People and Productivity

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Case Studies

We’re not “off the shelf.” We’re not “off the wall” either – we want to offer a common sense, fast, straight line to skills. Dull that might sound! But we’re not….we’re imaginative – which speeds up learning – and we offer an outstanding service that one of our clients calls our “Customer Care Plus!”

Probably like most people you want to walk away wanting – and knowing how  – to just do it. As you can see from the range below, no subjects are exclusive and usually overlap – which is better for your budget. The Wildfire ethos is that no two organisations or teams are the same, so each design and delivery is different.

Team Building mini workshop

  • The core functions for a retail company needed to develop greater understanding of each others’ teams.At their conference they needed a team building development session lasting under 2 hours.
  • They enjoyed exploring their own definitions of teamwork and teambuilding. The energising session involved facilitation and fun tools without “teaching” in order to maximise their interaction and teamwork within the session.
  • Outcomes: (1) Scoring the company on teambuilding, (2) Ideas and personal action plans to increase teamwork whilst (3) Additional personal responsibility agreed for instigating real change.

Go to training

Managing change 2 day programme

  • An international airport-owning company was implementing the SAP system. Finance team managers needed ideas for leading changes, both within their teams and with internal customers.
  • 2 training days comprised idea-generating, brain-friendly activities and learning the psychology of workplace change.
  • Outcomes: A greater understanding of (1) Resistance to change and (2) Scale of internal communication required to implement a software and administrative system change within the timeframe.

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Board Level Facilitation

  • The housing management arm of a London borough local authority needed the (volunteer) Board to have time to unite and reassess priorities ahead of a stringent external audit.
  • The 8 participants received a part-training, part-facilitated day for achieving heightened focus by developing their leadership and united front, through topics such as coaching techniques and team dynamics.
  • Outcomes: (1) Bonded more than usual, (2) Explored their strategic priorities and (3) Set clear ongoing actions as individuals and as a united team.

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Outplacement programme

  • Warehouse staff were facing redundancy, with many having never written a CV or completed an application form. Some found their jobs decades ago through word of mouth and most were unconfident in their literacy.
  • They needed (a) an uplift, encouragement and (b) an understanding of how to succeed in the current job market. A course was designed around their shift patterns, for them to share concerns and gain necessary tools.
  • Outcomes: They were then equipped to (1) Approach recruitment consultants, (2) Complete application forms, (3) Develop CVs and (4) Perform in an interview. Over the 6 half day sessions they became more accepting and less resentful about their situation and confident in their job prospects.

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Management training half days

  • Half day management training sessions were offered over 3 months within a large multi-faceted international business.
  • 10 topics were covered: (1) Breaking the Management Mould; (2) Dealing with Different Cultures; (3) Presentation Skills; (4) Diversity and Equality; (5) Coaching skills; (6) Finance for non-Financial Managers; (7) Talent Management; (8) Communicating Under Pressure; (9) Motivating and Managing Remote Teams; and (10) Team Communication Tricks. Each session ran twice, to allow for flexible timing and so that not all managers were absent at the same time.
  • Outcomes: The managers, from Customer Service, Engineering, Project Management, Sales and Marketing responded well to the focused sessions with individual action plans.

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Networking Skills for start-up businesses

  • On behalf of a city council, this was designed to cater for business and networking novices, accommodating any literacy and language needs they may have.
  • The course was set in 3 parts: (1) The training day; (2) A practice networking event; and (3) Being accompanied to a real networking event.The participants all developed their confidence in not just their business activities but in being able to walk into a room of strangers and in refining their “offering.”
  • Outcomes: Within the course duration of 2 to 3 weeks the transition of some of the participants in their business momentum and their confidence has been remarkable.

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Customer service telephone skills

  • Telephone training needed to refresh the skills of customer-facing team members at a large automotive supplier. The content was designed to their roles, so comprised 2 sets of 2 half days so that half the team maintained a presence on the phones whilst the other half participated in training.
  • The activities were practical, fun and full of discussion. The customer service topics overlapped certain themes to breed confidence in the individuals e.g. assertiveness, efficiency and listening skills.
  • Outcomes: The team had a refresher course that gave them (a) Motivation, (b) Encouragement, (c) Techniques and (d) Further phone discipline.

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Lunchtime learning sessions

  • In the last 4 years an organisation, an extension of a local council, has provided lunchtime learning sessions open to staff of varied roles based in and out of the head office.
  • The remit was for topics to couple upskilling (beneficial to the organisation) with (individual) career development: (1) Learning styles; (2) Presenting information in a brain-friendly fashion; (3) New Year Reflections and Projections; (4) The CV to get you that job; (4) Selling yourself into that job; (5) Your Contribution: Lean Measures for Lean Times; (6) Setting out your stall for success
  • Outcomes: More confident staff took away practical tactics and common vocabulary to breed these topics within the culture.

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Leadership development programme

  • A national building industry professional services consultancy wanted to introduce a Leadership Development Programme. Rather than an “off the shelf” format, their training manager and Wildfire developed a relevant process to integrate into the work of the participants.
  • Over the year 12 middle management participants experienced 13 leadership modules (in line with ILM criteria) led by hand-picked expert trainers and consultants. Additionally they were assigned integrated business-specific projects in small teams, reporting to the company Partners.
  • Outcomes: Accelerated profile-building internally, some rapid promotions, unguided instigation of initiativesthen  rolled out in the company.

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Whole company development

  • A consistent company approach to efficiency, customer service, management and “how to manage your manager” was needed.
  • Architects, Architectural Technicians, office staff and Directors experienced 6 lunchtime learning sessions to develop a consistent company approach to: (1) Planning;  (2) Efficiency and Ease; (3) Rapport Building; (4) Communication; (5) Flow of information;  and  (6) Professional Development. Additionally each member of staff benefited from between 1 and 3 one-to-one coaching sessions to tackle the current issues they faced.
  • Outcomes: (a) More informed staff pending forthcoming annual reviews and (b) Greater responsibility taken by staff for their own development and career prospects. A final evaluation report was presented to the Directors with recommendations going forward.

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Training topics

  1. Applications and interviews – winning the job you want
  2. Appraisal / reviews for managers – operating processes to manage your team Appraisal / reviews for staff – using proper processes to push your career ahead
  3. Assertiveness – communicating clearly
  4. Coaching – for managers to adopt a coaching approach
  5. Coaching – for staff to improve cooperation through coaching tactics
  6. Communication and flow of information – essentials for internal communication
  7. CV writing – getting noticed with a fantastic CV
  8. Efficiency and ease – developing efficient and effective habits
  9. Email etiquette – for professional conduct and email efficiency
  10. Employee engagement – getting commitment from your teams
  11. Feedback – being able to give and take solid feedback
  12. Finance for non-financial managers – to understand budgeting and financial fundamentals
  13. Influencing skills – gaining impact through improved language, listening and logic
  14. Innovating for success – new energetic approaches to everyday issues
  15. Leadership – influencing and generating followers
  16. Management development – vital management approaches
  17. Managing change – for managers to instigate sustainable, cooperative changes
  18. Managing change – for staff to adapt to changes in the workplace
  19. Managing your manager – taking more responsibility for your role
  20. Meeting management – professionally setting agendas and taking minutes
  21. Motivation – for managers to adopt techniques for motivating teams
  22. Motivation – for staff to find ways to be better motivated
  23. Negotiation – for confident negotiating and optimal outcomes
  24. Outplacement – guiding people from redundancy back into the job market
  25. Overcoming office politics – creating a POP (positive office politics) culture
  26. Personal planning – taking your development and planning seriously
  27. Personal styles – understanding how we’re similar and different
  28. Presentation skills – designing and giving powerful presentations
  29. Presentation skills – overcoming the fear of public speaking
  30. Problem solving – strategies for creatively solving problems
  31. Professionalism– appropriate protocol for representing your organisation
  32. Rapport building – through body, verbal and written language
  33. Report writing – making an impact when writing business reports
  34. Stress management – dealing with, and suffering less, from work stresses
  35. Team building for managers – maximising team members and the whole team
  36. Team building for team members – becoming a better team player
  37. Telephone techniques – for better sales and customer service
  38. Train the trainer – making training engaging and the learning lasting
  39. Time management – tackling time management with simple strategies
  40. The Zero Inbox – how to create and keep an empty email inbox

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Departmental/resourcing review

  • A family-run building firm knew that structural finance team changes were required but unclear.
  • By (a) Interviewing all team members and the management, Wildfire was able to provide (b) An objective report of observations with options for restructuring.
  • Outcomes: The company chose and implemented their solution soon after. This included (1) a painless shift in management responsibility, (2) meeting the personal needs of the team members and (3) a physical office move for a more integrated approach.

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Focus groups

  • A UK arm of an international company needed to measure staff morale and gain insight into the current issues affecting teams.
  • Having recently launched SAP, it was no secret that stress levels were especially high. Wildfire designed separate focus groups suitable for the widely varied role-holders.
  • Outcomes: The quality and quantity of the feedback, in the detailed report, confirmed for the management team the (1) Low morale and (2) The specifics causing it, whilst (3) Pinpointing the areas in which momentum could be achieved rapidly.

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Coaching to overcome fear of public speaking

  • A successful software sales person needed to present a new product at a conference. This highlighted his urgent need for overcoming a paralysing fear of public speaking – which would flare up when addressing more than 2 or 3 people at once.
  • Through 2 morning sessions, at an informal location away from his usual workplace, he was coached to a) identify the background to his fear and b) unravel the meaning he gave the fear and then c) develop strategies.
  • Outcomes: This was not to just cope with speaking in public but to engage his talents and expertise to successfully address a large audience enthusiastically and with confidence. He did so, 5 days later!

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Coaching for sales performance

  • A software sales company had post- restructuring fallout.
  • 4 one-to-one coaching sessions helped a sales manager to (a) adapt, (b) to gain confidence and to be less distracted by the organisational changes – so that he could (c) focus on driving increasing sales of his team.
  • Outcomes: Whilst suspicious, he took to the coaching quickly and it (1) boosted his confidence and (2) focused his day-to-day activities. He (3) also enthused gratitude towards the company in recognising his value and investing in his development.

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Coaching for management development

  • A middle manager needed to identify and plan for developing leadership and management skills.
  • Focusing on (a) technical (professional) skills and (b) the (softer) behaviours that came easily, as well as (c) identifying and working with the stickier subjects, this manager was able to plan immediate strategies.
  • Outcomes: 3 sessions across a few weeks resulted in: (1) Rise in profile; (2) Increased confidence in “managing up;” (3) Improved delegation; (4) More assertiveness; as well as (5) Measurably better productivity and efficiency.

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Speaking at branch events

  • A membership organisation wanted a speaker for consecutive evening events in different parts of the UK. They wanted a speaker to engage and educate members on effective email management.
  • “Managing your email and the Zero inbox” lasted 90 minutes for 25 people on the 1st evening and 50 on the 2nd. The promotional material asked: Do you find that email wastes more than 50% of your working week? Does it interfere with your job satisfaction and sense of achievement?  Would you like to stop being a slave to your email?
  • The sessions offered: (1) 20 time-saving tactics; (2) Learning how to get and keep an empty inbox; (3) Becoming the master of your mail. Outcomes: 80% scored the evenings as “Excellent”

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Speaking at conferences

  • An international organisation needed a 35 minute auditorium session for the annual summer conference, on how to offer clients better value and broader services.
  • “Making the transition to superior service” was designed to cover 3 solid sections but succinctly: (1) Exposing wider expertise to generate broader business; (2) Thinking as a brand; and (3) Coaching clients through the conversation.
  • Outcomes: Feedback from the event was high scoring, plus comments included “encouraging” “practical” and “spot on!”

Go to speaking

Public Speaking subjects

  1. Assertiveness for Leadership
  2. Coaching through Tough Times
  3. Confident Career Management
  4. Death Defying Presentation Skills
  5. Efficiency and Ease
  6. Email Etiquette
  7. Feedback for Going Forward
  8. How to Hear What your Clients are Saying
  9. Leadership through Influencing
  10. Lean Measures for Lean Times
  11. Making an Impact with Numbers
  12. Making the Transition to Superior Service
  13. Managing Stress
  14. Managing your Email and The Zero Inbox
  15. Managing your Manager
  16. Menu for Managing Change
  17. Motivating Teams on a Shoestring
  18. Negotiating your Way to What you Want
  19. Networking your Way Up
  20. Overcoming Office Politics
  21. Passionately Presenting Your Business
  22. Quick-Fire Career Answers
  23. Recession-Proofing your Career
  24. Tackling Time Management
  25. To Lead not Manage

All of the above can be provided as training topics. Go to speaking or training or facilitation