The Treasury is New Zealand’s lead advisor to the Government on economic, financial and regulatory policy. They’re committed to helping achieve higher living standards for New Zealanders by providing expert advice and sound management of the financial affairs of the Crown.

Need

Treasury identified high-potential leaders who were relatively new to people leadership roles. While Treasury had an existing foundational leadership programme in place, it wanted to provide these people with an additional development opportunity to accelerate the transitions into their roles.
Treasury requested a provider design, develop and deliver a four-day programme that achieved the following high-level learning outcomes:

  • understand what matters as a manager.
  • understand the difference between management and leadership.
  • effectively make the transition from peer to manager.
  • understand a range of different leadership styles, and when each is appropriate.
  • increase self-awareness around their impact as a leader.
  • begin to develop core skills, including but not limited to, performance management, delegation, developing others, and building high-performance teams.
  • build the confidence to lead effectively.

 

The programme was required to:

  • link to The Treasury’s Leader’s Charter, and to the relevant Lominger competencies.
  • provide participants opportunities to reflect on their own experience, learn from each other as well as from the facilitator and material, and to put ideas into practice.
  • include an upfront learning contracting process between the participant and their manager.

 

To support ongoing learning, Treasury established peer mentoring and action learning groups that ran throughout the programme.

 

 

 

SOLUTION

Pre-work

We recommended providing participants with targeted pre-work. Learning happens more effectively when:

  • people are clear about and motivated to achieve their specific development goals. We recommended that participants set and document clear development goals via a conversation with their manager prior to attending the workshop. We provided Treasury with a learning contract template to facilitate this.
  • people can apply concepts to situations that affect them. We recommended that, as pre-work, participants identify at least one ‘burning workplace issue’ that they wanted to address by attending this programme. This formed part of the learning contract.
  • peoples’ curiosity in the topic is heightened prior to a workshop. We provided some pre-reading to stimulate and challenge thinking.

We expected that the pre-work would take no more than two hours to complete, was relevant to the challenges faced by emerging leaders and encouraged both self-reflection and greater self-awareness of the personal development transitions required of those new to a leadership role.

 

Workshops

We designed and delivered workshops that enabled participants to:

  • explore, practise and apply the core skills of people leadership.
  • reflect on their own experience and beliefs about people leadership.
  • learn from a range of sources, including contemporary research and models, practical examples / case studies, their peers’ experiences and their own experience.
  • learn how to learn, thereby allowing them to continue reflective practice beyond the workshops and continue to improve as a leader.

Results

I’ve learnt about different leadership styles, I have a greater sense of my own strengths which means I am more confident. I also feel equipped to deal with more difficult performance situations should they arise and to have structured coaching conversations.

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