Liberating middle management

Date: 4th Jul '14

Steve Baxter, Managing Director, RILMAC Group

Dawn and Paul’s impact has been so deeply meaningful and welcomed by our middle managers they have named their monthly meeting the ‘HA meeting’!

Three years ago I heard Paul Barron speak at an Institute of Directors event, and knew I wanted his input into our company. After discussions plus a meeting including Dawn, we agreed that Human Alchemy would work with our senior managers to work on their effectiveness in terms of leadership, management, focus and direction. It went so well, I decided Human Alchemy should work with our middle managers!

I was very impressed with what Dawn and Paul did for us. Their work with the middle managers levelled their ‘playing field’, created ideas and sparked strategies. It ‘mushroomed’ into creating what we called the Rilmac Way. This gave us a way forward, a vision and something to refer to. In fact, we worked on visions for four key aspects of our business. We covered all areas, and created a way of getting the whole team on board with this new way of thinking.

Our company name evolved from the two original founders but when working with Human Alchemy, the managers came up with the idea of giving it additional meaning by using it to describe our company values: Respect, Inspire, Listen, Motivate, Achieve and Consideration.

For us, Human Alchemy’s time and input was all about a cultural change and a shift in how people saw us.

I really enjoyed working with Human Alchemy. I liked their techniques, delivery and how they engaged everyone all the time. They warned us that their work with our middle management team ran the risk of unleashing a very strong beast! And it did: once the managers were equipped with the tools and techniques to move forward with their respective teams, the changes were tangible. The training helped them identify projects which could significantly improve the business, and to prioritise change and improvements. Human Alchemy called it the ‘middle up’ technique which means that the middle managers were empowered to put forward to the senior managers ideas and projects. Dawn and Paul showed them how to put together a business case with clear objectives and details of operation. From there we could decide which ones would go forward.

I would recommend Human Alchemy. Their work has liberated our middle managers and I personally have changed my decision making processes for the better. I went on to engage Paul in some one-to-one mentoring sessions for me and these went very well. Yes, they were intense; challenging and pushing me to my limits but ultimately they were very beneficial.