Sandway Homes Limited are a housing development company, wholly-owned by Sefton Council.
The Company is managed by senior officers of the Council performing executive roles within the Company through a secondment. In addition, we have four Non-Executive Directors, three from commercial and industry related backgrounds and a fourth who is a Councillor. Our shareholder representative function is also carried out by a Councillor.
In Professional Development (INPD) already had an extensive two-day course designed for the Role of the Director and the Board. Initially we worked with them to tailor make a programme and following our research to look at the quality of content and value for money, INPD came out strongest for us even though they weren’t the cheapest option. It was clear from my conversations with INPD, who forwarded everything we needed to share with the Board and later conversations with the trainer, that they were certainly the strongest provider.
We had three conversations with our trainer Stewart, prior to the training, and he shared with us his background and asked very insightful questions relating to the make up of our Board, their experience and what they wanted to get out of the training. We were also provided with a pre-training questionnaire to share with all attendees and we has a clear oversight of the content and could see that the information provided was weaved into Stewart’s delivery. He tailored his learning to be personal and pertinent to what we needed.
One of our objectives for the training was to provide a team building environment for our newly informed Board and Stewart effectively used ice-breaking exercises at the start of the course to draw out information from each member throughout his delivery. This tactic provided us all with a greater understanding of each other, not just our interests and background, but also our respective values and desired vision for the Company, which has led to a greater appreciation of each other.
We had a selection of experienced and non-experienced directors in the training so as well as sharing relevant information from Stewart’s background, he encouraged the directors to share their experiences and used videos and best practice to help us identify where are Board was strong and where it requires improvement for greater efficiency.
The Course exceeded our expectations and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. Our Directors all thought it was highly effective in encouraging those conversations to address each of the items raised within the Director’s pre-training questionnaires, Stewart completely tailored everything to our needs.
How has your training benefited you so far?
As mentioned above, the Role of the Director course helped us to address all our initial objectives and challenges. It has brought the Board together as a team, we have a greater understanding of each of our roles and it has also made us more aware of each other’s strengths and areas for development and are using these effectively to better support the Company.
I feel it would be useful to have an away day once a year to review the conversations during the training and track our achievements and effectiveness as a Board. At present, we have not identified any formal learning we wish to undertake, other than specific areas relating to the Company’s requirements, e.g. website development, social value.
I can certainly recommend INPD. We were well looked after from enquiry to post-delivery, with a high emphasis placed on the objectives we wished to achieve. Following several pre-training conversations, our trainer (Stewart) masterfully weaved Sandway Homes throughout his delivery providing us with a very personal learning experience, tailored completely to our needs, thank you!
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