Stage 1 Leadership Programme
Ballance Agri-Nutrients is a New Zealand farmer-owned co-operative that helps its customers to farm more productively, profitably and sustainably. Approximately 700 staff are located various locations throughout New Zealand.
Ballance identified a desire to improve the leadership capability of their frontline leaders and to drive improved operations integrity of their teams. They wanted to see leaders at this level demonstrating ownership and pride in their leadership role; developing into more senior leadership roles; and improving workplace relationships, the health and safety culture, product and service delivery, and continuous improvement.
In 2014, Ballance engaged ODI to design, develop and deliver its Stage 1 Leadership Programme for frontline and emerging leaders. Staff wanting to take part in the programme are required to go through an application process and have their manager endorse their application.
The programme was designed for a mix of participants, from those with no formal education through to university graduates, all of whom either have responsibility for frontline teams or have demonstrated leadership potential.
- A pre-programme 360o review against Ballance’s behavioural competency framework and an Extended DISC self-assessment diagnostic
- An Induction and Closing event for participants and their line managers
- Development of individual Leadership Development Plans
- A series of time-spaced experiential workshops (each prefaced by light preparatory work), facilitated by different specialist facilitators
- Use of a workplace application tool to ensure new learning is applied at work
- Coaching support by line managers between workshops
- Two facilitated video conferences during the programme
- Mid and end-of-programme on-line surveys of participants and line managers to evaluate application of learning, contribution to targeted business outcomes, and workplace support
- Personal Leadership (Michelle Shields)
- Personal Management (Roger Lewis)
- Communicating for Success (Desirée Williamson)
- Building a Successful Team 1 and 2 (Alison Hood)
- Smart Leadership (Phil Laurence)
The following are results from Kirkpatrick evaluation of programme participants and their line managers undertaken during the first four programme occurrences. Quantitative scores are compared with our research-based benchmarks.
Line managers of programme participants reported their observations of application of learning and contributions to targeted business outcomes, some of which are provided below:
- “He has learnt how to deal with the emotional impacts (that a difficult contract) has on his staff and himself. I’ve seen great improvements … and the store is now a very positive site.”
- “She has established solution-focus groups to keep her internal customers up to date with IT initiatives.”
- “His delegation of work has both reduced his workload and enabled his team member to step up and become a very competent and valued member of the team.”
- “He has put in place a fortnightly communication meeting with his team and his regional sales team. This has enabled robust discussions around opportunities for customer service improvement.”
- “She has organised specific one-on-ones to finalise development plans, including honest conversations about where they should develop, regardless of their personal desires.”
- “He has been working hard to control his emotional state. Naturally he is a ‘heart on his sleeve’ type of guy. The understanding that emotions are contagious that he has taken from this programme has helped him focus on this. There are many conversations I have seen or been involved in where his emotions are notably more controlled, or even considered.”
- “She has worked with the sales team and her own staff to meet customer expectations. Feedback has been great - service levels have increased and customers are happy with this. Contractors have given me feedback that service levels have lifted as well.”
We are currently delivering the ninth occurrence of this leadership programme, and staff wanting to take part can expect to join a waiting list of applicants.
To date, as well as the Stage 1 Leadership Programme, we have also delivered six 1.5-day Leader as Coach workshops, three one-day Personal Productivity workshops and two Project Management workshops for staff across Ballance, together with around 20 Extended DISC diagnostics.