Real People Skills through digital channels

Moving the dial on Real People Skills

Developing real people skills can be a frustrating business.  The business need is blindingly obvious. Numerous reports show how productivity and performance is linked to leadership.  And there are no shortage of programmes on offer, promising to transform your people, many of them highly rated by their delegates.  But...  

How many of them really move the dial on your corporate performance?  

Do they have any lasting impact, beyond the excitement generated by the programme facilitators?

Are they developing authentic people skills or just generic theory?

moving the dial in talent development

A-Ha moments embed real people skills

You see the only real way to develop leadership skills is by experiencing the challenges of leading others. That "aha" moment when you realise what the trainer or e-learning module meant.  When the contextual vacuum of the classroom is replaced by a real person reacting to your leadership.  It is a truly memorable and highly impactful experience, but surprisingly rare.

And that is what Grow Inspires is about.  We provide those a-ha moments that unlock the value from your training investment.  Our programme works because your aspiring leaders take real people on real development journeys under the careful guidance of a highly experienced facilitator.  But unlike other community mentoring programmes, we take a keen interest in maximising what they learn along the way. We provide tools and techniques for them to try with their clients and group coaching sessions to reflect on why some approaches work better than others.  It is about context and authenticity not general theories.

Our mission at Grow Inspires is to help tomorrow's leaders develop their own authentic leadership style so they can inspire agile teams in an increasingly dynamic workplace.   We prepare them to engage the creativity of their team and focus it on making a real impact on your customers challenges.  We firmly believe in measuring the impact and effectiveness of our interventions and improving as we learn.

Coaching through digital channels

Authenticity through Digital Channels - Really?

People love the convenience of digital channels.  Avoiding the cost and hassle of traveling is a huge boon.  

But can you learn people skills remotely?

Of course you can.  These 2 are in a remote part of Bangladesh listening intently to their mentor in the UK.  With his help, they turned an idea into hard cash over the course of a few months.  His aha moment came when he realised that people were hugely more motivated towards ideas they had a stake in. Maybe not a huge surprise, but seeing it for himself makes it real, not just abstract theory.  And because he had encouraged them on their voyage of discovery, his confidence to coach others in future is hugely improved.  Although physically, they've never met, the bond of trust and empathy still runs deep.

He's not alone. Another of our mentors noted how she needed to use different techniques to motivate people from different cultures.  She had heard about it, but experiencing it first hand was so much more powerful.

About the founder

Grow Inspires combines two things that I deeply care about in professional life, innovation and leadership development.  I first started teaching leadership skills as a flying instructor (later Head of Training) in the Royal Navy.  Looking back,  leadership training was surprisingly enlightened in the 90s Royal Navy.  We knew all about action learning and group problem-solving even then.  10 years with PA Consulting delivering innovation and transformation projects for clients and teaching junior consultants to be deliver more impact a fired me up for the many early morning flights.

It was the practical part of my executive coaching qualification that provided the basis for Grow Inspires.  Working with Grow Movement to coach entrepreneurs in least developed countries through digital channels was my most challenging experience in 25 years in work.  To influence somebody I had never met, from a country I had never been to, to do something that did not come naturally to him, was quite literally a life-changing experience.  Only by digging through years of training and practical leadership skills did I manage it.  It was only when I found a common context for shared problem solving.  This skill is incredibly useful for leading innovation, managing change and employee engagement.  The experience so blew me away, that I volunteered to become a trustee and was later elected as Chairman, leading the charity through incredible growth and numerous awards.

Missing a Trick

But Grow Movement offered very little support to its volunteers.  At the same time we never realised the value in the experience.  I founded Grow Inspires because I thought we could do it better.  By facilitating a highly practical, yet safe learning journey for aspiring leaders, we fill the gap between theory and practice.  This is highly valuable to their employers. And if paying for it helps end poverty and social exclusion, that seems a pretty smart business model.

It was these new found skills that secured election as Mentor of the Year in 2015, Fellow of the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise in 2016 and partnership with VSO and University of Bristol in 2017.




authentic leadership from award winning mentor
authentic leadership taught by Fellow of Institute of Entrepreneurs