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CAKE PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT takes on eras ltd people development consultancy.

Welcome to our news and blog page.

 

Here will share what's new and happening in the world of CAKE People Develeopment and all things Learning and Development.

By Shelley Measures, Sep 14 2018 12:33PM

Neemarket Racecourse
Neemarket Racecourse

Since we launched The Coaching Conversation 4 years ago, we continue to strive to make each event better than the last.


This year is no exception. This year we are putting you in charge! You are responsible for your own learning.


Our theme is ‘Closing the Development Gap.’ We’ll explore how coaching and mentoring bridge the gap between informal learning, formal training and performance at work.


We have designed an amazing conference, putting you in control of your learning and takeaways. We will provide the ingredients for you to create your own unique conference experience.


Our workshop/sessions and conversations will be thought-provoking, to challenge your thinking and lead to action.


We have a great team on hand to ensure you get the most out of your day and here are a few tips to help get you thinking:


Go with the flow – we have designed the day to help you find the time and space to connect and have conversations


Don’t just go with what you know – challenge yourself on topics that interest you but you might not know too much about


Breaking up’s not hard to do – if attending with colleagues, try splitting up to gain different experiences and compare notes – you’ll meet others you might not have connected with otherwise


Use the two feet rule – if a session isn’t working for you, join another one… it's OK


Get involved – participation is key, it will have such a positive effect on your learning and outcomes


Trading places – teaching and learning aren’t fixed roles, be prepared to change your hat


Interesting and unexpected things are likely to happen but the most exciting aspect of our event is always the power of bringing together a group of like-minded people, all on equal terms – a real-life example of inclusion and diversity, connecting for peer-to-peer learning and sharing ideas. Our experience has taught us that the sum of knowledge in the audience is greater than the sum of knowledge of the people on stage.


Book your ticket today for a day guaranteed to be engaging, energising and inspiring; full of learning and of course, great conversations.


See you there!


The CAKE Team

By Shelley Measures, Jul 5 2018 12:40PM

Martin Bull & Jo Tonnison
Martin Bull & Jo Tonnison

Do you know a coaching champion who goes over and above their job role? Have they had a significant impact on your’s or someone else's life? Have they been the driving force in the introduction of a coaching and mentoring initiative?


Now is the time to show your appreciation for all they do. Help us celebrate and reward their outstanding work and nominate them for the CAKE People Development Coaching Champion Award.


The CAKE People Development showpiece annual event, The Coaching Conversation conference is seen as highly inspirational within the coaching community, and this year it will be held at Newmarket Racecourse, on Thursday 29th of November.


The principal aim of the award is to raise the profile of coaching and mentoring and the role it plays in transforming individuals and businesses alike. Our previous winner Martin Bull attributes coaching to the success of his apprenticeship programmes.


Margaret Burnside, Director at CAKE People Development, said

“I am pleased to announce nominations for this year's Awards open. This is a significant year for us as we introduce our second award, The Best Coaching and Mentoring Initiative Award.

Our awards are a unique opportunity for the regions’ L&D/HR professionals and business leaders to reward and recognise the excellent coaching and mentoring happening within their organisations."


Martin Bull - Dispensing Systems Development Manager & Global Valve Systems Expert at RPC UCP Zeller Plastik and last year’s winner of the coaching champion award said “I was delighted to receive the award. I credit my development journey to Steve Millbank, Head of Leadership Development at CAKE. He ignited my passion for coaching and L&D when I attended a programme he ran about four years ago.

It was an honour to have my work and my passion for coaching and mentoring recognised beyond the workplace. It’s truly gratifying and a great feeling.”


He continued, “I liked that the award is a showcase for the full spectrum of coaching and mentoring. I was disappointed I wasn’t able to attend the conference in person, but my colleague accepted the award on my behalf and was blown away by the amazing work other coaches are undertaking. He learnt a great deal form the day.”


In line with CAKE People Development values; passion, excellence, integrity and making a difference, we would like to stress that we welcome nominations on behalf of qualified, non-qualified, team leaders, supervisors, managers, teachers, tutors and anyone who supports people to achieve their goals.


Promote the people who tirelessly champion coaching and mentoring and have made a difference to you.


Tell us about your coaching champion by heading to: http://ow.ly/v4u130kOpaF


All entries must be in by Friday, September 28th.



By Shelley Measures, Jul 4 2018 11:41AM

The organisations we work with which have created and sustained a coaching culture where managers use a coaching style as standard, report many benefits, from increased employee engagement and the ability to successfully resolve conflict, to increased productivity and performance.


So, it’s understandable that when polled, almost 70% of businesses said they use coaching. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a coaching culture is in place, as frequently coaching is used on a one to one basis and often only for senior members of the team.


There are some key factors to take into consideration when implementing a coaching culture. It’s an ongoing voyage, one that requires sound building blocks of internal coaching capability so that over time, it is sustained, and capability is scaled up, so the coaching culture becomes the broader organisation culture.


1. Top Team Buy-In


For any project to work, and especially when introducing a coaching culture, the top team need to be fully engaged and on board. It needs to start at the top and then flow through the rest of the business. This is key to establishing and approving the business benefits for introducing a coaching culture. They are your advocates and will set the example of the desired behaviours.


At CAKE, we will always suggest starting with an Executive Team Coaching Programme; it proves to be the best basis for buy-in for the project.


2. Who are your champions?


The buy-in has been established and the example set, but who will champion the project? Your line managers are your champions and essential to the success and longevity of the coaching culture. It’s your champions who you will depend upon to make sure the coaching programme is put into effect, so it is vital they have the tools and skills they need to build on the coaching programme. Although not essential, we will suggest that a core team of managers achieve a formal qualification, through either the ILM or CMI.


3. Embed the programme.


A culture change is not sustainable unless there is a clear purpose. Whatever your business objectives are, they need to be communicated, so it is clear to all stakeholders what their role is and what is expected of them. The core team is the key component to create an environment that allows the culture to embed, to establish its roots.


4. Bust the myths.


It is so important to open conversations around coaching, to help your managers and executives understand how to use coaching and mentoring effectively as part of everyday working life. Be transparent, collaborate across all business units and tackles the challenges and bust the myths along the way.


It can feel like a massive task with so much to consider but by working with you, CAKE can advise, recommend and design a combination of strategies to ensure your coaching culture becomes standard practice which will ensure the maturity, success and longevity of the project.


As the saying goes.. ‘No one said it was going to be easy, but it’ll be worth it.’


For further information on our coaching and mentoring programme and interventions or for information about the East of England Coaching and Mentoring Conference – The Coaching Conversation 2018 call The CAKE Team on 01603 733006












By Shelley Measures, Feb 13 2018 03:04PM

Coaching Leaders


Working with leaders in business, whether senior leaders of organisations or talented contributors within them, can be highly stimulating and rewarding. They are often bright, passionate and inspiring people with impressive track records of success. For the same reasons, coaching these leaders can be scary. It’s easy to feel intimidated by power and talent. This article covers three areas in which gaining the respect of your leader coachees can lead to their stronger commitment to working with you. The three areas are credibility, confidence and challenge.


Credibility


Leaders want to know that you’re a person worth their time and effort before they commit to the process. Success has come to them from using their time wisely, and you’re just one of many choices they could make to fill their day. Accept that they will start judging you as soon as you meet (or speak on the phone or exchange emails). Every interaction is a moment of truth for them about you. Establishing your credibility is essential for them to trust you and we know that trust is vital for coaching to be effective.


As well as your professional credibility as a coach, learning as much as you can about your leader before you meet them shows them you take your coaching clients seriously. This sounds obvious, but I’m still surprised at the number of coaches who pay scant attention to this step. “I don’t do any preparation as I don’t want to pre-judge the person,” a coach once told me. I know of at least one contract she lost because the managing director she met thought her unworthy of working with. She knew little about his company and even less about him. One or two conversations and a search online might have produced a different outcome. Study the organisation’s website to understand their business niche, approach and successes. Many display profiles of their leaders. Some even give contact details. Recently I was researching a financial software company. The CEO’s email address was on the website, so I sent him a brief hello. This led to a friendly phone conversation. No immediate business resulted, but our relationship is now established. One thing he did say was how few approaches he gets directly in this way. The fact I’d bothered to look and contact him, as a result, was unusual and welcome (why would he have his email in a public domain if he didn’t want people to reach out?).


Speaking to people who know and work with your leader is also very useful. I find a simple, open and honest approach works best, something like, “X and I are meeting soon to see if there’s value in working together. What could you tell me that might be helpful?” Sometimes I’ll ask a more specific question such as, “What strengths do they bring to the business?” or “What are some of the qualities you admire in them?” Don’t ask about failings or shortcomings. You can guarantee this conversation will get back to your leader at lightning speed. You don’t want your motives to be questioned. Keep it positive and respectful.


Confidence


You need to convince your leader that you believe in the value of what you’re doing. If there’s any doubt, you can forget continuing to work with them. Remove the risk of coming across as hesitant or tentative by having a clear coaching pathway to travel along. Point out the reason for and the value of each step, and include a couple of real-life vignettes to illustrate. When I met the no-nonsense MD of a business consultancy, “Convince me this will work,” was one of the first things he said. I showed him a simple one-pager entitled, ‘Your Exit Strategy In Four Steps’. On the page were four key questions for him to wrestle with. All of his answers related to his achieving retirement as soon as possible. My research had revealed this as his key goal. I explained each step simply and clearly, and emphasised the thinking effort and committed action he would need to bring to make our coaching relationship worthwhile. “OK,” was all he said and we started right away. He retired within five years of the conversation.


Challenge


Giving your leaders an easy ride is not helpful to their development. They welcome and rise to challenge, and they will want it from you. I adopt an assertive coaching approach with business leaders. As long as that does not stray into rudeness or insult, often they find somebody standing up to them refreshing. Pick your battles, however. Nit-picking is just annoying. Put your foot down on the big stuff, the thinking, assumptions, opinions and judgements that could sabotage your leader’s progress. During one of my last coaching sessions before writing this piece, I interrupted my coachee. “You are blaming someone else for what is your responsibility,” I stated. He was taken aback and a bit annoyed by this. I explained that three times he had told me of the importance of a key deliverable’s success, each time adding that he had little faith in one of his manager’s ability to play their part. The message I got was, “I’m just waiting for things to fail so I can justify my opinion of the guy.” When I said that to him, he became silent, looked at the floor and then reluctantly agreed. It was a breakthrough which allowed us to move towards how he could support that manager more strongly.


Coaching leaders is a great test of your own leadership in action. People like people who are like themselves. When your leader coachees experience qualities in you they can relate to, admire or to which they want to aspire; they will have a natural tendency to connect with you. How you coach them, therefore, is arguably just as important as what you coach them on. By building your credibility, displaying confidence in your coaching and not holding back with a helpful challenge, your leader will be even more minded to take you seriously as a valuable asset on their leadership journey.


Contact The CAKE Team on 01603 733006 or via email on slice@cakepd.co.uk to discuss our coaching interventions.




By Shelley Measures, Nov 28 2017 02:06PM

Over 100 HR & L&D professionals joined us for our annual East of England coaching and mentoring conference, The Coaching Conversation, held at Center Parcs, Elveden Forest, Suffolk.


Now in its 3rd year, out latest conference on Wednesday 15 November tackled the theme of change.


Margaret Burnside, Director of CAKE, said; “It has been an amazing year for us, we have gone through a period of massive growth and change which influenced the theme for this year’s conference.


“We are passionate about coaching and mentoring; it’s at the heart of everything we do so it was very important that we upheld the quality of our previous conferences.”


Our aim is to continue to meet and bring inspired people together to support the coaching community. In previous years we have brought guest speakers: Julie Starr - Author and Coach, Andy Lancaster – CIPD, David Taylor – The Naked Leader, as well as experts in the coaching and mentoring world to the region and this year we were delighted to add Professor David Clutterbuck and James Hutton to the list.


Delegates were able to choose from a variety of practical workshops and case studies running throughout the day with the opportunity to connect, collaborate and have some great conversations in the delightful, rural setting.


This year saw the introduction of the first CAKE Coaching Award. We wanted to know who went above and beyond their job role coaching and supporting their colleagues, who were the coaching champions driving and maintaining the coaching culture in their organisations.


The winner of The CAKE Coaching Award was Martin Bull – Systems Development Manager, Global Closure Systems – UCP Zeller and our finalists were: Derrick Farrell – CEO Rehabworks and Derek Jackson – Graphic Designer – LSI Architects.


Margaret continued, “Encouragingly, the use of coaching in conjunction with existing development initiatives is becoming more common. We introduced the CAKE Coaching Award this year, to recognise, reward and celebrate the valuable contribution coaching makes to individuals and organisations. We were delighted to announce our first ever winner having been overwhelmed by the quality of nominations, which gave us some tough decisions to make. The feedback we have had has been amazing; I’m so proud of our CAKE Team for creating a great conference experience.”


What our delegates said:


“I think the conference was extremely well organised, fabulous venue, very good food, very professional speakers and workshop facilitators.”


“Thank you for organising such a fabulous event; the conference was extremely good value for money, an enjoyable and thought-provoking day.”


“I found the whole programme very interesting; I wish I could have attended every session.”


I thoroughly enjoyed it, surpassed my expectations.”


If you would like to discuss any of our coaching initiatives or qualifications call the CAKE Team on 01603 733006 or email slice@cakepd.co.uk





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