News report originally published in Training Journal December 2012

“Coming along to a training programme no longer cuts it” said Larry Reynolds, Managing Partner of 21st Century Leader, about Developing Leaders for the 21st Century; the last L&D 2020 event of this year. Reynolds walked a the group through six principles of a Leadership Development programme that he and David Archer, Director of Socia Ltd, used to judge the Leadership category of the Training Journal Awards. Nick Brice, TJ Award winner and Managing Director of 360 Degree Vision, was one of the delegates and commented that Leadership Development was about focusing on “how do you do with your staff what you do with your customers”.

Reynold’s principles included ensuring that the objectives were routed in business need and had senior management commitment. This is something that was highlighted in the morning session from the Co-Operative Food group Organisational Effectiveness team. Sharon Douglas said of the beginning of the Leadership Development Programme for store managers at Co-Op that “Operations got that we needed to do something different, but perhaps not so different as the HR Director’s vision was.” Tracy Taylor explained that the programme meant a “move from skills based knowledge to transformational” and that the “leadership element needed to be engaging and authentic” in order to create managers that “appreciate operations, but could step back and lead – this was a change of mind-set.” Douglas highlighted of the success of the Co-op programme “as the momentum grew, the programme became business as usual and as people saw change-ready managers there was less pressure from Operations to fill vacancies.”

Reynolds facilitated a lot of discussion with the delegates, some of which were TJ Awards runner ups. Reynold’s principles also included to use a full palette of developmental activities, to innovate and to ensure close links to the job. Reynold’s advised “you can’t afford to not understand online collaboration. Get curious about that world” and Douglas said of developing a programme “don’t try to take it all on yourself: involve the right people… and think about who the right people are.”

Jo Cook