We helped a university facilities department fast track the development of their high potentials.

About Keele University

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Keele is a relatively modern university in North Staffordshire.

With over 1,500 staff and nearly 10,000 students working and learning in a largely rural location, the Commercial and Facilities Department is committed to providing high levels of service to the University and its students.

The challenge

Having identified a number of high potential leaders in their team, the Commercial and Facilities Department wanted to fast track their development and prepare them for more senior commercial positions.

They needed a structured programme which delivered sustainable changes in behaviour and measurable benefits to the university.

How we helped

We started with a complete overhaul of the strategy to help the team identify where they could add commercial value and where they needed to develop individually and collectively.

We then designed a bespoke development programme that focused on the identified skills and capabilities and gave personal accountability for development to the participants.

We asked each participant to deliver a business improvement project that aligned with the strategy and delivered commercial value at greater than the investment costs.

Workshops were designed around case studies, role plays and a focus on the application of the requisite skills. Participants were responsible for managing their learning through pre-reading and facilitated action learning sets.

The group learning was supported with regular executive coaching sessions during which participants were challenged to reflect openly and honestly about their performance and contributions.

Results

The programme had a significant impact on the commercial operations of the business. Costs reduced by over 25% in some areas with service and quality levels fully maintained.

The team set up an independent consultancy venture to sell their expertise to other clients in the public and private sector and this business has achieved considerable success.

A number of the participants have been promoted to more senior positions and the function has experienced ongoing growth in very challenging and financially constrained times.

The programme of work has contributed significantly to the commercial operations of the business. Costs were reduced by over 25% in some areas with service and quality levels fully maintained. The team set up an independent consultancy venture to sell their expertise to other clients in the public and private sector and this business has achieved considerable success. A number of the participants have been promoted to more senior positions and the succession pathway within the function has enabled ongoing growth in a very challenging and financially constrained times.