GSK Ulverston

CfLP Instrumental in Developing
Leaders at GSK Ulverston


GSK Ulverston's first line leaders taking to the chessboard

Smart move — GSK Ulverston's first line leaders taking to the chessboard for one of the exercises are, left to right, Christine Allison, Dave Sergeant, Brian Clarke, Lee Tomlinson, Steve Daw, Andy Armstrong, James Ashdown and Mike Hocking.

CfLP is working in partnership with GSK Ulverston to deliver an innovative development programme for their first-line leaders. This creative and impactful programme centres on experiential soft skills development, action learning and shadowing to bring about a step change in leadership capability and behaviours.

When staff on the first rung of the leadership ladder at GSK's antibiotics manufacturing facility at Ulverston recently swapped their normal working environment of office, lab and production area for a few away days in the Cumbrian countryside it was no holiday.

The 30 first-line leaders found themselves working hard on a series of exercises designed to put into practise leadership skills already learnt in the classroom, covering areas such as the art of delegation, giving effective feedback and adapting their approach to the role.

It was all part of the pharmaceuticals and healthcare company's commitment to effective team building through its Leadership Skills in Action programme designed to develop capabilities and build confidence.

For the off-site programme GSK Ulverston engages the award-winning Centre for Leadership Performance (CfLP), which takes participants through a series of physical and mental challenges, workshops and action learning.

CfLP, which is based at Cockermouth, is used by a wide range of private and public sector organisations throughout the region to develop leadership talent. As part of its service it is able to feedback to individuals how they are progressing and to their company how the organisation compares with others.

Nikki Brown, who works in Environment, Health and Safety at GSK Ulverston, said that much of the training was based on a series of outdoor exercises which got trainees to identify the types of behaviours they used and those which they intended to develop.

Nikki commented, "An exercise which sticks in my mind was a form of chess in which human pieces had to be moved about the board using limited communications. This presented a series of challenges and frustrations which had to be overcome and was a great learning process."

Phil Wilson, Site Director at Ulverston, said, "At GSK we are passionate about continually developing our staff and this ongoing investment in our winning team is vital to continue our success at Ulverston. Our first-line leaders get tremendous benefit from the CfLP experience as part of their on-going development. Leaders at all levels throughout the site regularly take part in development activities and workshops as part of extending their skills and helping them to lead their teams effectively"

Phil went on to say, "Continued development of our leaders at GSK Ulverston is something that I feel very passionately about and is aligned to our strategy to 'invest in our winning team'. Therefore, I grabbed the opportunity to work with the Centre for Leadership Performance on their bespoke leadership development programmes. These programmes are proving instrumental in helping accelerate the development of our first line leaders."

"Developing first line leaders is one of CfLP's key strengths and we are delighted to be working with the GSK in Ulverston to support their leaders to drive business development and growth", said Sharon Nixon, CfLP's Programme Manager.

Sue Roberts of CfLP commented, "The success of this programme is based on its pragmatic approach, making the learning relevant to the leaders. By combining experiential leadership development with action learning and shadowing, the leaders have the opportunity to develop over a longer time period, to identify challenges and get support from colleagues on how to overcome these."

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