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7th February 2019 - Will & Arun, MyKindaFuture @ Schroders

Great speaker and discussion topics. Thanks for everyone who contributed. Notes cover:

* Apprenticeships

* Mentoring

* Talent Programmes


We looked:

* Apprenticeships for those already in the business

* How to navigate the 20% rule

* Managing training providers

Apprenticeships for those already in the business:

  • Level 7 in Leadership and Management is a useful standard which allows HIPPOs in your business to do an MBA within the apprenticeship levy. Some organisations ask for a top up to get the full MBA qualification (letters after the name etc). Cranfield and Grant Thornton have a co-branded one, which puts the theory into business practice. There are many others in the market which take different approaches.

  • Level 4/7 Accountancy and taxation standards – easy wins for your finance teams.

  • Level 4/6 Project management – great for professionalising PM within the business. The Level 4 is also a great one for developing and engaging EAs/PAs etc

  • Level 5 HR Partner – great for upskilling those moving into HR from the business

  • Level 2/3 Business admin/Customer Service – great for junior level roles especially in Service Functions

How to navigate the 20% rule

You will need to do quite a lot of business engagement around this, but rely on your training providers to manage and monitor it for you. Framing it under ‘life-long learning’ rather than apprenticeships can be a good message.

Managing Training Providers

There are a number of options here we discussed:

  • Go through a tender process to ensure that you get the provider that really meets your needs. Get them to do the vast majority of the admin for you. Its important to check their OFSTED rating and financials as some newer providers aren’t financially stable and can fold if their OFSTED rating is unsatisfactory. They can also manage your levy pot.

  • If you have a high volume its worth considering becoming an Employer Provider to bring any internal training under the levy funding.

  • If you have a managed service provision, you can also ask them to be your go between, source apprenticeships for you and provide a panel of options for those wanting to learn. You can also give them access to manage the DAS for you.


* Enabled by a strong leadership culture

* Supported by strong mentor pool. Always good to start small and ask mentees to be your role models and become mentors

* Technology supports and enables mentoring – Everwise & MentorcliQ are two providers we discussed

* Open programmes in mentoring face the danger of losing ‘key purpose’

* Recommendation is to have mentoring as part of wider development/integrated in development programmes wherever possible

* Differentiate your mentoring programmes such as Top 5% population, ERGs, functional mentoring, mentoring on request

* Involvement of line managers – is key in any mentoring programme. Strong guidelines should reinforce where line managers can support and how to still keep the confidentiality alive between mentors & mentees

* Training mentors to be unbiased and dealing with negative reactions/negative experiences during mentoring is key. Train your mentors to flex between coaching & mentoring

* Mentees should know where mentoring fits in their overall development. It helps build their commitment

* Mentoring launch – always helps to clarify objectives & build buy-in from mentors & mentees

* Tracking & reporting success on business metrics

* Nomination – self-nomination with guidance from the business/admin is a strong recommendation

* Engage diverse mentors – talk about mentoring during senior leaders meeting and get them to sign up

* Content – use technology that talks to your other learning initiatives.

Talent Programmes

  • Future Leaders Indicator – Professional Services Company Target post grads. Use assessment to select top 40 future talent. Future of Work Lab. Set criteria for those who can apply – ie 4-6 years in the industry ( avoid it being a Line manager only nomination to avoid bias)

  • Future of the workplace - IGD – Retail trends and FT125 (FT 125 also have a women’s version)

  • Cranfield – Understanding finance ( Workshop but with follow up with CFO)

Post workshop session with CFO to review business results

Talent then present business results to wider business team

  • Quarterly business Update – Work with SME across the business to understand the balanced business scorecard – Present back the results to demonstrate understanding.

  • Leaders as Teachers - Consult with Senior Leaders - get them to define their role in developing talent – What’s their teachable point of view what are they passionate about and how can they share this knowledge.

  • Senior roles to run sessions to share business insights – CFO, head of strategy, Analysts etc.

  • Distinguished Engineer – go to expert/Guru and knowledge sharer. Formal role description in place ( applied for).

  • Enterprise Talent - 2 steps away from Exec – Use a ‘Hot House ‘ approach ( example used focussed on top 100 – not an annual programme but a longer term development approach. Trial 70% women to shift the balance at the top.

  • Mentors

  • Assessment to test future potential

  • Quarterly check-ins

  • Development Experiences – put into strategic growth roles – different country to stretch them

  • Networks opportunity.

  • Action Learning – Trial projects – present/pitches

  • Interview Senior Leaders to understand the skills they need in their changing business ( Skills, behaviours, Values, roles…)

  • Use Digital Platforms – Film their own podcasts to share knowledge, bios shared, shared content on platform.

  • Business challenges – defined by the board. 30-40 people in a 2 day cross business event to problem solve and present ideas back to the board. Given feedback.

  • Apprenticeship levy – 4 yr MBA

  • Reverse Mentoring

  • Think about the culture needed to make this work… measure leaders on their ability to develop people :

  • Metrics on developing people and promotions.

  • Develop Coaching skills in leaders

  • Speaker events - Simon Sinek – Future leadership skills

  • 10@10 – Senior leaders available for 10 min conversations ( one day per month for one hour) Allows talent to raise profile and get a broader business understanding.

  • Codeathon – Exercise with 30-40 people, Teach to code and set brief. Groups present back to panel ( can be done in 6 hours - any age and level of experience)