Leadership Stories 2019

 

Bridgend College

Explain why your organisation invests so strongly in developing the leadership skills of your employees and volunteers?
We recognise our social purpose reaches far beyond our College gates.   Our aspiration is to develop College and Community Leaders who can create sustainable value for all of our stakeholders.    In times of continued austerity, we believe it is even more important to invest in developing leaders who are able to connect, create and sustain strong networks where co-production and collaboration flourish.

By investing time and resources in developing current and aspiring leaders across the organisation and beyond, we will build a sustainable culture which supports people to thrive and will serve the wider community and generations to come. 

What are the key values that underpin your organisational concept of leadership?
We adopt an inclusive ‘person centred’ style of leadership.  Leaders take time to listen, understand and support the needs and aspirations of individuals they lead.   We actively recognise and celebrate the success of others.  Leaders encourage employee/stakeholder voice and involvement, recognising that people closest to the work have the best ideas and solutions. 

We promote a ‘growth mindset’ and empower ‘people to be all they can be’.   We seek to create and maintain a non-judgemental, blame free culture where people trust in their leaders and feel safe to challenge and experiment with new ways of working. 

What are the priority leadership skills and attributes your organisation is aiming to develop in others?
We want to equip leaders with the skills to build enduring relationships/partnerships which produce innovative sustainable solutions to complex challenges.  Skills to engage in co-production and co creation are also becoming increasingly important, as is the need to balance social purpose with a commercial mindset.

Attributes we seek to develop in others include authenticity and the ability to capture hearts as well as minds.  We seek to develop leaders who place people at the centre of all decisions and use a moral compass to do the right thing.

What do you think are the biggest leadership issues facing Wales in 2019?
The biggest leadership issue is ensuring sustainable delivery of social value whilst developing, maintaining and protecting services which enable people to prosper and thrive.  Now, more than ever, we need to ensure that we fully leverage the skills and capability of all our staff and communities for the greater good of all.

 

Matt Williams and Sam Morgan, Bridgend College

Cadoxton Primary School

Explain why your organisation invests so strongly in developing the leadership skills of your employees and volunteers?
Our school motto is “Learning and Growing Together, being our best forever”, this steers all we do, for our learners, our staff, parents, governors and wider school community. We have developed a culture we call the “Cadoxton Way”, which is about putting words into action and being always true to our vision and values. Every member of our community has to be and see themselves as a leader, shaping their own destiny and feeling driven by a moral purpose to support and lead others to be and achieve their best.

What are the key values that underpin your organisational concept of leadership?
Everyone owning the vision, behaving as a leader and driven by the purpose of what we want our school to be. A strong investment in time and space for the best professional learning has developed a learning organisation that is built on” learning through inquiry” through sustained and shared thinking, learning and most importantly reflection means that staff wellbeing is it’s best with staff feeling empowered, confident and competent. Open dialogue, optimism and belief in ourselves, community and children drive us. Focusing on possibilities and building on what works and peoples strengths and passions we can all achieve our best.

What are the priority leadership skills and attributes your organisation is aiming to develop in others?
Everything we do and every interaction we have needs to be based on trusting, healthy relationships. Driven by an unstinting moral purpose we face each day together. We are curious about the future and are driven by our staff motto: “you only arrive when you accept you never will!”.  We are not driven by ticking boxes but a realisation that we will continue to grow and evolve as individuals and as a school community through every interaction and experience we have. Only the best is good enough for our children and ourselves. Ownership and responsibility for all are key drivers for us.

What do you think are the biggest leadership issues facing Wales in 2019?
Our challenge is to create a happy, healthy, inclusive and sustainable Wales where everyone feels empowered and supported to be empowered agents for change for themselves, their communities and local environment. We need to build trust and optimism in everything we do as leaders for now and into the future.

 

Janet Hayward and Rhian Milton, Cadoxton Primary School

Do Digital Agency

Explain why your organisation invests so strongly in developing the leadership skills of your employees and volunteers?
We understand that people in a creative and technical industry like ours often don’t gain the skills required for a productive work life from formal studying. We’ve seen it time and time again when interviewing for new staff. The software skills and application of transferable design skills to do our work simply isn’t taught in universities. The majority of our staff started as work placements or as Academy students and have learnt on the job. We invest our time and support because we want to continue to nurture the workforce and create a sustainable industry as a whole.

What are the key values that underpin your organisational concept of leadership?
Stemming from our core inspiration that in the right light and time everything is extraordinary, we know this is true of people too. We want to provide the support and encouragement they need to become extraordinary, which in turn also creates a passionate and expert 3D creative, whether they’re working for us or elsewhere. Darren appreciates that Do Digital wouldn’t be where it is today without all our staff, he’s passionate about giving back to the next generation. That’s why we partner with university courses, train staff internally and create opportunities for personal development through leadership opportunities in the business.

What are the priority leadership skills and attributes your organisation is aiming to develop in others?
As a rapidly growing company with a young workforce we prioritise developing mentoring skills. Our internal ‘buddy’ system sits staff in pairs, so this happens naturally, with experienced staff alongside new starters. We want to see staff empowered to take charge of their work and we create opportunities for them to become invested in the business.

Externally we want to nurture budding 3D artists to develop their essential skills, thereby creating an employable workforce. We do this through our training academy, university lecturing and talking at industry events.

What do you think are the biggest leadership issues facing Wales in 2019?
Creating opportunities for people from all industries and backgrounds to be leaders without prejudice. More companies need to reach out to train people externally. Most leadership training and development is all done internally once you’ve successfully gained employment, which hinders creating a sustainable flow of people into work.

 

Darren Crockett and Vanessa Davies, Do Digital Agency

Orbis Education and Care Ltd

Explain why your organisation invests so strongly in developing the leadership skills of your employees and volunteers?
Orbis are a fast growing, sector – leading provider of specialist services for children and adults with complex needs associated with autism. With ambitious growth plans for the future, our leadership capability is pivotal to our success. Our leaders set the direction, inspire and motivate our teams and ensure everyone is working together towards a shared goal. We’re passionate about creating the conditions for people to flourish and to offer an exciting career path for all of our team. Through ongoing investment in leadership development, we will ensure that we are well equipped to cultivate future leadership succession which will enable us to grow and continue to provide first class care to the individuals we support.

What are the key values that underpin your organisational concept of leadership?
Our leaders act as the role models for our team, displaying the key values that ensure that we are able to build teams that deliver exceptional levels of care to the individuals we support. Our values act as our moral code and guide us day by day, and include authenticity, honesty, empathy, trust and respect as well as integrity and team building. Everyone works with a clear sense of purpose which all employees are aware of from the outset – to add value to people’s lives. Maintaining these core values amidst widespread increase in service delivery has only been achievable through the development of a workforce who are as invested in the needs of Orbis residents and pupils as our leadership team leading the charge.

What are the priority leadership skills and attributes your organisation is aiming to develop in others?
Orbis are committed to ensuring that we create the conditions for our leaders to reach their full potential. The environment that we operate in is challenging and demanding, as well as incredibly rewarding. Our leaders need to be well equipped with a robust toolkit of skills to succeed. Strong communication skills are critical, alongside the ability to build, motivate, coach and inspire their teams. Strong initiative and problem solving skills are also crucial. Having the ability to plan, prioritise and delegate to their team is also essential, alongside a level of resilience to work through challenges in a positive way, recognising and celebrating success along the way.

What do you think are the biggest leadership issues facing Wales in 2019?
Attracting and retaining the best talent is an ongoing leadership challenge. With competition for great people continuing to grow, skills shortages in key sectors and ongoing rising costs, the war for talent continues to be top of mind for leadership teams. Leading multi-generational teams, embracing technological changes and managing remote workforces are also key focuses in 2019.   

 

 

Lucy Pottinger and Linda Bridge, Orbis Education and Care Ltd