Working with TIME at Sandvik

The call comes in March 2013!  Martin asks if I will be interested in supporting the ONE Sandvik Global Leadership (SGL) programme as an external facilitator.  Although I nearly fall off my chair, I calmly confirm that I will be happy to consider the approach.  What a wonderful opportunity and thank you so much!

I have been working with Sandvik Heating Technology UK (Kanthal Limited) in Perth for the past 14 years, supporting the team’s learning and development activity in a number of different ways, including leadership development; Investors in People; appraisal training; and train the trainer programmes.  And in that time I have seen enormous change and a successful team continue to develop and grow!

The contracting arrangements are completed and it is off to Warwick University Conference Centre in April 2013 to be trained how to facilitate the ONE SGL programme.  Although I know the company reasonably well, I’m not really sure what to expect.  We will be taken through part of the programme as a participant but we will also be given direction in how the programme should be facilitated.  It is fantastic to meet so many committed and enthusiastic facilitators employed and contracted by this Swedish company.  However as the day unfolds, I am wondering when the pace will pick up?  But then I get it!  Time to learn!  Time to reflect!  I should know this really, but I suppose in the frantic day to day hassle of our working lives, we just get caught up in things and try to achieve so much in any given day.  However, ONE SGL challenges us all to slow down and to take time to invest in our own learning and development. It’s my “Waterloo!”

As the programme develops, I am learning so much about leadership, facilitation and myself!  My colleagues are supportive, caring and keen to make this learning experience fun, pragmatic and stimulating.  And the two facilitators leading us through the programme, Nils-Peter and Rein, are truly inspirational.  Their approach to facilitation provides an engaging reminder of the importance of taking our time, trusting the process and believing in the potential of people.

In this relaxed learning environment, we are all taken through what is a very comprehensive, challenging and practical leadership programme.  Key elements of our learning include the Sandvik Leadership Model, the Sandvik Core Values, JOHARI’s Window, Team Dynamics and FIRO; Learning Styles, Coaching Conversations and Active Listening, Feed Forward; Diversity and Inclusion; “Secret Friend” and so on.  However, we are also learning so much about ourselves and our colleagues.  The talent in the room is amazing!  Martin and Gill can sing (in fact everyone can sing!) and Rein plays piano and jazz trumpet. Peter plays guitar and Phil from the USA is a Billy Bragg fan!  And guess what, there are several committed tweets too i.e. birdwatchers.  Unbelievable! We trade notes and take time early in the mornings to walk and watch.  Great craic!

However, for me the pace of delivery and the time given to each learner to reflect and grow is critical.  I have just been rushing around too much recently and this opportunity is so therapeutic!  I hope that when I come to deliver, I too can make it happen for others.


Over the summer months Martin and I work away at building on our own learning experience at Warwick University.  We meet on several occasions to work through module 1 as we prepare to deliver it for the first time in September 2013.  And so it is down to Warwick University.  What a venue and it certainly helps create the right atmosphere for learning and development.  The customer service in the restaurant is excellent.  The members of staff are keen to connect and demonstrate that they just want to be there and to help make our experience exceptional.
As the delegates arrive relationships start to form and away we go!  Martin and I work at facilitating the programme as it was delivered for us back in April 2013.  And I think that we are doing a good job.  As ever, I am working the tutor notes and keeping a close eye on the clock.  Time management I suppose.  But it is only with Martin’s help, that I start to think about how my connection with time might be interpreted by those participating on the programme.  Trust the process and let it happen.  Work with time, yes, but don’t allow it to dominate proceedings and to impact negatively on the team dynamics and learning.  Chill bud, chill and let the team find their way!
Those attending the programme are just fantastic people, all of whom are committed to their own learning and in supporting each other through the ONE SGL programme.  Thanks to Lee, Karin, Mustafa, Andy, Dean, Andy, James and Melanie and I look forward to catching up with you soon.
Through this process so far, I have learned so much!

• Working with time is important but believe and trust the process

• Don’t rush at things.  Slow down and do it right

• There is so much more to learn, just make time to do it

• Take time to get to know people

• Find time to walk and watch the birds

• Look for opportunities to take time to share feedback and support colleagues

• Listen and learn and invest time in doing so

Thanks Martin!