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first_imgNow celebrating its 25th anniversary, IRO is one of the UK’s longeststanding management development programmes. Running eight times a year, with upto 12 participants, it has contributed to the development of more than 2,000managers. “IRO is not a tutor-led programme where people are told how to go outand build effective relationships,” said Andy Smith, Roffey Park’sprogramme director for IRO. “It’s a highly reflective andpersonally-focused programme. It provides participants with the in-depthfeedback they need to increase awareness and choices about how they can buildbetter relationships at work. “Participants find out how others perceive them and what it is aboutthem that creates such perceptions.” Paradoxically, IRO combines continuity and change – continuity because itretains its 25-year-old design, originally influenced by Gestalt, TransactionalAnalysis and T-Groups approaches. Continuity too because the development ofinterpersonal skills remains critical to business success. But also changebecause of the type of people who now attend and the issues they now bring. “One tends to think of management development trends as fast moving.Yet here you have a 25-year-old programme which is still highly relevantbecause it has tracked the changing world of work,” Smith said. “Organisations are far more multicultural, multinational and complexnow. There’s much greater emphasis on influencing without authority,organisational politics and cross cultural working.” In IRO’s early years, the participants were typically white, English,middle-class male managers drawn from a group of well-established companies.Many of them were “sent” on the programme as a remedial step to bringtheir lacking interpersonal skills up to scratch. Today most participants are still middle and senior managers. However themajority now nominate themselves to attend as they believe that improving theway they build relationships will be key to further success and progress. Thegroups are much more diverse, with more women, nationalities, cultures andtypes of business represented. “IRO is not a superficial programme, its approach does not suiteveryone. That’s why we take pains to explain to people its specialnature,” said Smith. “For those who attend, it provides a profound learning experience. Weknow that it has enabled many managers to change their behaviour and achievegreater success. It has made a huge contribution to the world of managementdevelopment.” Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Standing the test of timeOn 1 Oct 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img