Helping a Russian based customer co-create value with their suppliers meant helping both parties think through how to work effectively together and then to learn how to use innovation tools and techniques to create new products and services for the local market. Today, there are successful products on shelves in Russian shops that owe their genesis to these workshops.
Whilst the business had developed a great performance management tool, they needed an organisation to help bring the content alive for people. Having delivered a great service in the UK, they then asked us to help embed these same skills in staff in a number of other countries around the world.
Whilst almost all learning and development companies can offer a complete suite of leadership programmes, most are brilliant at one or two things and good at the rest. So when a media company wanted a world class leadership programme, they came to us because of our ability to pull together experts from a number of different companies and get them to work together as a team to create an outstanding programme. But we didn’t stop there, we made sure each venue was of itself a relevant and insightful place to be.
Sometimes, it’s not about us doing the delivery. Instead it’s about creating an amazing product that a team can deliver in-house. We were delighted to do this for a retail client whose current development programme for New Store Managers was under subscribed, seen as not fit for purpose and a bit boring. We created a dynamic business simulation experience that reflected the core challenges these managers faced and provided the tasks, tools, review guidance, coaching framework, timetables, presentations, FAQs and group management guidance to help them do a brilliant job. Such is the popularity of the revised programme it is over subscribed and has delivered an added advantage of reducing the overall risk faced by the business.
So far, the discussion has been about how to keep going in spite of the fatigue experienced. Fatigue serves a really useful purpose. It is the body’s way of saying ‘stop!’, ‘enough!’ ‘it’s time to take a break.’ In healthy people, fatigue ensures we stop to recover and regenerate. It is not, as it is often portrayed, an illness, or something to fix. That feeling of sleepiness when driving that has us pulling over to have 40 winks, is a very effective mechanism to ensure we take the break we need to have the focus required to drive safely. We ignore it at our peril. The body is so effective that if tired enough, it will simply send you into sleep, no matter how much coffee you have drunk. Even Mark Beaumont slept for a few hours each night.
So if you too have your sights on a significant challenge like Mark Beaumont did, make sure you really know why you are doing it and what you hope to get from it. That understanding may be just what you need to get you through those dark moments when fatigue is haunting you. And if you do feel like you can’t go on, rather than give up, perhaps take a 5 minute break and then have another go, it may just be enough to get you out of that tough place. But above all, if you really cannot go on – stop! There’s a reason – you need a rest.
Dominic Irvine © 2017