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Nov 2016 / Blog

A major initiative to produce high performing managers across ACT has been launched by award-winning leadership and management expert Chris Hughes.

The whole initiative is aimed at developing great managers who lead and support their delivery teams to ensure ACT delivers high impact and inspirational learning programmes.

Chris Hughes is an ILM Trainer at ACT with over 20 years’ management experience and a Level 5 Coaching and Mentoring qualification, and is currently working towards Level 7. On top of that he recently won Practitioner of the Year for his ILM delivery work at the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru 2016.

Every manager is planned to attend the new ACT Management Academy Programme, but the first eight managers have just recently completed the 5-day programme. We caught up with Chris last week to find out how it went.

“The 31st of October heralded the start of the ACT Management Academy Programme which has been put together by me and Nick Barton over the last 12 months and we approached it with much excitement and anticipation.

The whole programme is built around coaching theory and practice as we want to adopt a coaching leadership style across the business. A big part of coaching is to continually reflect on performance and review and refine – in essence, this is what the Academy is all about.

The first 2 days were based on managers having a high degree of ‘Emotional Intelligence’ and there were thought provoking questionnaires, group activities and scenarios to stimulate learning as well as YouTube clips to support the process.

Days 3 and 4 were based on coaching and involved a lot of role play where the main message to everyone was ‘ask don’t tell’ and, following establishing what coaching was, being shown 2 models of coaching. These were then practised in pairs and who then gave feedback regarding the process and how it made them feel.

The last day was based on holding ‘Inspirational Meetings’ and was well received like the other days. Many improvements were identified and at this stage we could see that everything they had learned throughout the week also played a part in the way they facilitated their meetings. This day was again a mix of theory and practical activities, really enjoyable stuff.

On the following Thursday the managers all gave an individual presentation based on what they had learned and how they will now adapt their style of managing their teams. Every presentation was very good indeed, showing that they weren’t just planning to make changes – they had already put some of their learning points into place which was so very pleasing for everyone in the room.

It has been a very successful experience all round and as this was the ‘pilot’ cohort we have taken all of the feedback on board and we will work on making some minor amendments to the programme prior to the next cohort at the end of January 2017. The plan is then to roll out to every manager in the company up until around August next year.

I am very happy with the week, the presentations, the feedback and confident that everyone who attends the Academy will be very positive regarding their own performance in future and that of the companies. Roll on cohort 2!!”

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