In my previous life as the MD of a £7 million plastic injection moulding and distribution company, I experienced all the challenges that fill leaders’ lives today, from staff retention and employee engagement to interdepartmental mistrust and my managers not stepping up, teams not collaborating and people falling out because of small issues that escalated into giant elephants that no one would discuss. I engaged with many training companies, facilitators and executive coaches who just didn’t address the real issue … my top people didn’t understand themselves or their colleagues and that was where I knew we needed to start.
So, I took my senior management team away for a couple of days to attend a facilitated workshop using the Insights model and profiles. The learning for me and my team was so profound and so immediate that I knew I had found my weapon of choice. Suddenly, the elephant was visible and we were able as a team to start discussing the most important issue in the business – the dynamics of the senior management team itself!
So transformational was the change that we started to work better as a team and lead by example. The impact on the rest of the staff was tangible. The business started to turn round. When I left the business 6 months later, hastened by a rather toxic relationship with new owners, I revisited my profile several times whilst contemplating my next move. And The Colour Works was born.
What I felt back then, and has been corroborated ever since by my experience of working with top teams in organisations large and small, public, private and not-for-profit, as well as by frightening statistics on the very poor levels of employee engagement in the UK, was that the so-called “soft” skills side (the art of building trusting, collaborative relationships with colleagues) was not only extremely hard but also relatively ignored in favour of more traditional training of “hard” skills – finance, planning, process, change management frameworks, technical skills.
I wanted to gather around me like-minded professionals from a variety of backgrounds so that together we could speak the language of clients, understand their “soft” pressure points and ultimately support them in transforming their organisation through their people. I wanted to create a colour movement as a catalyst for change, transforming workplace culture into one where:
- leaders and managers are comfortable in their own skin and able to lead with clarity, courage and humility
- trust abounds and people believe in both themselves and their colleagues
- there is openness and honesty that values all individuals’ uniqueness and that forms the foundation for a creative environment
- there is a focus on purpose and results are planned for, achieved and celebrated together
We now boast a team of 21 extraordinary consultants, facilitators and coaches each of whom has their own inspiring story to tell about how they got here and why they do this transformational work. Since 2003, The Colour Works has supported over 50,000 individuals from across the globe and covering all 3 sectors. We use some of the best diagnostic tools around, winning awards along the way.
THE COLOUR WORKS MAP
The Colour Works team and client network span the globe. Wherever you are based and whatever your development requirements, our team are ready to help.