The day was organised by The Pacific Institute and consisted of two sessions delivered by Mike O'Brien; one on 'Culture Matters' and another on ''Measuring Culture and Leadership'.
The new Manchester College is one of the largest colleges in the country and Peter Tavernor, the Principal, and Barbara Forshaw, the Vice Principal, have used the Investment in Excellence programme to drive it's growth and development over the last few years as MANCAT and are now taking that approach into the new college.
Mike O'Brien's session reinforced the fact that 'it's leaders that make organisations work' and the critical importance of beliefs driving behaviours that deliver performance. He also used gardening metaphors to urge us to continue to prune our organisations and to get rid of the suckers that drain our energy. He asked us to look at the video game approach to feedback in our relentless pursuit of excellence suggesting that it isn't about winning but about getting to the next level. We must nurture talent, coach for attitude and motivation and work to develop skills and knowledge in all our colleagues.
He also argued that it is not about accountability versus empowerment but accountability AND empowerment. We should spend our time clarifying the vision, walking the talk and coaching our colleagues to do the same. We need to be very clear about what success looks like an how we will know if we are being succvessful, We need to be clear about our goals, define our outcomes, provide direction, develop models and provide reinforcement and encouragement to our colleagues.