives

  • To analyse Task strengths and weaknesses in management performance
  • To analyse People strengths and weaknesses in management performance
  • To identify ways, e.g. mentoring, coaching, training, to build strengths and remedy weaknesses
  • To lay the foundation for a development plan which will ensure management potential is fulfilled
  • To ensure that the development process can be managed and measured

outcomes

  • Useful, specific information about an individual manager’s overall performance
  • A realistic appraisal of strengths, weaknesses and paths for development
  • Support in tackling this in immediate, practical ways
  • Identifying where further information and support might by found
  • Understanding the value of analysis, appraisal and feedback as a necessary part of becoming an effective, successful manager

Outline

PEI builds on existing characteristics, skills and effective behaviours: the emphasis is on being constructive and supportive. Participants' willingness to deal with areas of strength and weakness in self and others increases their confidence, attitude and ability. Fresh awareness and new practical skills enable them to operate more effectively. Successful implementation of learning on PEI requires a commitment to support and challenge others in their performance and development.

Throughout the first course a Development Plan summarises individual development needs with suggestions for increased effectiveness and performance improvement through specified behavioural change. This three-part programme uses the time between the two courses to practise different behaviours and assess their success. The practicality of the Development Plan is reviewed. Successes and failures are monitored and used for further development on the second course.

Taking personal responsibility for what is happening around you implies that individuals can affect the way things are going, even in large organisations: if you are one of the ingredients in the pudding then you affect the flavour.

how it works

Participants can be from different areas in a company or from the same team/department. They work in Support & Challenge groups of three/four people, in other task groups and in the whole course group.

In the Support & Challenge Group they:

  • Discuss their development in a supportive and challenging environment.
  • Practise giving and receiving direct, honest and constructive feedback. This is based, as much as possible, on perceptions of and reactions to, behaviour and performance.
  • Develop the ability to assert themselves and support others: i.e. to work effectively.
  • Discuss, make sense of and learn from what happens and translate it to practical action.

On completion of PEI each person will have learnt the skills necessary to adapt their behaviour with different people in different circumstances to get better results. They will also have the information necessary to make decisions about which aspects of their behaviour they want to, or must, change in order to be more effective.

aim

To enable participants to identify, develop and practise the skills and behaviours necessary for influencing other people to achieve the best possible outcomes professionally and personally

objectives

  • Increase self-awareness, understand your style, the way you operate and the impact this has
  • Develop self-confidence and confidence in your ability to influence and manage people at any level, internally and externally
  • Get better results when influencing and managing people in different situations: face-to-face, at a distance, in groups and through presentations
  • Present a rational case to, and manage inter-actions with, senior managers, other colleagues and clients; explain the consequences of decisions, particularly where there may be conflicting goals
  • Develop support networks within your company encouraging people to contribute at an individual, team and organisational level
  • Deepen your understanding of stress and improve your ability to deal effectively with it
  • Understand your responses to conflict and develop the ability to manage yourself, your feelings, reactions and behaviour, in more productive ways when conflict is present

subjects covered

Awareness of self and others Analysis of strengths and weaknesses
Setting goals to improve performance Managing task and people
The impact of your behaviour Balancing rationality and emotion
Identifying and choosing effective behaviour Anxiety, insecurity, confidence and assertion
Effective personal presentation Prioritising, planning and organising
Listening with focus and intention Influencing clients and senior managers
Support & Challenge Groups Productively managing stress and conflict
Giving and receiving feedback  

This in-company course is available to people from the same or different departments. PEI analyses what underpins productive inter-action, successful working relationships and effective personal development. It examines the complexity of understanding self and others and the importance of Task and People factors when working together. It promotes learning by Doing, Thinking, Feeling and Changing Behaviour using presentations, exercises, discussion, coaching and large and small group work to achieve this. Participative review and feedback sessions heighten awareness of personal style and its effect on others.

The M3M Programme is open to individuals from different companies. It takes place six times a year. It develops managers in four areas: Managing Yourself, Managing Task, Managing People, Managing Performance.

M3M is a behavioral programme which last 12 - 15 months. There are two M3M Management Cometencies Compass360 Reports, a four-day residential course, a period of structured and supported behavioural practise at work and a final accreditation session. 

No participants on the course know which company other participants work for, what they do or what level they manage at. They are not allowed to reveal or discuss this. Feedback is based exclusively on perceptions of behaviour and performance. A maximum of two delegates from any one company will be accepted on each M3M course.

Aim

Nailing the four vital areas an effective manager takes care of

Objectives

  •        Understanding the four key areas vital to being an effective manager
  •        Identifying those where you are strong
  •        Clarifying those where you need to develop
  •        Thinking about how to play to your strengths
  •        Planning how to compensate for and/or outsource your management weaknesses

Management

Is about getting the best out of yourself and others. Not many are really good at this. This is usually because they are skilled in some of the FourSight management areas and not in the others. A truly effective manager is highly-skilled in all FourSight areas.

This Ignition Event will clarify in which of the FourSight areas you are strongest and weakest. This information enables you to choose behaviours which play to your strengths and develop a strategy to minimise your weaknesses.

This Ignition Event will set you on fire about the areas of management where you need to pay attention. The heightened awareness this gives you will begin a nerve-tingling climb towards the higher reaches of management effectiveness.

Outcomes

  • This Ignition Event will enable you to:
  • Be able to remedy how you habitually **** up managing yourself *
  • Manage tasks better
  • Manage people more effectively
  • Deploy these to drive performance
  • Be cooking on gas with a magical blend of all four

 * cock



Outline

Coaching uses practical steps to improve performance over a defined period with regular progress checks. The individual being coached enjoys learning because they experience tangible improvement. A gain in confidence usually accelerates improvement.

Unfortunately, with the advent of 'life coaching', much coaching has been coated with elements of unrealistic positive thinking coupled with jargon and a New Age approach which often bears little practical relevance to the development needs at hand. Effective coaching is much more than common-sense, encouraging homilies and emulating particular role-models.

The main features of effective coaching are that it is tailored to the individual and is achievable over a defined period. It should be supportive, realistic, helpful, practical, useful, carefully monitored and done in manageable chunks. It starts with clear definitions of the current state of skill, the desired state of skill and the improvement needed to get from one to the other. All effective coaching starts with a session to establish a starting point, what is to be achieved and over what period of time.

individual coaching

Coaching undertaken 1:1 is extremely effective because of the amount of attention and concentration that can be given to the person being coached and to the skill in which they are being coached. It gives more time for practice, questions and feedback ensuring that fine detail can be concentrated on.

coaching in small groups

Coaching can be undertaken in small groups. The main benefit is that individuals assess their own style and learning by observing others and using those comparisons to correct mistakes, adjust style and find one's own best approach. The coach needs to be sure that inter-action in groups is encouraging rather than discouraging and act quickly with particular individuals to ensure that they are keeping pace with others. Any competitive element must be carefully managed.

management coaching

Appropriate for those starting their first management role or those already working as managers at any level. It is best done when preceded by Management Analysis, this results in a comprehensive report on management ability and performance along with development needs and suggestions for further training. Management coaching works best on-site, in tandem with observation, once a relationship has been established between the coach and the person being coached.

executive coaching

Beneficial for those at the most senior levels in companies. At this level executives should be prepared for a more critical and confronting approach to gain full advantage from the process.

Leaders and senior people don't get anywhere like the amount of coaching they need because there is an assumption from them, and others, that somehow they have risen beyond the need for it. It is rare to find an individual who is too senior or too talented to benefit from effective coaching. Executive coaching is often not done because of the difficulty of finding someone who can speak honestly to these people at their level. All the more reason it should be done.

At its simplest it can be compared to the slave who was instructed to accompany Roman Emperors as they paraded through Rome in their Triumphs regularly whispering 'Remember, you too are human'.

Vertical Horizon has many years experience of intensive, high-level coaching and will undertake Executive Coaching which is guaranteed to be honest, confronting and developmental.

Outline

Vertical Horizon consultants have in-depth, extensive, practical knowledge and experience of relevant areas of consultancy. They will tailor what they do to your particular circumstances, immediate needs and future requirements. Our consultants work in close communication with you on-site.

Involvement is for as long as agreed it takes to get the job done. We prefer to work to a timetable with a clear end-point. This helps control cost and keep the focus clear. Analysis and assessment will precede any advice given. Outcomes of recommended action will be presented for consideration.

A scope of necessary work will be undertaken after initial discussion. Reviews, scheduled at regular intervals, sustain momentum, provide information, provoke analysis and maintain control. Changes to the initial scope are discussed with full involvement of the client. Vertical Horizon endeavours to establish clarity at the outset: we use extremely clear work definitions to achieve the aim, specific objectives, required outcomes and deadlines. Progress, performance and success are measured against these criteria. We maintain a disapproving attitude toward slippage.

strategic consultancy

Vertical Horizon provide expert consultancy in:

cost control
We help individual department heads, managers and companies identify where to take action to control spending. Using a creative and pragmatic approach, we ensure individuals and teams understand why this is important and what they can do to take willing responsibility for achieving cost goals.

credit and collection 
We provide advice, training and/or a full service relating to credit and collection. This work is delivered by accredited and recognised industry professionals.

design of comprehensive training programmes 
Following an assessment of your training requirements/needs Vertical Horizon will design a comprehensive training programme to meet those needs. This will not necessarily include us as the deliverer of the programme.

diversity and equality 
Every business in the U.K. has a legal requirement to walk-the-talk on diversity and equality in their practices and procedures. It is not good enough simply to have a policy. A National Standard Accreditation scheme is available for all businesses that will satisfy even the most rigorous assessor.

employment law 
Ranging from specific advice on U.K. employment law to a full out-sourcing of the HR function in your company. All aspects of employment law are covered, from legally-required documentation to industrial tribunal representation A 24-hour-a-day advice line is available. You can obtain the most suitable package for your company by selecting what you need. Protecting your business is our business.

health and safety 
We offer full out-sourcing of all your health and safety requirements. This includes all legally-required documentation, zero legal fees if a court case occurs and a 24-hour-a-day advice line. We can develop tailor-made training courses for your staff. Protecting your business has never been easier.

management/oversight of training programmes 
We offer management of training programmes to ensure that training takes place at the agreed time and location, that attendance/numbers do not become an issue, that aims, objectives outcomes are being met and that any problems are dealt with. Assessment will be carried out some weeks/months after particular pieces of training to check actual effect once any course glow has worn off.

task and people integration 
We will work with you to ensure that your company achieves an appropriate balance in managing task and people issues, enabling you to perform at optimum levels.

training needs analysis 
An in-depth analysis identifies what training you require to bring understanding, skills, motivation, commitment and performance to optimum levels. Typically this will include individual development, identification of skills shortages/inadequacies, technical/specialist training, management and team development.

Outline

The human world has always changed . . . and is changing still. The human world of business: trade and exchange, growth and development, exploration and exploitation, wheeling and dealing, profit and loss, globalisation and off-shoring, competition and shareholder value, cost-cutting and quarterly performance, flatter structures and high-performing teams, motivation and disillusioned employees, customer service and call-centres, mergers and acquisitions is changing at a rate much faster than many other areas of human endeavour and inter-action.

Humans built the structures that operate the business arena but, increasingly, humans seem unable to manage those structuresto operate efficiently for the benefit of all involved. Business has always involved an element of exploitation, in the Age of the Internet inequities are more quickly detected, observed and reported on. This results in motivation and performance problems for organisations, particularly large ones. They don't seem to be doing much about it. They don't know how.

In larger organisations a new cultural model is operating: the Juggernautocracy: 'We're so large we can do what we want, bulldoze through difficulty or opposition'. Sometimes they're right . . . in the short-term.

Another trick is to use marketing to correct perceived performance problems: if you're a polluting, dirty, wasteful organisation get a new logo and run a world-wide marketing campaign about your green credentials. It becomes the truth because, increasingly, perception is all . . . until it all unravels.

change in organisations

Most of us find change unnerving and, often, threatening. This is the case even when we actively choose the change. The more so when it is change imposed. In organisations, change is almost always imposed. Employees almost always feel threatened by it. As competition and change increases employees are likely to feel more threatened and, as usual, their feelings will drive their behaviour: their fear and suspicion will increase, their loyalty and commitment will decrease, they will know when, or believe that, they are being lied to or not told the whole truth, they will take steps to protect themselves, they will devote less of their energy to the work they do, they will join in with the politics, they will withhold their willingness and goodwill.

Because of the way in which organisational culture grows and develops organisations do not realise the scale and the extent of the problem they have on their hands until it is too late. And that's when they institute a Change Programme. Which is viewed with disinterest, distaste and suspicion by the intended victim. Rightly so, because it is usually just one more thing, one more indignity, being done to them. The implicit threat is 'Embrace Change . . . or else!'

If you want to change your organisation, and change the attitudes of the people working in that organisation you must do a number of things: start with the people. Find out what they think and what they want. Identify any synergies with what you think and want. Plan what you are going to do, taking into account what will work and what wont. It is staggering the amount of organisations who have gone through major change programmes, often more than one, whose employees, when you ask them for detail, have only a sketchy recollection of what they participated in.

change programmes

Successful change programmes transform organisations and their employees for the better. They revolutionise the way those organisations do business. They work well in organisations which are agile, daring, creative, lively, innovative and love risk. There aren't very many of those around.

Organisations can be changed. Relatively quickly. But you start at the bottom not the top. Canvas opinions, avoid manipulation, veiled threats, blackmail, exhortatory jargon and 'get-with-it-or-get-out' phrases. Let the change permeate the organisation from the workers because the workers will see the sense of it, the need for it, will want to do it and, most importantly, will start to lead it. Change is about behaviour, not about everyone learning to use the same language.

Vertical Horizon will come into your organisation and research, design and run a Change Programme which will motivate and galvanise your people. It will make them want to change, make them want to be part of it not part of a sullen, silent opposition to it. It will be difficult, it will take courage, it will be worth it.

And remember: if a piece of software could fix it, we'd all be writing software.


Outline

Most organisations pay lip-service to the importance of customer service. Fewer do it well. Behavioural customer service training emphasises the importance of behaviour as the basis for delivering a service which is noticeably better than that of other organisations. It focuses on active management of the professional relationship with customers and clients.

Behavioural training of all staff is fundamental in Vertical Horizon customer service training programmes. Employees learn how to deliver superior service in a structured, individual, creative and consistent way. This results in strong relationships with clients and an understanding and interest in how they use your products and services. Your service to customers will not be based on only reacting to events when things go wrong.

Our programmes are tailored to your specific circumstances and requirements. Understanding and responding to your customers’ needs and concerns will enable you to give them a service which they appreciate and value. Vertical Horizon customer service programmes are about being authentic and instigating real behavioural change, they are not easy. It is difficult for organisations to change culture and behaviour, however, once inertia is overcome, expect amazing things.

aim

To deliver effective and noticeably-superior customer service at all levels

objectives

  • To help employees understand why customer service is so important
  • To understand the different components of good customer service
  • To understand what this requires individuals to do
  • To motivate and train individuals to deliver superior customer service

outcomes

  • Your employees will understand and deliver superior service in all circumstances
  • Everyone will understand, at a practical level, desirable and undesirable behaviours
  • Your organisation’s atmosphere and culture will become delivery-focused
  • Your customers and clients will notice the difference and love the service
  • They will tell others . . . the best marketing there is

Outline

Vertical Horizons Events are highly-organised, planned in great detail and carefully analysed for the unexpected with contingencies ready for deployment. They are designed using hindsight, insight, foresight, creativity and freshness. Participants find them interesting, informative, involving, useful, enjoyable and memorable.

Events can be as short as one hour and as long as a week. Events take place indoors and/or outdoors and can be stand-alone or part of some other company event e.g. a Sales Conference. They can be recorded.

During the proposal and detailed planning stages there is thorough discussion and agreement with clients with regular reporting. Vertical Horizon keeps all agreements it makes with clients by agreed deadlines. If there is any doubt about whether an agreement can be kept this is discussed prior to the agreement being made. If the doubt persists the agreement is not made.

Proposals include an outline and an overall budget. A high degree of clarity is required regarding general aims, specific objectives and desired outcomes. All delivery will be done by individuals who are experts in their area of knowledge. Virtually any resources can be included.

We use the principles of Task and People in the design, planning and delivery of our events: on the Task side we ensure that everything is well-planned, rigorously and robustly designed and that it all works. On the People side we use a high degree of creativity to ensure that events capture the imagination and involvement of those present. We endeavour to ensure that learning and enjoyment takes place.

Vertical Horizon ensure that any briefing and/or pre-publicity is done in good time and all participants have the information they need at the right time to get the most out of the event.

examples of events

Major Bank: 2 days, 40 people, English Channel, U.K., Outdoors
Two-day sailing event in the Solent to reward successful sales people and teach them more about the benefits of team work and co-operation. They already knew about the benefits of individual initiative and competition. First day was a problem-solving exercise sailing in flotilla. The second day was a race, with problem-solving elements added, in different legs with some exchange of crew members. Therer were off-shore and on-shore review sessions.

Computer Company: 4 days, 1,200 people, Outskirts of Paris, France, Indoors
Sales conference. Vertical Horizon provided creative inputs between each segment of the conference to ensure everyone was awake, involved and working with what they had just seen in presentations. A special lighting rig was designed to enhance mood and change focus at different times. The conference was used to signal a change in direction for the company which would materially affect the sales force. This was well-received and a potentially difficult change of direction and culture was openly welcomed rather than silently resisted.

Software Company: 10 days, 50 people, Thames Valley, U.K., Indoors & Outdoors
New, young, eager company. Wanted to set the right culture from inception. Event took place on-site and off, indoors and out, in four separate stages over four consecutive months. The First Stage was an exploratory about what features employees wanted to see in the developing culture. Stage Two was to get to know each other, this took place off-site and consisted in an extended outdoor event with shelter-builds over-night and barbecues for food, some catered, some done by the groups themselves. Stage Three was a series of practical sessions on-site to look at how the desired features of the culture could be built in a practical sense. Stage Four was in the form of a course to test how individual behaviour was promoting or blocking the desired culture. There was a short review three months after the event. This organisation now has an annual event to reinforce the company values.