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John Lewis Partnership

Using the power of forum theatre to engage with the need to change

Introducing change with minimal disruption to the business and upset to staff was a key priority for the John Lewis Partnership; to be a success they needed their leaders to not only understand the need for change but also be equipped with the right skills to address any potential issues with their teams.

The problem

Senior management identified that for their change programme to be a success they had to have all their leaders on board. They wanted their managers to be able to nurture positive relationships with their teams, despite the uncertainty of change, and to be prepared to deal with potential performance issues at an early stage to prevent potential escalation.

The solution

In partnership with the internal Leadership and Development team RoleplayUK designed and scripted bespoke workplace scenarios relevant to the change issues faced by the organisation. With a core team of a Facilitator and two Skills Coaches we then ran a series of workshops using Forum Theatre to explore the impact of mishandled conversations, and work one-to-one with participants to adapt and coach their personal communication style.

The Results

The workshops created a realistic workplace environment for participants to actively engage with the need for change and the opportunity to practise potentially challenging conversations. By the end of their training, team leaders were able to employ effective techniques and strategies to introduce messages sensitively, confidently and consistently with their teams.

“Having worked with the RoleplayUK team on our management training programmes, we decided to integrate their approach into our own Learning & Development courses. The Facilitators and Skills Coaches were able to very effectively adapt to our own culture and business needs, and not work on the assumption that our requirements would be the same as the wider Partnership. Our delegates have found team members to be consistently professional and they have enjoyed the refreshingly different approach.

The Skills Coaches are also adept at challenging and pushing delegates when appropriate. We monitor delegate feedback closely and this has shown a high level of engagement with both the process and the content which ensures that learning is effectively embedded.”

John Lewis Partnership – Leadership team

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