Leadership

Aston Villa Football Club

Key Data

FocusDevelopment of relationships and team building Aston Villa First team squad
Objectivesto identify and develop key team development behaviours and to transfer these to the pitch
Delegate Number: 35
VenueOur Development Centre Brecon Beacons

The Client

The squad from Premier League Football Club Aston Villa

Aston Villa Football Club

The Objective/Brief

The management team asked for a challenging programme to build team relationships

The Solution

Aston Villa Team Building

The Programme

A two day programme with an overnight stay

Overview

The group were split into teams sent to rescue a downed reconnaissance pilot (RP) and recover the camera and film from the plane.

The search for RP took place during the afternoon and early evening set in the demanding and beautiful natural environment of the Brecon Beacons and was combined with a series of challenges to test the team’s:

• Communication skills
• Problem solving
• Leadership
• Team work
• Individual behaviours
• Navigation skills

The exercise concluded when, having successfully completed the challenges, having followed the clues, the teams tracked down the RP’s hiding place to secure their extraction.

Overnight Camping

The event continued with an overnight camp. Giving the opportunity to the team to experience the beauty of night time in the hills and to take part in the challenges which flow naturally from setting up camp – pitching tents, building a fire and  cooking their own evening meal – all superb tests of people’s behaviour and attitude at the end of a demanding day.

Staffing

Range of  experienced staff including our Head of Programme Delivery Dr.Phil Knowles and former Royal Marines.

Outcome and Impact

Aston Villa Top of the League

Top placed English Manager in the Premier League and team on course for highest league finish in top flight since 2010 when then under the management of  Martin O’Neil.

Review

‘I was just one of the boys that day rather than the actual leader.’

‘A lot you could see thinking ‘What are we doing? but a sit went on were thinking ‘This is all right. Actually, better than running round a field in pre-season’ They certainly got a lot out of it – you saw new relationships form.’

Dean Smith, Manager

“Out of all this he has emerged with a stronger club and a markedly improved team.”

Jonathan Northcroft, Football Correspondent, The Sunday Times. Article in Sunday Times 7th March 2021 where this event was referenced by Dean Smith.

Talis – People Programme

Key Data

Client – Talis
Focus
– Engagement Programme
Objectives – A training and OD programme which was innovative, creative and stimulating. Seeking a more engaged workforce being managed effectively with timely communications, resulting in high achieving teams and productivity.
Delegate Number – 170
Venue – Our training centre and The Vale Resort

Call of the Wild for Talis

Background

After recognising that key areas within the organisation required attention Talis selected Call of the Wild to help design and deliver some of the key components of their people programme

Objectives

Areas to be looked at were:-

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Fair Deal/Effective Teams
  • Meaningful & Current Vision

The Programme

Following the  mission delivery exercise on values and vision it was decided that in order to realign teams and individuals behind great leaders, a short leadership programme should be undertaken to examine expert practice, delivered by a trusted training partner. A leadership gap analysis against values & behaviours was carried out and a ‘Mission Delivery’ process was covered in the training, aligning individual and team KPIs against the Organisation. Wellbeing opportunities for employees on the living wage were reviewed and initiatives brought in to support them.

All staff needed to be consulted and given feedback on progress. An 18 -month strategy of engagement was needed and training to support this identified and planned into the workforce development plan.

From the 4 objectives set out above here are is the summary of the leadership objectives:-

  • Analyse current styles of leadership
  • Adopt and apply effective leadership behaviours as a high performing senior team
  • Create an openness between senior leaders Measurement:
  • Pulse survey to review progress
  • Aligned KPIs for teams v’s organisation
  • ‘Buddy’ system measured by behaviour matrix

Outcomes

Talis vision and values

The training was innovative, creative and stimulating. The results were an engaged workforce being managed effectively with timely communications, resulting in high achieving teams and productivity. Several delegates have since been promoted within the UK and across the Group in Europe.

Key Outcomes –

  • All (170 FTE) have a ‘voice’
  • All staff have access to flexible working opportunities
  • Developed UK Values and Visions, then rolled out across whole of group (across 28 countries)
  • Absence rates fell from 2.2% to 1.6%
  • Reduced stigma of mental health
  • Best results in the company’s history
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased sales
  • Health & Safety statistics improved by 30% each year
  • Staff turnover –  36% reduction in staff turnover

Swansea University MBA

Key Data

Focus – Effective leadership behaviours
Objectives – To identify and develop the leadership capability of a cohort of senior managers
Delegate Number – 15-20 per group
Venue – Our Development Centre Brecon Beacons
Date – October 2008 to present

Background

Call of the Wild’s relationship with Swansea University Business School has always been interesting one, so when we were given the task of developing a leadership programme for a group of senior managers which really challenged them to become the best leaders they could be, we set to the task right away.

We realised from an early stage that in order to engage this group we would need to create a solution which utilised our most senior facilitation team. with this in mind we created a programme that drew on the skills of our most experienced business coaches, expertise from the world of professional sport and a leadership master class from an associate who has managed and led a successful Everest expedition.

The Objectives

The primary objective was for each delegate to be able to recognise, and develop appropriate leadership behaviours and transfer these to the workplace. We achieved this by providing each delegate with the opportunity to increase their self awarness by the use of real world leadership challenges and facilitaed action learning sets.

The Programme

The programme was designed to take delegates outside of their normal comfort zones in a challenging, yet safe environment.

Several developmental inputs are utilised.

  • Web-enabled learning
  • Leadership Master Class
  • Action Learning
  • Experiential Learning
  • Project Work
  • Post-programme Follow up

The programme allows delegates to become self-aware of their own leadership skills and provides a platform and support system to enable them to begin applying their learning to the work environment.

Testimonials

“I have worked with several experiential learning organisations and I can honestly say that Call of the Wild are the best.”

Dr.Mark Good

Alstom

The Client

Alstom is a global leader in equipment and services for power generation and rail transport. The Group is present in more than 70 countries worldwide and employs around 76 000 people.

The Issues

Call of the Wild, after a number of meetings with the clients HR consultant, identified the problem as being a new group of senior management not working together as a team.

Objectives

Objectives agreed with the client were:

  • Team to gain an understanding of each other as people not just in business
  • Get past the ‘storming phase’
  • Implement peak communication
  • Share a common experience that bonds the team
  • Explore effective communication
  • Help identify preferred leadership styles

The Solution

In consultation it was decided the course should take the form of a team development intervention for 8 members of this new senior management team. This intervention would begin to identify and break down the barriers to high performance, the group would be encouraged to reflect on their learning and incorporate resolutions to transfer back to the work environment.

The Programme

The client requested an outdoor based experiential learning event taking the group out of their comfort zone and putting them under pressure in an unfamiliar environment. The objective was to stretch the individuals in order to draw out the lessons required through the facilitation and intervention of Call of the Wild staff. Call of the Wild designed and delivered a three day programme. This involved a series of physical, mental and behavioural challenges including: orienteering, camping, navigation and command tasks. The group were asked to camp out overnight and prepare their own evening meals which included preparing a rabbit and pigeon for the group to cook for their dinner.

In order to transfer the learning to the workplace for maximum relevance, a Power Station Challenge was incorporated as the culmination of the 3 day event. This was included to test the group members when they were fatigued. The group were required to design, on site, a retrofit for a power station and present their findings to the Station Manager.

Staffing

The programme was delivered by our facilitators David Thomas, MIC, CIPD and Fiona Thornewill, MBE. Dave is a highly experienced management training facilitator with a particular expertise in outdoor experiential programmes. He is one of the highest qualified outdoor facilitators in the UK.

Fiona Thornewill, has an impressive CV which is second to none. She was the 1st British woman to ski to Geographic South Pole,1st British woman to ski to the Geographic North Pole, 1st Woman to ski to both Geographic Poles, Fastest woman to ski – Geographic North Pole in 55 days, 1st British woman to ski solo & unsupported to the Geographic South Pole and fastest (man or woman) to ski – Geographic South Pole – unsupported in 41 days 8 hours 14 minutes.

Outcome

Here’s what our client thought of the programme:

“We are a large business operating across continents with customers that are household names. We searched many suppliers, and only one could give us what we wanted – Call of the Wild. With a new top-team and a massive change agenda together with a stretching annual target, it was critical to embed the new team as quickly as possible.

Our demands were more than a match for any supplier, but not only were they met, Call of the Wild added great value throughout the team building process with ideas, determination, the ability to work to our precise needs, and demonstrating a leadership spirit that provided an excellent model to learn from. The instructors were of the highest quality and blended challenge, the ability to stretch comfort zones beyond anything we envisaged, whilst always maintaining the highest standards of safety.

“There is no doubt that our return on investment will be many multiples of the cost and, most importantly, we have a new team that has not only bonded, but understands how to operate with each other in the most effective way. This will only benefit the team, the wider business, and, most importantly, our customers. We are so pleased with the outcome that if you require any first-hand recommendations, please feel free to call us and we will tell you exactly how professional Call of the Wild is.

D. Stephens, General Manager

Global Utilities & Engineering ILM Level 5 Programme

Training Courses

Key Data

Client – Global Utilities and Engineering Company
Focus Institute of Leadership and Management Level 5 Award in Leadership and Management Skills
Objectives Enable delegates to recognise, practice and transfer leadership behaviours to the workplace and focus on outcomes and impact in the workplace
Delegate Number 70+

Background

Call of the Wild were invited to design and deliver a leadership development programme by the client. This programme was initially to be rolled out across the senior management team in one Division of the Company before roll out to others.

The Objectives

To provide the delegates with the opportunity to identify and practise positive leadership skills in a challenging environment and to begin to transfer those skills back into their places of work. We sought to measure the impact of the behavioural changes back in the workplace and the difference it made to the business.

The Programme

The programme design was intended to offer a unique combination of media including:

  • Experiential learning workshop
  • Online learning
  • Telephone coaching
  • Action learning

The design provides the opportunity for delegates to explore their own leadership capabilities in a real environment, to learn from world-class leaders and to practise leadership skills back in the workplace.

The delegates explore key leadership concepts and models, supported by the Call of the Wild facilitation team, they are encouraged to show initiative and learn from the actual process of leading. Delegates maintain a learning log to record their personal reflections and observations on leadership and to serve as an aid to the transfer of skills.

The certificate mandatory units are:-

  • Assessing your own leadership capability and performance
  • Improving own leadership potential through action learning

Testimonials

Feedback not from the delegates but from their line managers

“He has implemented good changes, team communication has greatly improved, he has evaluated how he communicates with his team and what best suits the team’s style to ensure information is clear and understood. Performance out put from his team has also increased month on month, Performance reviews have a different structure and linked with improvements in communication this is clearly having an impact.”

“She was new into the Regional Manager position so it was good for her to attend the course during her probationary period. I think she has been able to step back and take the time to review things and now she may have a different suggestion to solve an issue. Previously it felt as though we were always so busy that decisions would be made quickly which then the best decisions are not always made.”

“Yes definitely, I think that she has learned a lot about different ways of managing situations she seems more confident now and I think above all else this course has given her the opportunity to discuss with other colleagues best practices and look at different ways of managing people. In some cases this has confirmed that she was doing things correctly but I think she has also learned from others within the group. It has also given her an opportunity to spend time with her peers that does not regularly happen.”

Babcock International ILM Level 5 Programme

Key Data

Client: Babcock International
Focus: Institute of Leadership and Management Level 5 Award in Leadership and Management Skills
Objectives: Enable delegates to recognise, practice and transfer leadership behaviours to the workplace and focus on outcomes and impact in the workplace
Delegate Number: 70+

Background

Call of the Wild were invited to design and deliver a leadership development programme by the client. This programme was initially to be rolled out across the senior management team in one Division of the Company before roll out to others.

The Objectives

To provide the delegates with the opportunity to identify and practise positive leadership skills in a challenging environment and to begin to transfer those skills back into their places of work. We sought to measure the impact of the behavioural changes back in the workplace and the difference it made to the business.

The Programme

The programme design was intended to offer a unique combination of media including:

  • Experiential learning workshop
  • Online learning
  • Telephone coaching
  • Action learning

The design provides the opportunity for delegates to explore their own leadership capabilities in a real environment, to learn from world-class leaders and to practise leadership skills back in the workplace.

The delegates explore key leadership concepts and models, supported by the Call of the Wild facilitation team, they are encouraged to show initiative and learn from the actual process of leading. Delegates maintain a learning log to record their personal reflections and observations on leadership and to serve as an aid to the transfer of skills.

The certificate mandatory units are:-

  • Assessing your own leadership capability and performance
  • Improving own leadership potential through action learning

Testimonials

Feedback not from the delegates but from their line managers

“He has implemented good changes, team communication has greatly improved, he has evaluated how he communicates with his team and was best suits the team’s style to ensure information is clear and understood. Performance out put from his team has also increased month on month, Performance reviews have a different structure and linked with improvments in communication this is clearly having an impact”

“She was new into the Regional Manager position so it was good for her to attend the course during her probationary period.  I think she has been able to step back and take the time to review things and now she may have a different suggestion to solve an issue.  Previously it felt as though we were always so busy that decisions would be made quickly which then the best decisions are not always made.”

“Yes definitely, I think that she has learnt a lot about different ways of managing situations she seems more confident now and I think above all else this course has given her the opportunity to discuss with other colleagues best practices and look at different ways of managing people.  In some cases this has confirmed that she was doing things correctly but I think she has also learnt from others within the group.  It has also given her an opportunity to spend time with her peers that does not regularly happen.”

ICAEW – World Class Accountancy Body

Key Data

Client: Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales
Focus: Leadership Development
Objectives: Enable delegates to recognise, practice and transfer leadership behaviours
Delegate Number: 200+
Venue: Brecons Beacons, Lake District, Peak District,Central London & Tanzania

Background

Call of the Wild were invited to tender for a leadership development programme by the client. Having been invited to present to the tender panel, Call of the Wild were awarded the contract to design and deliver the intervention.

The Objectives

To provide the delegates with the opportunity to identify and practise positive leadership skills in a challenging, competitive environment and to begin to transfer those skills back into their places of work.

The Programme

The programme design was intended to offer a unique combination of media including:

  • Experiential learning workshop
  • Leadership Master Class
  • African Project

The design provides the opportunity for delegates to explore their own leadership capabilities in a real environment, to learn from world-class leaders and to practise leadership skills in delivering a project that has real benefit to the people of Arusha in Tanzania.

The delegates explore key leadership concepts and models, supported by the Call of the Wild facilitation team, they are encouraged to show initiative and learn from the actual process of leading. Delegates maintain a learning log to record their personal reflections and observations on leadership and to serve as an aid to the transfer of skills.

The Master Class is delivered by Alan Chambers MBE and John Neal and provides delegates with an insight into the performance of leader and teams under extreme pressure. The Master Class offers a unique and powerful learning experience and enhances participants understanding of effective leadership behaviours.

Delegates are also able to further develop and practise the skills of leadership in a truly inspirational and challenging environment in delivering a charitable project in Africa, providing a real experience of what leadership and team work is all about the project is designed to embed core skills.

Staffing

Facilitators

Dave Thomas MIC CIPD

Dave is an outdoor management development professional of 15 years experience, he is an accredited CIPD coach.

Alan Chambers MBE
Alan demonstrates the determination and focus it takes to lead the first British unsupported team to walk to the Geographic North Pole, he facilitates thought provoking exercises and discussion, designed to stimulate and enlighten

John Neal

Psycho-physiologist, businessman and performance coach delivers a highly interactive coaching session based on the lessons for business from high performance sport.

Panasonic – Creating Future Leaders

Key Data

Client – Panasonic
Focus
– Developing Staff with Potential to become Future Management
Objectives – Place people in a pressured unfamiliar environment whilst learning and applying principles of team dynamics and leadership
Delegate Number – 30
Venue – Call of the Wild Training centre and venues in close proximity

Call of the Wild for Panasonic Future Leaders

Background

After tendering for the this work against 6 of the top development training companies in the UK Panasonic selected Call of the Wild to help design and deliver some of the key components of their in-house future leader programme opertaed by their assessment centre. This was the inaugral event organised for the future leaders programmes.

Objectives

Place people in a pressured unfamiliar environment whilst learning and applying principles of team dynamics and leadership. Areas to be developed were:-

  • Leading the business – Direction and innovation
  • Managing buisness relationships – Communication, influence
  • Leading people – team leadership, people performance
  • Managing self – Self motivation

The Programme

The programme required delegates to consider their strengths as individuals and as a team, their ability to plan to achieve a pre-determined goal, assess their performance whilst solving problems requiring creative thinking.

Delegates were given a matrix of information relating to the tasks; time taken to complete the tasks, level of challenge, difficulty, points gained upon successful completion. Information was also be received at separate times as to the nature of each of the tasks and the primary skills involved in completing the tasks.

During the planning phase of this task, the teams needed to consider it’s strengths, direction and performance. At various points during this phase, information relating to the overall challenge changed, enabling participants the opportunity to re-evaluate their position and amend their planning accordingly.

A series of challenges were offered to the teams, varying in difficulty and also in value. Teams were required to collect as many points and as much information as possible for the challenges the following day.

Whilst each phase and challenge was reviewed upon completion, delegates considered the elements of leadership and skills required to build a successful team.

What Did Our Clients Think of the Future leaders Programme?

“On arrival  it was straight into the action – an introduction to Call Of The Wild staff was followed by night time orienteering.  The whole Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing theory of team building process was fascinating to be involved in and to watch, but perform those teams eventually did!
Each task had been specifically designed to highlight different leadership and team skills, and after each the team’s performance was reviewed and discussed by all, a real experiential learning process. This immediate feedback was an invaluable tool to improve performance as the course progressed.
During the evening de briefing session it was clear that everybody involved in the Future Leaders Programme had learnt a huge amount from two very intensive days, and all had made new contacts across the whole company, many felt they had made new friends. The level of motivation, effort and openness to ideas shown by everybody was fantastic and is indicative of the quality of people throughout PUK.”

Barclays Bank Finance Academy Graduate Programme

Transformational Leadership Skills

Key Data

Focus: Development of leadership skills for finance academy graduates
Objectives: to identify and develop key leadership behaviours and to transfer these to the workplace
Delegate Number: 15-20 per group
Venue: Our Development Centre Brecon Beacons | Barclays Head Office, Canary Wharf

Background

As a direct result of the success of other development inputs within Barclays, Call of the Wild were asked to design and deliver a leadership programme for the graduates from Barclays Finance Academy.

The Objectives

The primary objective was for each delegate to be able to recognise, and develop appropriate leadership behaviours and transfer these to the workplace.

The Programme

The programme was designed to take delegates outside of their normal comfort zones in a challenging, yet safe environment.

Several developmental inputs are utilised.

  1. Web-enabled learning
  2. Experiential Learning
  3. Project Work
  4. Post-programme Follow up

The programme allows delegates to become self-aware of their own leadership skills and provides a platform and support system to enable them to begin applying their learning to the work environment.

Testimonials

“This training was great, everything we did could be related to situations we may encounter in the workplace. It has increased my confidence in myself”

“The discussion and feedback sessions have really made me think about my leadership skills, overall an excellent programme”

John Lewis Senior Management Team Case Study

On September 24th 2009, John Lewis opened its second largest Shop outside Oxford Street London.

As an organisation with its roots in South Wales, it was a real privilege for Call of the Wild to be asked to work with the Cardiff MD Liz Mihell and Training Manager Will Read to design and deliver an intervention as part of their leadership development strategy for the new shop.

The brief given to Call of the Wild was very clear – create an environment in which the whole management group are able to come together, get to know themselves as individuals and as a team and help enable them to transfer this as smoothly as possible into the opening of the branch.

The development of the intervention was done in close collaboration with the MD and Training Manager. It was essential that the message received was consistent with those of John Lewis.

Given the quality and can-do attitude of the individuals involved it was possible to create a truly innovative intervention that took delegates and teams outside of their comfort zones resulting in a real and lasting learning experience.

The process which took place over 6 days culminated in the entire management team working with the Cardiff Arms Park Male Voice Choir to learn and sing a traditional Welsh Hymn in a four part harmony to the partners on opening day-a real welcome to Wales!

To be a part of the transformation of a group of hugely talented individuals into a team that will deliver an outstanding retail experience to the people of Cardiff and South Wales was an extremely enjoyable experience for the Call of the Wild team.