Each year we hold a conference for the Manager’s from our services. As you can imagine due to the nature of their work, getting them all in the same room at the same time can be challenging. This is why our annual conference is such an essential and useful tool. It gives us the opportunity to brief all the manager’s, exchange information, brainstorm, review and initiate polices and very importantly build morale. This year’s conference had a rather different spin to it compared to previous years. This was a direct action from the feedback we received from the managers the year before. They felt they needed more time to network and connect with other managers.
Winner (Manager of the Year) at last year’s staff awards, Kennedy Phale opened the day and introductions. He spoke about what is important to him in terms of his service and staff and about the day to day challenges that he can be faced with and ways in which to tackle them.
He was followed on by our first keynote speaker, Founder of Liquid Thinker, change management consultant and author of seven best-sellers, Professor Damian Hughes. He uses his experience and background with sport along with change psychology to find the best ways to create a winning mindset.
He spoke about the 5 STEPS to creating a winning mindset:
- Simplicity – Emphasise the need for leaders to be ever-mindful about communicating one simple message at a time.
- Tripwires – Generate interest and curiosity, let people discover for themselves. Open the door for people but let them think and discover for themselves. It’s much more satisfying to find the solution to a problem yourself than have someone else solve it for you.
- Emotions – The way to make people care about something, is to make them feel.
- Practical – Make our ideas clear.
- Stories – Tell stories to get people to act on ideas.
I would recommend to everyone to go and experience one of his talks. I think I’m not alone when I say that his words were thought provoking and inspirational, and believe that each and every one of the mangers that were present in that room have taken something away from it. I certainly did.
One of my highlights from the speech was when Regional Director, John Nicholson was asked to be a volunteer. Damien Hughes managed to embarrass him in front of the whole room, he did however earn £10 for his efforts.
After lunch, saw the new addition of the networking/team building activities. People were split in to four groups of 30. It was a race against time and the other teams to get a sequence of pictures from in the right order. This was one of my favourite parts of the day, especially because my team won! The aim of the activity was for people to network and to work as a team to solve a problem.
The second speaker of the day was Polly Falconer, mental health lead. She started her session with a bit of karaoke, which certainly woke everyone up! She told a moving story of the struggles she has faced and how she overcame them. She defined stress and talked about the differences between stress and pressure and how to cope under these circumstances.
The day was wrapped up with reflections on what everyone had learnt from the day and how the managers could take this information back to their staff teams and put it into practice. Our managers are critical to the success of their teams and are the people that drive CMG. We must strive to create a winning environment where talent is natured and developed. Where we communicate a shared vision, and tackle challenges and pressures together.
I hope everyone enjoyed the conference as much as I did. Please see below for moments that were captured during the day.