The challenge:

We’re proud to have supported some fantastic senior managers at WRU Group on their development journey and we’re looking forward to supporting the next cohort, whose journey has already begun.

Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) and the Principality Stadium – the home of Welsh rugby – work together as the WRU Group.

As part of a focus on personal development, with a particular emphasis on developing high potential senior managers as future leaders, Rhodri Lewis, Head of Legal Affairs (with responsibility for Human Resources), approached Leading Edge to design a flagship programme to nurture these colleagues and support them in stepping up.

As a Leading Edge team, we make it our business to understand our clients’ business, and at the heart of this discovery is finding out about who we’ll be supporting on a development journey.

The senior managers identified as future leaders of WRU Group report into the Exec Board and work across operations, finance, sales and marketing, IT and customer service. Already working in senior roles, this aspirational development programme was to provide the tools and guidance needed to advance their potential and take their careers to the next level.

Ensuring this cohort developed skills on meaningful business projects with the opportunity for practical application was identified as key to making a difference and achieving the identified outcomes.

What we delivered:

Leading Edge designed and delivered an engaging development programme for 14 senior managers. ‘People, Potential, Performance’ (PPP) ran from July 16 to July 17 over seven stages, including a launch with the Exec Board, five 1-day development modules and a final presentation.

Using Insights Discovery and 360-degree perspectives, delegates gained a better understanding of ‘self’ and an awareness of the preferences of others. One guided activity introduced The Chimp Paradox*. to explore how having this knowledge ourselves, and by sharing it as a group, enables stronger and more effective working relationships and an awareness of where conflict may arise and how to deal with it.

Delegates also spent time exploring their ‘shadow of the leader’ – thinking about the shadow that they want to cast and being aware of how teams emulate their leader’s behaviours, viewing them as role models.

The Exec Board had identified business critical projects for delegates to deliver in groups, and a running theme through each module was the importance of applying learning to these projects for context and to help everything ‘stick’.

Self-directed and peer learning activities between modules put theory into practice, and a Leading Edge-facilitated final session provided a platform for the cohort to give high-profile project presentations to the Exec Board and celebrate their successes.

* The Chimp Paradox, Dr Steve Peters

The results achieved:

I feel that my management skills have most certainly improved as a result of the PPP programme. The useful advice received on styles and techniques to apply in certain situations was of enormous benefit, but more so the programme provided me with assurance of my own management style and insight into how to effectively communicate with colleagues who have a different style to my own.

A major benefit was working closely with colleagues from other areas of the business with whom I have now struck up very close working relationships and, as a result, now have a wider understanding of the Group.”

- Matt Clarke, Ticketing & Customer Services Manager, WRU Group

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