Collaborate Business Solutions and the Children’s society – Excellence in People Development

The Children’s Society, formally the Church of England Children’s Society, is a children’s charity allied to the Church of England. Its objectives are twofold:

  • To improve the lives of children and young people for whom it provides services.
  • To create a positive shift in social attitudes to improve the situation facing all children and young people.

The Children’s Society had just set to work on their vision for the future (Destination 2030) when it sought the help of Lumina Learning and Louisa Scanlan, director of Collaborate Business Solutions.

The big question was: how can it ensure that the ‘Senior leadership Team’ had the necessary skills with which to take the organisation forward against a backdrop of financial crisis and organizational change?

Thanks in large part to Lumina Select, Lumina Spark not to mention the tireless efforts of Louise Scanlan, The Children’s Society now has a first-rate team possessed of a common language coupled with a greater sense of self-awareness and better handle on what makes the team gel, all of which means that it is well-placed for the future.

The Challenge

It’s 2021 and the pandemic has left the charity sector reeling. The Children’s Society, like many in the charity sector, would need to radically change if it were to survive.

It faced two pressing challenges. First, it needed to stabilise its financial operating base (that’s code for stood in need of more funds) and second it needed to implement the Destination 2030 plan.

There were some tensions within the SLT and due to financial pressures, regrettably it was compelled to make some members of the team redundant. However, the organisation recognised that the future of the organisation lay in the effectiveness of its senior leadership. Not only did it need the relevant competencies for the job, it also needed to adhere to The Children’s Society’s deeply-held values.
It was a big ask.

What competencies does The Children’s Society need in the future?

Such was the question Collaborate and the Children’s Society sought to answer. Using Lumina Select’s rich data, buttressed by those of Lumina Spark, together they were able to set a benchmark against which to judge both candidates and staff.

At length, Collaborate distilled the data into seven competencies, a framework which has proved invaluable in furthering the development for everybody on the senior leadership team.

Next came an online Lumina Spark programme. Raising self-awareness, increasing knowledge, and boosting confidence from the outset, Spark gave the delegates the perfect foundation upon which to build an outstanding team.

Between each online workshop, Collaborate put its ‘Long Life Lumina’ tools at the disposal of the SLT, thereby reinforcing learning outside of the structured workshops.

In November 2021, the team met for the first time in two years. Using the Lumina mat and Team mandala, they were able to understand, both physically and visually, how they worked and how they can work more harmoniously.

Finally, Collaborate introduced the team to Spark Coach and Journey to Composure. Doing so made their already rich development experience even richer.

The Children's Society introduced a new operating model.

The Solution

“We at TCS were delighted to work with Louisa and found Lumina a really helpful tool, helping us pivot our entire organisation toward a new strategy, led a huge organisational redesign, and at the same time ensured our teams were delivering the highest quality services to some of the nation’s most disadvantaged children. We wanted to take intentional time to help the team learn more about themselves, their gifts, and how they can work even better together. We found the Lumina tool really helpful for us, but more than that Louisa’s gifted facilitation style, her warmth and her wisdom brought so much to the project. She has made a real impact on us all”

Thanks to Lumina and the sterling work of Collaborate, TCS looks forward to a bright future. The Leadership emerged stronger, teamwork has dramatically improved, staff are more engaged and motivated, everyone who took part has greater self-awareness and morale is high.

In the last year, the team has:

  • successfully brought about change at the organisational level
  • introduced a new operating model
  • Implemented a strategic delivery plan setting forth five objectives for the organisation – one goal, one team, one plan.

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