Dovecote Park, established in 1997, is one of the UK’s top independent beef processors in a dedicated supply chain partnership with Waitrose. Dovecote is committed to sustainable growth and have achieved substantial growth (to £200m annual turnover) in the past 16 years. They now have plans to increase turnover by a further 50% within the next 5 years.
To achieve this goal, they plan to implement a continual programme of investment and development in their people, production facilities, processes and products. To this end Dovecote Park has already invested significantly in on-going site development, new plant and equipment, and in a new leading-edge technology-base to optimise production capacity.
Strong leadership and effective strategy implementation are considered critical to achieving their goals. A key organisational development goal is to encourage and enable Middle Management to take responsibility for day-to-day operations, allowing Senior Management to focus on strategic issues and key relationships.
The initial challenge was therefore three-fold:
- Clarify the roles of the Senior Management Team and the Middle Management Team.
- Development of middle manager’s understanding, skills, ability and confidence to perform appropriately and effectively in their defined roles.
- Develop the behaviours, skills and confidence within the Senior Management Team members to enable them to provide appropriate support to their middle managers while keeping their own focus on strategic matters.
Solution and Approach
The Middle Managers’ Programme was structured around 10 formal workshops, Business Improvement Projects and 1:1 coaching.
The workshops were the means by which we delivered the “learning” on the programme, and covered:
- The Dovecote Business
- Building a Business Case
- Understanding Self
- Customer Focus
- Understanding Processes and Procedures
- Improving Processes
- Creating a Coaching Environment
- Managing Others
- Performance Management
The Business Improvement Projects enabled the middle managers to work collaboratively and cross functionally on 6 business critical opportunities, applying knowledge gained in a structured environment, sponsored and supported by one of their Senior Team.
Each manager on the programme was assigned a Parity Professionals’ coach who helped them tailor their own development activities around individual needs, focusing on embedding behavioural changes in the managers’ daily work.
The Senior Managers’ Programme started with a ‘Big Idea’ workshop and was developed to align with the Business’s Strategic Goals, resulting in 5 workshops combined with 1:1 coaching. The workshops covered:
- Adopting a Coaching approach
- Me and my team’s development needs
- Strategic Planning
- Leading the Middle Management Team
- Leading Change
The Senior and Middle Management Programmes were designed and delivered to provide a leadership and cultural change in the business to support Dovecote Parks’ business growth plans. Both programmes have delivered on these expectations and have:
- Put core values and aspirational skills and behaviours at the very heart of all strategic and operational activity.
- Genuinely built internal leadership capability and capacity at both Senior and Middle Management levels.
- Embedded an individual and personal approach to work that results in consistent, sustained delivery of exceptional performance.
- Enabled participants to better understand themselves and their roles within the business so that they systematically continue their personal development.
- Engaged the participants in collaborative work with each other (and other colleagues and departments) to foster an approach to people and performance that fuels future growth, internal networks and collaboration in line with organisational strategy.
- Provided a lasting legacy which equipped each individual to become a ‘consistently high performing Leader.’
Subsequent to the Senior and Middle Management Programmes, the Senior Management Team have embarked on a process of developing a long-term Vision, a set of Strategic Objectives and a comprehensive Strategic Plan, all of which will be underpinned by the recently developed leadership across the organisation.
The middle managers’ Business Improvement Projects (BIPs) focused on the following business critical areas:
- Employee Engagement
- Reduction in energy consumption
- Bill of Materials System (BOM)
- In-line product labelling
- Packaging waste reduction
- Boning Hall waste reduction
Why Parity Professionals?
Parity Professionals are established within the Food and Drink industry as ‘business enablers’ working collaboratively with Agri-food companies to achieve planned step by step changes in performance. We create Leadership and Management solutions that get the best from existing and emerging leaders ensuring their people are fully aligned to, and capable of delivering, the organisation’s strategic goals and vision.
“Having identified that we needed to invest in the development of our middle management team, we contacted Parity, having been recommended to us by Moy Park. We met with them to discuss our training requirements and they were adeptly able to assess what we needed and designed a bespoke programme for our middle management team, with very clear objectives and desired outcomes. The Return on Investment would be through projects that the managers would be assigned to that would deliver financial benefits. This was a resounding result, with very positive outcomes and demonstrable changes in the managers that attended this training. Of significant note, was the trainer, Jeremy who was without doubt the key to unlocking the potential and obstacles of a number of managers. His ability to communicate, coach and mentor was refreshing.”
Penny Marlow, Human Resources Manager
“The positive changes in the middle management tier and the success of their projects has been excellent. Jeremy's ability to engage with the managers, some of whom were reticent about attending the programme was inspiring. Reflecting on that success I took the decision to have a discussion around a programme for the Senior Management Team. This was a much shorter programme and was more about working as a team and jointly developing the business plan. This was more challenging and thought provoking, which Jeremy facilitated with aplomb. He has the ability to navigate the difficult waters of a diverse set of managers with very different styles and bring them together in accord.”
Andrew McAllister, Managing Director