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Crown Estate Scotland – Case Study

March 2016 - present

Challenges

Future Proof Learning started working with the senior management team (known as the Scotland Committee) at Crown Estate Scotland in mid-2016. Initially, we were requested to develop greater cohesion within a small but diverse team who were facing some major challenges in the structure and governance of their business. This resulted from the devolved settlement of Crown Properties which meant that the portfolio had to be managed north of the Border.

We also took on the individual coaching of some members of the team to build confidence and skill in managing relationships within the team and other influential stakeholders. Several coaching sessions followed.

Future Proof Learning were then invited to facilitate a broader event that included other managers and professionals within Crown Estate Scotland. The focus of this event was to improve cohesion overall and to build a pipeline of ideas for future strategic investment. This too was successful.

Next we were asked to work with the GIS (geographic information system) team. This specialist GIS team had highly prized and valuable skills and knowledge but were under considerable pressure due to business and staff changes, including the temporary nature of some contracts due to devolution changes. They needed to collaborate more successfully with a variety of stakeholders, including:

  • Internal teams (to develop greater strategic application of GIS);
  • External bodies such as local and Scottish Government and managing agents; and
  • Commercial partners and investors.

During the Covid pandemic, we were asked to support the implementation of a new performance management process with an emphasis on coaching and providing feedback. This was aimed at a peer-to-peer level as well as for line managers and direct reports. Due to the lockdown conditions, it had to be designed and delivered over a digital platform in a way that still ensured full participation.

Crown Estate Scotland Logo_Case Study

Solutions: Team Coaching, Individual Coaching, Facilitation of Strategy Sessions, Productivity Workshops, Digital Workshops and Change Management

The team were still finding their way in a rapidly changing business environment that majored on devolving the Scottish part of the Crown Estate to the Scottish Government. This involved major changes in how they operated and required a number of changes in systems as well as their culture at work.

Decoupling several core systems, including HR, Finance and IT, was a necessary aspect of the change and required close co-operation with the senior team to understand and manage the complexity and risk. It also ensured that business as usual was not interrupted.

Time pressures and several staff changes added to the demands on the senior team, so the team coaching became an integral element of the change programme.

Impact

During and after the Team Coaching, the team developed their ability to collaborate and support as well as challenge each other constructively, due to increased trust and understanding. Working closely together in a trusting and open way meant that they improved their strategic focus, as well as their capacity to challenge each other’s thinking more constructively.

Through coaching individuals, they learnt how to make more balanced contributions to senior management team meetings and agenda items became more collaborative.

With team productivity workshops, we helped the team improve its resilience during periods of high pressure and a better appreciation of the team’s priorities. Team members also became more versatile and supported each other more effectively.

The coaching and feedback workshops were also very successful, with high numbers of attendees. The workshops were delivered in ways that provided reassurance about this departure from more traditional performance management. Staff and managers welcomed the approach and were able to take the new tools on board to enable teams to feel more supported.

Future Proof Learning is continuing to work closely with Crown Estate Scotland to support their continuing evolution in new areas. These include energy and environmental management, as well as integrating new teams and team members into what remains a high performing, widely respected employer.

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