The Bristol Leads programme needed to support and challenge participants to demonstrate to their peers, teams, customers, and line managers the value they can bring.  It also needed to show how Bristol wished to work and behave as a council. Designing a practical programme of support for team managers and leaders to help them step into the leadership space and embed continuous improvement across the council.

We designed the programme jointly with the council to ensure it met their needs, could adapt to any changes needed, and would help embed and build on the work done so far. It consisted of six workshops where participants learned practical tools that would improve their day-to-day work.

During the workshops we shared techniques which participants could try out in the room using examples of their real work. They were also challenged to use different tools and techniques outside of the workshops with their teams and colleagues.

Alongside the workshops we offered in business support to all the participants. This support was focussed on the leadership development of the participants and was delivered tin a bespoke way to meet the specific needs of each participant and their leadership challenge.

The programme has been a true success, with 150 participants who participated directly and approximately 1,500 other employees within Bristol City Council benefit from cascaded learning as the participants took knowledge and tools back into their daily work. Critically the improvements made have benefited citizens by delivering savings, efficiencies and improvements.

The impact from this programme for participants has been significant. This includes:

  • participants are more engaged and refreshed in their relationships with their leaders and the organisation
  • collaboration across the council is spreading (both within departments and across departments with participants thinking beyond traditional silos)
  • team leaders having a new, better understanding of their leadership role and contribution

This programme will have considerable legacy benefits as these impacts are taken forward into the day to day working practice of participants and those they share their knowledge with. This is helping with a current culture change in the organisation but will provide genuine delivery capacity for major projects in the future.

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