The Co-operative Leadership Development Zone

How do you engage The Co-operative’s top 500 leaders in positive change in the organisation? Through a marketed online portal as the hub for their leadership development strategy.

Cooperative leadership development case study

The Challenge

The Co-operative has been going through a period of organisational change to increase cohesion throughout the group, build better brand awareness, refocus strategy and ultimately increase growth.

As part of this change, The Co-operative decided to focus on its top 500 leaders as the key instigators of change. The main challenge faced was how to reach out to such a widely varied and geographically dispersed group of time-challenged senior colleagues in a way that would truly engage and motivate them, and provide the developmental opportunities they need.

The Co-operative identified the need for a single online portal as the focus for their leadership development strategy. With this in mind they commissioned City & Guilds Kineo to help them realise what this could be like.

Cooperative leadership development elearning

Our Solution

Working from a blank canvas

Over a period of nine months Kineo worked in partnership with The Co-operative to realise the vision of the Leadership Development Zone. Instead of working to a pre-defined set of requirements. The Co-operative established a steering group of senior leaders and a Community of Interest to represent different areas of the business. These provided focused input, created a leadership framework, steered the overall design approach and developed relevant content for the portal. The system design was therefore born out of a response to the needs of the audience.

We provided consultative support to advise on the design, development and implementation of the new way of learning for their senior leadership population. We then provided interface and technical design expertise, creating concept designs followed by a prototype version of the portal, which was very well received.

Building interest through effective marketing

Both teams recognised the pressures faced by leaders in a thriving organisation, making them a difficult group to engage and bring together. So from the outset we discussed how we would attract leaders to the portal. We utilised internal marketing in the form of interactive e-zines (electronic magazines) developed by City & Guilds Kineo to initially engage attention and deliver the key messages.

A robust, Moodle-based solution

The open source Moodle Learning Management System (LMS) was used as the portal’s technical platform. Moodle was seen as the ideal solution because:

  • Open source meant a cost effective start point with no ongoing user licence fees
  • Its content management capabilities enabled Kineo and The Co-operative to build a wide range of content pages and related assets directly into Moodle
  • The open source nature enabled City & Guilds Kineo to adapt the way Moodle worked with content creation, publishing, search and display
  • It can host a wide range of electronic content from elearning to web pages to Microsoft Office documents
  • It allows for booking of classroom/face-to-face courses as well as elearning
  • It provides mechanisms for feedback, such as surveys and polls

The Results

After just five weeks from going live, 42% of The Co-operative’s top 500 leaders were accessing the portal, a number that is steadily growing. Involving senior leaders from inception of the project coupled with the e-magazines and an 18-month marketing and embedding campaign, were felt to be contributing factors to this success.

The journey from a blank canvas to successfully rolled-out solution was driven by effective project planning, coordinated involvement from all key stakeholders and a design team that was able to interpret the needs, and make them a reality. The solution was delivered on time and on budget, and The Co-operative found it to be excellent value for money.

“The project has surpassed my expectations. The Leadership Development Zone has acted as a real catalyst to the formation of a learning culture within The Co-operative. Easily accessed learning at the point of need enables our leaders to be the best they can be.”  Project Sponsor, Jackie Lanham, Director of Group Resourcing & Development

"We chose [City & Guilds] Kineo because of their expertise and flexibility in designing, developing and implementing a range of innovative, Moodle based, learning solutions across a range of sectors. The Moodle platform allowed The Co-operative to create its own unique portal, providing leaders with a positive and engaging learning experience based on their individual needs together with a cost effective way of maintaining and developing the site." Project Stakeholder, Vincent O’Donovan, Head of Group Training & Development

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