Clare doubles-up on her Manufacturing Institute training and secures a promotion

For Stock and Logistics Manager Clare Head, the Manufacturing Institute offered not only a pathway to workplace promotion but the opportunity to make a big splash once she landed her new role.

Go-getter Clare signed herself up for two courses in late 2018 and 2019 – first our Leadership Development Programme and then our Accelerated Route to Lean course.

Bolstered with new skills and new confidence, it took Clare no time at all to secure that all-important next step up the ladder at Max Spielman.

“In the interview for my new job I was able to discuss Lean ideas and how we might be able to introduce Kaizen principles [a strategy to improve long-term competitiveness],” she says. “It was quite an intense interview. I think to be able to talk through the principles, and how I thought they might apply on a new site, had a huge part to play in my success in the interview.”

New position achieved, Clare quickly found that the skills acquired on each course dovetailed perfectly – more notably when it came to her major new challenge: team management.

Having inherited her staff from a more experienced and widely-respected manager, it was vital to bond quickly with her new team and establish herself as a natural leader.

“The training I got on the LDP programme was an important part of building that relationship with my team,” she explains, adding: “As a manager it 100 per cent improved the leader that I am. It’s made me more self-sufficient, so I don’t rely on other managers to help lead my team.”

The ARTL course amplified this lesson by helping her address her tendency to micromanage – ultimately giving her the confidence to surrender certain aspects of her role and entrust her team to get the job done properly.

“I sometimes used to feel I needed to be involved in every small decision, but since completing the ARTL I now concentrate on giving people the right information and tools to do the job.”

Her respect among team members further benefited from the LDP’s modules on performance feedback. Steering her new, larger team, it was an aspect of the role that had initially made her feel quite uncomfortable.

“I’d naturally shy away from it and then wonder why things didn’t improve,” she says. “The LDP gave me the confidence and a framework for structuring feedback in a way that was useful for colleagues, and I saw massive changes in my team as a result.”

The LDP and ARTL courses further complemented each other by transforming how Clare approaches each day – from prioritising her workflow to justifying her strategies.

The LDP’s day-long dissection of time management stood out as particularly useful to Clare, who admits to being ‘awful’ at it beforehand.

“The course really opened my eyes to the reactive way I was going about things,” she says. “I was always firefighting, and the course gave me the chance to become more proactive and manage my time far more wisely.”

Deciding how best to invest that extra time fell to the ARTL course. Clare had long recognised her ability to spot when something wasn’t working as efficiently as it should, but couldn’t always identify why, or how to fix it.

“Now I make sure I’ve got the facts and the data to fully understand what’s happening,” she says. “I can see just where the inefficiencies are and where we need to make improvements. It’s led to a massive change in the way I do things and I’ve got the ARTL to thank for that.”

It goes without saying, the courses’ common qualities are evident across all MI programmes: a hands-on, highly practical nature; an opportunity to relate outcomes directly to delegates’ workplaces; lectures and seminars from the best in the business; and the chance to meet and share ideas with like-minded students.

No one knows better Clare what a difference the Manufacturing Institute’s values can make. 

“I couldn’t recommend it highly enough,” she says. “It was fantastic for me.”