National business consultancy A Matter of Choice has launched a series of digital sessions around ‘Adjusting to the New Reality’, designed to support organisations and individuals to understand their role in this pandemic and better equip them to lead through change.
These new programmes will complement its already diverse portfolio of consultancy services, all delivered by experts using a combination of traditional methods and creative, innovative techniques to transform mindsets and deliver results.
Since it was established in 2011, A Matter of Choice has worked with companies including South West Railway, Merseyrail and Farrow and Ball with programmes ranging from inclusion training, safety culture & behaviour, mental health & wellbeing, leadership & talent development alongside organisational change and leadership coaching.
In response to current government guidelines and restrictions, founders and twins Karen Powell and Lesley Heath have transformed their business model and created new programmes and resources to accommodate concerns around the growing uncertainty of the future of work and how to navigate successfully through these times.
Lesley said: “Our concept when putting together this series of programmes was to help businesses and individuals acknowledge their fears about the future and help them to think rationally about how they can evolve, adapt and be as prepared as possible. Our aim is to support them to move forward as we say, “going knowingly into the unknown”. We have seen the term ‘new normal’ being used widely to describe the situation we’re in, when in fact, the first step in adjusting to this new environment is to acknowledge that it is far from normal and will continue to be unknown for some time to come. What we are faced with is a reality that is completely unprecedented where former leadership experience may not always provide the right answers as it is based on a different frame of reference.
“These new sessions will help business leaders to find their sense of purpose in among the chaos and panic and allow them to consider new opportunities to push forward successfully in the times ahead. The context of this situation goes far beyond the workplace and has undoubtedly affected everyone personally in some way.”
With businesses of all sizes across multiple sectors having to change their approach, A Matter of Choice have adapted their offering in line with client needs and have moved away from face-to-face sessions in favour of remote delivery. They have worked with more than 300 individuals via Zoom and other online platforms since lockdown began.
Lesley added: “We want to support people in being able to make considered decisions and work in an agile way that will enable them to adapt to new problems effectively, using reflection as a tool to monitor and constructively critique the journey so far. We want to highlight the importance of empathetic leadership and stress the value of acting on your promises to support mental wellbeing over the next few months. Having a sense of self-awareness at this time is crucial and leaders need to understand just how much impact their decision making will have on the people around them.”
With decades of combined leadership experience in senior roles, Lesley Heath is an expert in safety culture and behaviour having worked within the rail industry for most of her career, and Karen Powell is a HR professional and Chartered Fellow of CIPD, having held previous positions such as Head of HR for George Clothing Trading Division of Asda. Both have led successful change programmes in large businesses with complex challenges.
Karen said: “We have worked quickly to develop this programme based on the growing needs of our business community but it’s also a by-product of our own personal experiences in the last few months. We have always thrived off the face-to-face delivery of our programmes but we have quickly adjusted to online methods, retaining that same level of education and engagement with our audiences, which has included groups of up to 140 people at a time on platforms such as Zoom.
“What we’re offering is different to other consultancies in that we have a focus on human connections, and we believe that the methods behind making choices and establishing mindsets can have a greater impact than more process driven training. We hope that those engaging with our new programmes will be able to better understand their own thought processes and lead consciously with an awareness of themselves, their colleagues, and their customers’ needs. Everything that we do is based on research, best practice, innovation, and first-hand experience. Our business leadership model is well established and delivers impact and value, focusing on both organisational and individual leadership to ensure senior figures are equipped to lead through change while building a trusted company-wide culture.
“Having held senior positions in corporate companies for most of our lives, and now, as business owners, we understand the stressors and the ever-mounting pressures that can build up at times of crisis management. This situation is more than that as there are no examples from the past that tell us what we should do, and that fear and lack of control can really take its toll mentally and physically. We want to share our insight and knowledge with our business community and help to lead people out of this in the most effective and productive way possible.”
The ‘Adjusting to the New Reality’ sessions are available for businesses of any size and are delivered safely and remotely online by Karen Powell and Lesley Heath.
They can be tailored to any number of attendees and additional resources will be made available following the session.