Skip to main content

Sharon Hutchinson and Audrey Muldoon

Lloyds 1600x1200
Sharon Hutchinson

Sharon – how did Lloyds come to join the Henley Partnership, and what did you expect to get from it?

‘We initially came into contact with the Henley Partnership (HP) whilst working alongside a training provider, who we’d engaged to review our L&D curriculum. They, in turn, introduced us to HP, who invited us along to a taster session to show us how it works and how we could not only learn from it, but be a part of the process defining the agenda. The relationship just blossomed from there.

‘I think we were always open to other possibilities, but we quickly saw the opportunity to bolster the learning capability for our senior leaders, develop the team and network with people from likeminded – and maybe more diverse – organisations.’

So what impact has it had?

‘The directors and senior leaders have benefitted from understanding different leadership styles and the various theories and models for coaching. They’ve been able to discuss common challenges with people from a diverse range of backgrounds and sectors, and share best practice.

‘It’s been a really useful platform for the individuals to recognise the advantages of leading with purpose, and for us, collectively, to evolve our appreciation of topics such as sustainability and behavioural science, to name but two. All the sessions are relevant, interesting and enjoyable.

‘Internally, it has definitely boosted our reputation as a leadership team, and that credibility has been very important; the collaboration is perceived as being a very cost-effective way of broadening our perspectives.’

And how has the change from face-to-face meetings to Zoom meetings affected the value you’ve had from HP?

‘The Henley team has adapted brilliantly, and the meeting run very smoothly. They very quickly learned how to make best use of the breakout rooms to create networking and collaboration opportunities and to keep it interactive.

‘So whilst Greenlands is such an amazing location, and it’s always a treat to go there, the online model is proving highly effective, and will probably prove to be more sustainable in the longer term.’

Audrey Muldoon 3

Audrey: from your perspective, what have been the key benefits of Lloyds’ involvement with HP?

‘As well as the insights they gain from the academics and practitioners, the Partnership gives our senior leaders the chance to mix with such a diverse group of people – people they would never ordinarily work with.

‘The practitioners are exceptional, and give a real-life flavour to the learning. One recent session, entitled ‘How to Flourish in a Crazy World’, presented by Andy Cope, was described by one of our Heads of Function as ‘energetic, engaging, practical and powerful – absolutely brilliant; the best personal wellbeing event I’ve ever attended.’

‘The proof of the pudding is that even with the greater number of places available to us now that the sessions are online – up to 30 places against 3 in the ‘live’ sessions – we could often fill our allocation two or three times over.

‘So much so, that we’ve occasionally commissioned the trainers to come and talk to us in our offices, and this has proved to be hugely beneficial to the wider team.

‘I think the most relevant feedback is from those senior managers who have directly attended the sessions and have benefitted from them. Here are just a few examples:

  • Due to the work I do, the most useful learning I have taken away is about voice projection from Caroline Goyder’s gravitas session. It has really raised my awareness of where my voice is coming from. It’s been useful to be introduced to other thinkers which adds to the perspective we can share on our courses and interactions with leaders.”
  • “I loved the session that covered the importance of style and symbols – the idea of culture beginning with leading by example, and small gestures can send clear messages about the seriousness of a strategy.”

“I was very much taken by the idea of relentless communication; we often spend time at the start of the year talking to our teams about our vision, purpose and strategy and then we assume that stays with them. We don’t always do a good job of setting a clear strategy and then continuing to talk about it, share it and make it a focus at all levels.”

So what advice would you give to anyone thinking of enrolling their organisation in the Partnership?

‘I’d say absolutely go for it. The HP team really wants to understand your business and its challenges, and they love applying their insights to help you see things more clearly and overcome any hurdles.

‘The Henley Partnership has helped us to equip our leaders to be future focused, and to be better prepared to adapt to changing customer demands and expectations.

‘Aside from the speakers, HP is worth it for the networking opportunities alone. Everyone contributes, and everyone learns. It works remarkably well.’