Gloucestershire based Innovation & Creative Training Company, Treehouse, has recently completed its first management development programme for BAE Systems’ Combat Air Product Support department, with the Managing Contribution programme yielding significant improvements in how the department’s managers lead their teams, allowing everyone to contribute more to the success of the business.

Above:

Treehouse Director, Helen Westendorp.


The Combat Air Product Support department recognised that some of their key technical managers, whilst excelling in their own technical discipline, needed support in becoming better people managers.  26 chosen managers took part in the ten month programme and were introduced to the concepts of Managing Contribution, learning new methods of working through a series of facilitated workshops. A series of weekly, fortnightly and monthly individual Contribution coaching sessions helped them apply what they’d learned in the workshop in a way that was relevant to them at work.

Workshops were held on specific topics such as Knowing and Communicating with your People and Coaching for Performance and were adapted to deal with issues that came up from individual coaching sessions. 

By the end of the programme all Managers had recorded significant improvement and all were fully engaged and committed to the process and learnt to be less involved in technical delivery and more supportive in helping their teams deliver and think for themselves.

Dawn Bennion, one of the managers who attended the Managing Contribution Programme said: “The programme has helped me become a more effective manager and showed me methods which enabled me to make a difference to the wider organisation. The programme encouraged me to think differently, use my immediate team effectively and continually challenge the status quo.”

At the start of the programme, key Treehouse staff worked with senior managers at BAE to build a talent map across the whole Combat Air Product Support team.  This involved landscaping the talents of all managers in detail and discussing who would gain the most benefit out of the programme’s developmental approach.

“Choosing managers that are open to change and have the skills and desire to make change happen is the key to the start of any management development programme,” said Treehouse Director, Helen Westendorp.  “Concentrating on the difference a person makes to a business, rather than their performance, brings significant and sustained benefits to both the individual and the team as well as increasing the amount of contribution a department or team makes towards achieving a company’s vision, mission and goals.”