CASESTUDY: An Awayday Activity for Senior Reports, tough but fun – focus on Internal Comms
EasyJet's COO wanted an activity that would stimulate her senior management team at an Awayday, but also be fun. I joined them mid-morning after they’d had an hour to themselves to discuss internal matters. I then ran my two hour “Newsroom Bootcamp” workshop — taking them out of their business world and into the world of a TV newsroom, testing their resilience and agility by inviting them to decide, debate and write news stories on tight deadlines, before reading them off camera on my portable news autocue. After lunch, I spent another two hours with them working on news-style storytelling, sharing techniques used by TV journalists that they could apply that afternoon. This left them with a framework to apply to their own internal communications. I left at 4pm, giving them time to reflect on my contributions, and their own plans for the months ahead. David Morgan, Interim Head of Operations, wrote: “The themes we worked on were very relevant - managing an extremely complex operation is not so different from your TV News world, where masses of information needs to be distilled to the basics. I’m sure we’ll ask you back again before long.”
CASESTUDY: Leadership on a Deadline – Vistage CEOs Peer to Peer Learning Group
Vistage is an internationally respected peer to peer group organisation that brings CEOs of large companies together in a relaxed environment, to share ideas and enjoy new experiences. They want to be stimulated -- but to justify time away from the coalface they need real business benefits, too. My Newsroom Bootcamp and Headline Deadline, delivered in March 2019 in Brighton, blended the two -- getting them debating fast, speaking their minds and writing with the clarity and agility of a journalist. I encouraged them to junk the business jargon and commit to speaking their staff and clients' language -- as if they were journalists. The group of eight also had a chance to test their comfort zone levels by reading scripts off my moving autocue -- leaving some with a newfound confidence in public speaking. David Harding, Vistage Chairman, said: "This was exactly what I thought it would be, and more -- relevant, fun, highly interactive. All business leaders need to focus on decisions, deadlines and face disruption -- these are the daily absolutes in your world. You kept us on our toes and gave us real business takeaways."
Clear, thought provoking, and worked for 70 American Express staff
Ten out of ten - this was clear and thought-provoking, and pitched correctly for the seventy staff at our Team Day. You challenged us to think about our audiences and what we need to do to cut through.
Tim Patey, American Express
CASE STUDY: Icebreaking for a new team – American Express
American Express's Talent Attraction & Development manager wanted a three hour activity to help a new batch of 25 trainees to bond and have some fun on the second day of their induction week in July 2018. I customised my Newsroom Bootcamp to focus on key workplace skills that would bridge the gap between university and workplace --no-nonsense deadlines, attention to detail, listening to others but making a decision too. Talha Sheik, one of the participants, wrote to me a few days later: "Your training was very helpful - within this week, I've faced situations where I've had to 'talk more', and 'speak my mind' and I've used what you shared with us. Best of all, it didn't feel cheesy or vague, as you would normally expect when people tell you 'I can make your life better'!
Dynamic, refreshing, powerpoint-free, effective
Your approach is completely different to the type of formal training or away day exercises we’ve had in the past — much more dynamic than talking us through process on a powerpoint. And you’ve absolutely given us business takeaways — shown us how to ‘take the shot’, step out of comfort zones, take risks, tackle any elephants in the room.
To have a trainer who’s a journalist, rather than a formal expert in business management, was a refreshing change from the corporate sales business training background.
Matt Saunders, MD, Storm 12 Marketing
Landing the messages for EasyJet
"My team are busy people managing 14,000 staff in 8 countries - but you held their attention. You were challenging, authentic and your 'news games' brought a different perspective. I could see it coming together - people saying to themselves 'I'll have a go at this ...' This was really effective."
Stuart MacDonald, Head of Ops HR, EasyJet
Making training fun, as well as effective, for Headteachers
How I made decision making fun, as well as effective, at a Headteachers' Conference
One week on – the learning had stuck at EasyJet
John -- reflecting back on the session a week ago in London, I find the themes we worked on very relevant to the task ahead in taking on the role of interim Head of Operations here at EasyJet. Managing an extremely complex operation is not so different from your TV News world, where masses of information needs to be distilled down to the basics. It’s too easy to get lost in the detail — and you either get nothing done, or you miss the big news item because something’s distracted you. I’m sure we’ll ask you back again before long — I think you offer good opportunities for other teams, too.
David Morgan, Head of Operations (Interim), EasyJet