Natural History Museum

Outdoor Development Leadership & Team Programme:NHM in gorge

The Public Engagement Group (PEG) Senior Team at Natural History Museum was looking for a way to fast track the development and effectiveness of the team, whilst uplifting Leadership skills of the team members. This would in turn enable each leader work effectively with their teams and colleagues back in the workplace. Additionally, it was an opportunity to build closer working relationships between the PEG Team and the Science Directorate.

The 5 day outdoor development programme focussed on practical approaches to effective leadership, and built on work undertaken in-house in the preceding months on 360 feedback and personal profiling.

The essence of the approach was to create opportunities for participants to experience situations where they have to take decisions as both leaders and team members, putting concepts and theory into practice. This approach to the delivery also provided opportunities for individuals to see their impact on others, determining ways in which they can work at their best as both Team members and Leaders. These key approaches drove a change in the way the participants worked together and with their staff.

Key Objectives
• Accelerate team development to enhance trust across the team – understanding of differences
• Support the team to become more self-managed and resilient – achieving optimum collaborative working i.e. not competing at the expense of relationships
• Cultivate positive and effective leadership behaviours based on shared values and actively leading by example

The programme of pre-work together with the outdoor development event were extremely successful, with a high level of learning and enjoyment. Some of the benefits stated by participants on return to work were:
• Personal interaction – makes difficult conversations easier and a lot more comfortable.
• There is now increased confidence talking about PEG work to Science teams and an ability to provide context. Science leaders showing trust in PEG is a strong message to Science staff
• Day to day we are sounding each other out more. Feels a part of what we do
• I have found it useful to talk to someone with a different perspective. Can lead to taking a different approach or seeing more obvious answers
• Messages and direction from the senior team are consistent – no different answers depending on who you ask
• Greater knowledge about people personally has encouraged a more approachable atmosphere
• Everyone seems to be on the same page
• Feedback from staff has indicated that whereas before they could get different answers from different people, they are now faced with a collective view and consistent answers