Productivity through People (PtP) is extending its collaborative focus on developing better working practices via four UK universities: Lancaster, Bath, Strathclyde and Aston. Other universities are seeking industrial sponsorship to join the programme.
The 12-month programme which was originally piloted at Lancaster began by targeting manufacturing and engineering businesses but has now extended its scope to other sectors employing significant numbers of people where the curriculum can have an impact.
PtP is built around three anchors: leadership, strategy and change, and culture. It begins with a benchmark assessment that allows participants to assess their business practices against the best in class and provide a focus for the subsequent coaching, action learning and mentoring. Industrial mentors help delegates one-to-one to work out their own strategy for improving their performance, encouraging them to learn from their own experiences and to find their own solutions to the challenges they face.
An important part of the programme is a visit to a world-class multinational, designed to inspire the business leaders about the potential of developing innovative practices in their company. Peer networking is another strong element and the programme is specifically designed with shadowing, exchanges and action learning sets to enable the formation of a strong and lasting peer group among the delegates. At the end of the programme the initial assessment is repeated to track progress and and the distance travelled by participants during the programme.
PtP’s first full-scale evaluation will be completed in 2020 but interim feedback has highlighted the effectiveness of working with universities and industry partners. Delegates have identified a range of benefits, including opportunities to access the latest management techniques and thinking from both academics and industry partners, growing confidence in their own leadership capability and personal effectiveness and the value of peer-to-peer collaboration.
They have reported change in a number of areas, such as people management practices, performance management and bonus schemes, more empowered staff and better communication. Teams have been described as being more motivated as a result of new initiatives being implemented while enhanced innovation is coming from greater collaboration.