Reformulate the Graduate Scheme for Bakkavor – one of the world's biggest and most respected fresh food retailers.
The first thing we did was a Training Needs Analysis to establish Bakkavor's goals and expectations for their graduates. Then we spoke to the graduates themselves – to understand what they wanted to get out of it.
We prepared a 2-year tailored programme that covered the fundamentals of Bakkavor's business values. That might sound like standard stuff, but our approach made them anything but.
We had the teams running a factory to understand the frictions that happen in a situation when, for instance, we change the management and the balance of power.
We then took them to the Great Glen in Scotland, where we gave them only a letter and a plan of how to get from one end of the loch to the other. They lived in the wild with our experienced leadership colleagues for two days, learning accountability both for themselves and for their team.
And our next trip will be to Snowdonia where we'll give the trainees a visceral experience of what it feels like to be out of their comfort zone and still have to deliver in a high performance team.
As always, our approach to leadership training is about doing rather than reading because a decision you made on top of a mountain in the freezing cold rain is not something they will easily forget.
Bakkavor were blown away by the changes we made to their Graduate Scheme and the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the trainees (great news because graduates are particularly hard to please).
But the work has only just begun. This is an on-going, comprehensive programme that's constantly adapting. We conduct surveys after every event, analyzing the individual graduates state-of-mind and modifying our training or advising the client of potential management issues in their system. We never rest on our laurels; there's always room for improvement – even for us.