Medium sized architect practice Case Study

Inspirational Leadership Programme (ILP) for medium sized architect practice

This successful architects practice had provided Management and Leadership Training to staff in the past, but always in an ad hoc way. The organisation’s rapid growth necessitated a more coherent and structured approach that reinforced organisational development needs as well as personal development goals.


50 management and leadership staff from across the firm were identified for the programme, and they were mixed into groups of 10 to 12 to provide opportunities to mix with different colleagues, learn about different parts of the business, and share experiences.


Following meetings with the HR Manager and one of the Directors, Alison put together a programme with a mix of two full-day workshops and two half-day facilitated sessions which each group completed in a three month period (the whole programme spanned 12 months).


As a result of the programme, the Firm reported that the managers were better able to deal with performance issues in their teams, kept motivation levels up for high performers, and collaborated with other functions more easily and readily. The leadership team had more cohesion and were perceived to be more effective at communicating the Firm’s vision and strategies.


An outline of the programme:


Training Needs Analysis

Focus Groups drawn from across the total participant group were facilitated to explore both wants and needs from a Leadership Training programme in the Firm. The results of these Focus Groups were fed into the design of the content and training methods used in the full day training workshops in the programme. The focus groups also served to build buy-in from the participants, as they had not taken part in anything like this before.


Team Roles questionnaire and feedback

All participants completed an on-line self-assessment Team Roles questionnaire (from Belbin Associates) and also invited selected colleagues to complete a questionnaire about them. Individual Belbin reports were created from the questionnaire results.


One day Workshops – ‘Introduction to Inspirational Leadership’

Full day workshop, off-site, in groups of 10 to 12 participants repre4senting a mix of functions and levels of seniority.


Content included:

  • Belbin Team Roles and impact on leadership
  • Having presence and impact as a leader
  • Inspiring and engaging colleagues and clients
  • Communicating the Firm’s vision to motivate and inspire



Group Problem Solving Sessions – ‘Applying Inspirational Leadership in the Workplace’

Half day of facilitated discussion, in the groups that formed for the ‘Introduction’ Day.


Using format based on ‘Action Learning Sets’, individuals shared their progress since Day One and the challenges or difficulties they faced. The group helped each other to solve workplace problems they face as leaders whilst also continuing their learning about inspirational leadership in their Firm.


Second Training Workshops – ‘Managing People’

One day of training, off-site, for same groups of 10 to 12 participants.


Content included:

  • Leadership styles
  • Coaching
  • Performance management and feedback
  • Dealing with difficult people management situations


Group Reflection and Further Development Planning Session – ‘Reflecting on Application of Learning as a Leader’

Half day of structured activities and facilitated discussion, in the same groups.


Focus was:

  • Reflecting on learning and application
  • Building Personal Development Plans
  • Evaluating the programme

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