The challenge:

Leading Edge have loved supporting Wickes Kitchens and Bathrooms business Senior Leaders, Store Managers and Design Consultants with a transformational change journey to create high-performance partnerships. Working with Wickes, we created a 2-year change programme to meet an identified need to redefine the identity and purpose of every role that supports the success of Design Consultants, thereby empowering them to have greater impact on overall store performance. Linked to this was designing an environment that would enable a movement towards coaching – focused performance conversations between Store Managers and Design Consultants. Nurturing the Manager–Consultant partnership in this way–and building competence and confidence within these colleagues to have the great conversations needed for success–would beat the heart of shifting the focus from a ‘top-down’ line manager relationship to being a high-performance partnership. This fully virtual programme combined pre-journey elements, workshops, regular touchpoints and post-workshop activities to embed the change–including providing support for the winter roadshow and for newly appointed internal coaches.

What we delivered:

Through this programme, Leading Edge engaged the wholestore support network to drive successful and sustainable change. And we regularly shared the programme design with Divisional Directors and Regional Leaders,to align on accountabilities and responsibilities, tweaking the design in partnership to gain support and buy-in. Two core themes underpinned this change journey to create high-performance partnerships between Store Managers and Design Consultants that feed off an optimum environment and enhance the ability of Design Consultants to positively impact store performance:

  • ReframingIdentity–gaining clarity around the identity and purpose of every role insupport of Design Consultant success.
  • Side by Side Coaching–creating a movement towards coaching-focused performanceconversations with impact.

Our ‘nudge’ event for Regional Leaders and Store Managers created a sense of excitement around the journey while starting the focus on identity ahead of the first set of Store Manager workshops. In these, we focused on what was going on in their worlds, using the Skill Will Matrix to understand their starting point before moving on to introduce the concept of coaching while developing coaching skills.

The Design Consultant workshops followed. We focused on high-performing teams and winning behaviours as part of developing understanding of the performance conversation. Within these sessions, Design Consultants took ownership for their own development and progress towards high-performance partnerships in-store, contracting this partnership withtheir nominated Manager.

The final phase of this journey is focusing on empowering and enabling Design Consultants to create a best practice support community for ongoing sharing, stimulation and success.

Further support for Wickes

The Wickes annual winter roadshow was a fantastic opportunity for Leading Edge to further support the journey and highlight the important role of high-performance partnerships in ‘thinking big’. Through pre-recorded videos, Leading Edge Team Coaches talked about how holding high-performance partnerships at the heart of target setting would allow store teams to flourish during the massive winter opportunity ahead. With ongoing coaching significant for longevity, Wickes has recruited internal coaches. Leading Edge designed and facilitated two workshops focused on developing coaching skills linked to performance conversations with impact, with six further workshops planned for 2023 to keep the momentum alive.

The results achieved:

Impact of this journey to high-performance partnerships through coaching-focused performance conversations has been felt strongly, with 100% of Design Consultants surveyed agreeing that their Senior Manager “actively wants to hear my ideas and observations and ensures there is time and space in our conversations for that” and “Whatever the situation, they seem to create the conversation I need in that moment”

In support of the identified need for Design Consultants to be empowered to have greater impact on overall store performance, 94.7% of Design Consultants asked confirmed that their “Manager’s questions frequently or always encourage me to find solutions that lead to better performance for me”

The strength and importance of high-performance partnerships for successful outcomes has been backed up, with 94.1% of Design Consultants asked agreeing that the way Store Managers “lead conversations makes me realise what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a high-performance conversation and part of a high-performance partnership”.

“Leading Edge have been first class. We feel like it’s a real partnership everyone is always available and bends over backwards. It feels like you are a part of our business. Keep doing just what you’re doing

- James Mackrell, Head of Sales, Wickes Kitchen s and Bathrooms

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