A Glimpse Inside INSTANDA's Unique Talent Program

Posted on 10th June 2024

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A Glimpse Inside INSTANDA's Unique Talent Program

Posted on 10th June 2024

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A Glimpse Inside INSTANDA's Unique Talent Program

It has been almost six months since INSTANDA’s, Ashley Sneller, Catalina Georgescul, Hayley Connage, Ella Watson and Harry Blackman completed the Impact Your Outcome Program.

Conceptualized and driven by INSTANDA’s CHRO Sara Shipley and Hazel Spain, Head of Learning and Client Training, the program marks a significant departure from traditional leadership programs.

At the heart of the initiative lies a democratized approach to leadership and talent development. Unlike conventional programs that are often selective, the Impact Your Outcome Program is rooted in inclusivity and personal ambition. It offers every employee the opportunity to apply and directly make their case for inclusion. The positive outcomes, both professionally and personally, have in Hazel’s words, “Been really quite incredible.”

To find out more about what makes INSTANDA’s program so unique, we caught up with Hazel and 2023’s program participants.

A Leadership Program with a Difference

Impact Your Outcome program is INSTANDA’s career acceleration program that coaches aspiring leaders to act and drive their career to the next level. As co-creator of the program, Hazel, explains, “One of the unique aspects of Impact Your Outcome is that it is accessible and available to all employees and empowers individuals to make the choice themselves.”

There were, of course, parameters in place to ensure that the final selection process was fair, but all employees were given the opportunity to apply for one of six places on the 10-week program.

Speaking passionately about the core development aspects of the program, Marketing Manager for North America, Ashley Sneller, shares, “As aspiring leaders, we were able to get real-time coaching and build cross-functional relationships that were really special and helped us with our individual growth.”

Real Goals, Real Growth

Participants entered the program with clear personal objectives—whether it was learning to manage their team more effectively, developing confidence in communication, or to bolster cross-functional collaboration for greater effectiveness in their role.

For Senior Project Manager Catalina Georgescul and other participants, the program served as a mirror. Sharing her key learnings, Catalina says, “I uncovered valuable information about my many strengths and development areas that I was unaware of beforehand. The program has really helped me to further develop my change and people agility skills.”

Participants also learned how to harness their skills to help those around them to flourish. Commenting on how the program has influenced her leadership style, PMO Manager, Hayley Connage shares, “One of the key development areas for me was around understanding different people and the ways that I can hold space for them to grow.”

Learning Together

One of the program's most compelling attributes is peer learning. The dynamics of working closely with people from different business areas brought diverse perspectives and innovative ideas.

Commercial and Supplier Associate, Ella Watson explains, “The program has been really helpful in expanding my network and working with different parts of the business to understand other people’s drivers, which makes me more effective in my role.”

Explaining the value of coming together to share ideas, Ashley says, “Being able to get feedback in real-time was invaluable. After every meeting, we could ask for peer advice on our communication style and ideas.”

Making an Impact

As part of the program, participants were asked to come up with a solution to a business challenge of their choosing and pitch their ideas to INSTANDA’s Executive Committee (ExCo).

The group project, devoid of strict guidelines, encouraged a level of creativity and collaboration that was both challenging and rewarding. This experience of learning alongside others, of being “in the same boat,” as Ashley says, was invaluable.

Reflecting on the group project, Hayley recalls, “Being able to work together really made the program. I don’t think I would have learned as much about myself, and the skills I wished to develop, had it been a solo experiment.”

Recounting his fondest memory, Senior Business Analyst, Harry Blackman, says, “The final presentation to ExCo was great. As a team, we’d done so much research and preparation. When we presented our ideas to Tim and Derek (INSTANDA’s Co-Owners), they were incredibly engaged and asked us lots of questions about our solution, which is now being implemented.”

A Testament to Inclusivity

Summarizing the success of the program, Hazel passionately says, “Impact Your Outcome stands as a powerful testament to INSTANDA’s commitment to fostering an inclusive culture of continuous learning and development. It underscores the belief that leadership and talent development should be accessible to all, based on merit and the willingness to grow. I couldn’t be prouder of what the team have achieved — collectively and individually — and look forward to seeing the strides they continue to make in their careers.”

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