A Leadership and Management development programme within The Pension Protection Fund (PPF)

Giving leaders the skills to understand and manage their direct reports more effectively and engage in conversations which build engagement and accountability

Supporting leaders and managers across the organisation in making and supporting a change in organisational culture, style and approach, as the organisation grows and matures.

This leadership development transformation has included greater adoption of systems, processes and a greater need for cross-functional working – whilst balancing the need for a more commercial mind-set with their purpose to deliver social benefit.  In particular the brief has included giving leaders to have 'dynamic conversations' and creating a 'culture of accountability'.

Scope of work

A Leadership and Management development programme for over 100 leaders and first line managers. This programme has comprised the "Dynamic conversations programme" – a programme giving leaders the skills to understand and manage their direct reports more effectively and engage in conversations which build engagement and accountability. Key to this is the effective use of support and challenge.   

Learning outcomes

There have been some insights that have emerged from the process of developing our partnership which we thought would be of interest to PPF.  Because we have worked closely with developing their leaders, we have been in a strong position to support PPF and provide coaching resources as part of the mix of resources to meet their needs, from their internal coaches and a small range of trusted external coaching providers.  The experience has caused us to reflect (not for the first time) on the importance of The OCM offering an appropriate mix of support and challenge to our partners in the organisation, as well as to our individual coaching clients. We see the role of the Account Manager as key in this, and the choice of Account Manager as a key part of our partnership building investment.

Evaluation process

Our offer includes use of OCM 180 surveys, 3 way feedback and regular Organisational learning debriefs with our key stakeholders.  These debriefs include joint learning from all parties delivering and supporting coaching in the organisation, as well as regular reviews of the impact of our work with PPF on key organisational metrics including engagement and key questions on their Viewpoint survey, attrition rates, customer satisfaction levels, internal promotions, grievances and other key metrics.  We have seen significant improvements across these metrics over the course of our work together.

How we have worked together

We have worked in a genuine partnership with PPF for the last two years and continue to do so.  During the roll-out of the dynamic conversations programme we established a core project team with agreed and shared goals, roles and processes – and both sides worked hard to build strong, trusting relationships.  At the beginning we all ensured there was plenty of face to face contact and as the relationship has matured we still maintain regular contact, but more remotely to maximise the efficient use of time.

Example of challenges faced and actions taken

The challenges faced for us as a coaching provider to PPF have been largely around how we might bring our expert and senior coaching resources to their needs in the most cost-effective way possible.  We recognise that this is important for all organisations, but of particular import for those driving a social agenda and working with public money.  We also have a strong belief in and want to offer support to leaders in organisations whose agenda includes such social purpose, and to bring to them the same levels of expertise, experience and service that we can offer our many clients leading in blue-chip multinational commercial organisations. It is vital that the coaches we use have an understanding of the particular culture and needs of organisations that face complex agenda demands, so that they can effectively support their clients, as well as having the experience of other organisations that allows them to challenge credibly in support of the desired cultural shift.