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Leadership Development

Leadership Development

An innovative approach to leadership development involving blended learning, academic accreditation and private sector consultancy


Client Requirements

Taylor Clarke was contracted by the Scottish Executive to design and deliver Leading to Deliver, a Postgraduate Certificate leadership development programme for the social work services sector in Scotland, accredited by the Robert Gordon University. This programme was launched by Euan Robson MSP, Deputy Minister for Education & Young People, and has run for 4 cohorts with a total of 400 participants, comprising middle and senior managers working in the social work services sector throughout Scotland. Another cohort of 100 managers was further contracted, this also included a short programme for the participants managers to brief them on what their staff will experience so that greater support, commitment and buy-in is achieved.

Our Contribution

The project aim was to deliver a fundamental change in the leadership culture of organisations i.e. mainly local authorities and major charities, making them more focused on service delivery and client satisfaction.

In order to meet this ambitious aim we worked in partnership with the commissioning organisation the Social Work Services Policy Division of the Scottish Executive. The programme equips participants with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to make the required changes to the way they work, in order to help them deliver a demanding agenda for social work services.

A wide range of learning and development methods are used, including:

  • online completion of 360 degree feedback and Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) self assessment exercises prior to the commencement of the programme.
  • face-to-face delivery via a set of four, three day residential modules, including the use of plenary and syndicate groups, facilitated by 9 Taylor Clarke consultants.
  • online discussion groups, both self-directed and moderated by RGU staff via their virtual campus.
  • extensive use of Robert Gordon Univerisity’s virtual campus by geographically dispersed participants to access learning resources and liaise with academic staff and facilitators.
  • online and phone coaching by Taylor Clarke’s consultants.
  • a mix of facilitated and self directed action learning sets for geographically close participants.
  • accreditation at post graduate certificate level via a series of assessments set and marked by RGU Social Work Department  Staff.
  • bespoke web enabled CBT on key areas of knowledge via a series of modules designed and delivered by The Fifth Business. 

The Impact

Initial evaluation of the impact of the programme with both participants and their organisations yielded very positive results. These included the application of the learning, the energising effect it has on participants and the increase in personal and team effectiveness. The participant drop out rate for this demanding programme is very low, less than 5% and there is a consequently high graduation rate currently at 96%, making it Robert Gordon University’s most successful Postgraduate course to date. We believe these figures testify to its real value to a group of participants who lead very busy lives working in a high profile, stressful environments.

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