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Bron Afon Community Housing

Using development centres to promote values-driven leadership

The Objective

Bron Afon is a creative and progressive community-based housing association committed to developing its own unique mission, culture and values. Bron Afon was keen to obtain a clear understanding of its leaders’ and managers’ performance and potential in relation to three business-critical areas:

  • Achieving results by empowering, developing and supporting people
  • Breaking down silos and working without boundaries
  • Planning, prioritising and managing the delivery of key projects

In addition to understanding the current position, Bron Afon was keen to help leaders and manager to enhance their performance by putting in place personalised development action plans.

The Solution

Insight designed and delivered a programme of bespoke development centres for 80 leaders and managers at Bron Afon. We worked in partnership with Directors and the HR team to create a series of simulations that helped participants achieve a much greater level of self-insight.

We designed a life-like series of tasks linked to the delivery of an innovative community development project – one which would offer the potential to ‘put into action’ many of the organisation’s values. Participants were able to try out and reflect upon the impact of their current approach in relation to the ways they:

  • Worked together at meetings
  • Managed one-to-one performance or development sessions with team members
  • Engaged with customers
  • Managed their own workload and competing priorities

Throughout the development centre each participant was offered time and space for self-reflection, peer feedback and the specialist support of an Insight coach. The coach worked with the individual to shape their priorities for development, career aspirations, personality preferences into a tailored personal development plan.

The Results

Participants emerged from the development centre with a very clear appreciation of their:

  • Active strengths
  • Under-utilised potential strengths
  • Priorities for personal development and performance improvement
  • Longer-term ‘direction of travel’ in career management terms

Some participants had been anxious about the process at first, but many found the experience eye-opening and encouraging. As well as gaining heightened self-awareness, participants were supported to identify ways to address their development priorities and how to deploy their strengths. Participants gave unsolicited feedback to Bron Afon’s HR team about the value and impact of the programme. They included comments such as:

  • “The results were scarily accurate…really helpful and informative”
  • “It’s a massive step forward…people are opening up and talking about their development”
  • “People I never thought would are engaging with the coaches”
  • “You could see people’s behaviour change at the Managers’ Forum [after the development centre]”
  • “Whoever thought this all up is inspired”
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