Managing Flexible Working Requests

“The empires of the future are empires of the mind”
Thursday, 9 January 2014
Louise Frayne, Head of HR & Organisational
Dr. Steven Cranfield
PATRON HRH The Princess Royal
“Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It
is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the
— Vaclav Havel
Strategic Insight Project
Strategic Insight Project
• Funded by the University of Westminster
• Focus on training and development needs of frontline
• In tandem with in-house workshops run by WBS
• Agreed deliverables: draft template for full Training
Needs Analysis (TNA) (1) for Grades 1-5 linking to future
CPD/training programme development
• Recommendations for other supporting requirements
Strategic Insight Project
A qualitative survey approach (1), based on action
research (2)
Methods included semi-structured interviews and
photographic image elicitation
Time frame: October 2012 to May 2013 (8 months)
Interviews: individual (x 6) and focus groups (x 3) with
CEO, divisional directors and frontline staff (May 2013)
Thematic analysis and coding (3)
Desk research, including previous staff surveys and
Strategic Insight Project
Findings (senior managers) (5)
Strong consensus on positive achievements of some
Different views of the role of middle managers and
training: not sufficiently involved OR too strict as gatekeepers
More business-like ways of working needed
‘Silo mentality’ an obstacle
TNA should adopt a whole organisation and system
perspective (1)
Strategic Insight Project
Staff responses to managers
Senior manager’s comment
Participants’ responses
‘Staff need to be trusted more, with
line managers delegating more to
‘Works best from the top down. Senior
management team has to trust front line
‘There have to be open channels and green
‘Only works with a career development plan’
‘So many levels, not that easy’
‘A simple but important example. We have a
division meeting, this can be chaired by
different members of staff. You take selfnominations for the role of chair. I did it.’
Strategic Insight Project
Staff responses: photo elicitation
Strategic Insight Project
Impact (6)
The Next Phase of Our Journey
"The very essence of leadership is [that] you have a vision.
It's got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on
every occasion. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet."
— Theodore Hesburgh
McConnell, J. (2003). How to Identify Your Organization's Training Needs:
A Practical Guide to Needs Analysis. AMACOM
Andres, L. (2012). Designing and Doing Survey Research. London: Sage.
Argyris, C. (1994). Knowledge for Action. San Francisco CA: Jossey-Bass.
Miles, M. B. & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Cranfield, S. (2013). Strategic Insight Programme Report for Royal College
of Paediatrics and Child Health. WBS, University of Westminster.
September 2013.
Greenwood, R., Suddaby,R. & Hinings, R. C. (2002). Theorizing change:
the role of professional associations in the transformation of
institutionalized fields. Academy of Management Journal. 45 (1),158-80

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