Vodafone

Bringing Inclusive Leadership to life

Steps worked in partnership with Vodafone and consultants Schneider~Ross to develop a pioneering approach to inclusive leadership training. Combining experiential learning alongside behavioural models, theories and interactive techniques such as electronic voting - this was an innovative and energising programme that engaged teams across the world.

Objectives

Steps worked in partnership with Vodafone's Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion Debbie Laybourn, and Schneider Ross - a leading diversity consultancy, to promote the business imperative of inclusion through a 1½ day experiential event designed for Vodafone's top 250 senior leaders across the globe. The workshop built a common understanding of the contribution that inclusion and diversity can make to the success of the organisation. It also ensured that leaders knew what they needed to do (and not to do) to act as effective role models to promote diversity and inclusion across Vodafone.

Approach

The initiative used various methods to reiterate the case for change, including renowned expert speakers, interactive quiz technology and dedicated action planning. At different points in the programme, actor-facilitators from Steps brought to life some of the non-inclusive issues and behaviours. The scenarios stimulated debate as participants interacted with the live performances to bring the scenarios to a best practice outcome.

Steps designed bespoke scenarios for each Country or Group Function based on detailed research from 1-1 calls and internal focus groups. The programme was delivered in 20 different countries including India, Qatar, Ghana, South Africa, Egypt, New Zealand and countries across Europe. In order to make the programme as authentic and cost-efficient as possible we sourced and utilised local actor-facilitators from the UK, Germany, India, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Egypt, Greece, Malta, New Zealand and Ghana.

The benefits of using interactive drama in the programme were:

  • It brought into the room issues that need to be talked about (e.g. prejudice, bias, subtle put-downs) in a highly engaging way
  • It held up a mirror - enabling people to see (and often laugh at) the sort of limiting behaviours that are actually happening in their own organisation;
  • It packed an emotional "punch" - people saw the ways that they can and do exclude people and the impact it has; and
  • It was highly practical - focusing on things that can be easily seen and understood.  Therefore leaders were able to identify what behaviours they need to change.
Outcomes
  • The sessions were designed so that tangible, measurable, personal and organisational action plans were developed with senior ownership and accountability within the business.
  • Vodafone believes that the workshops have been a catalyst for change - They have implemented a 'Plus One' strategy for increasing the number of females at the top level of management. The organisation now has a greater number of women on its executive committee and globally has seen a significant rise in the number of women holding senior leadership roles.
  • The initiative created a new awareness and developed skills among senior leaders - feeding into the development and selection process.
  • Many parts of the business are now looking afresh at branding and their consumer proposition in respect of inclusion and diversity.
  • We also developed a DVD of scenarios which is used to upskill internal HR Managers.

"Steps added huge value to the Inclusive Leadership workshops. They have been professional, flexible and creative in the design process. Their scenarios hold up a mirror, creating moments of real insight for people and inspiring behaviour change. Steps actor-facilitators have been consistently strong across the globe, and have demonstrated integrity and professionalism when interacting with senior people in Vodafone." Debbie Laybourn, Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion.

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Quote Mark Steps adds huge value to the Inclusive Leadership workshops. They have been professional, flexible and creative in the design process. Their scenarios hold up a mirror, creating moments of real insight for people and inspiring behaviour change. Steps actor-facilitators have been consistently strong across the globe, and have demonstrated integrity and professionalism when interacting with senior people in Vodafone. Quote Mark Debbie Laybourn, Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion , Vodafone
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Debbie Laybourn, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, shares her experience of working with Steps to deliver Inclusive Leadership...

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