MAS Holdings is a $1.6 bn conglomerate, one of the world’s most recognised Design–to-Delivery Solution Providers in Apparel and Textile Manufacturing. Headquarterd in Sri Lanka, the organisation has 48 manufacturing facilities across 15 countries with over 79,000 people involved in its global operations.
MAS has a large number of young managers working in high-stress, critical positions across the organisation. Taking time out for self-focus and development of leadership capacities is difficult to prioritise over the immediate demands of solving problems and achieving results. The client was looking for a long term learning trajectory that would develop an ongoing self-directed learning culture supported by peers and an HR function trained in facilitation techniques.
MDF Training & Consultancy proposed a three-month learning trajectory with two off-site workshops supported by periodic action learning group sessions. The first module was a three-day off-site retreat focusing on building self-awareness, understanding personal motivation and the concept of self-accountability. Participants identified personal leadership challenges to work and report on throughout the three-month period. We supported the facilitation of action learning sessions with small groups and trained HR representatives as action learning facilitators. The shift from trainer-directed to self-directed learning was the greatest challenge. The second workshop was a two-day off-site skill-building module in foundational interpersonal management tools, giving and receiving feedback, negotiation, conflict resolution, etc. At the end of the three-month period there was a half-day wrap-up celebration with individual presentations by participants on what they had learned and achieved.
Participants made manychanges as a result of the learning process. Feedback received indicated that the first off-site session in particular had made the biggest impact. The participants found the action learning sessions very different and challenging, given the need to take time out from the high-pressured work environment. The HR management team discussed ways to embed this approach in the corporate culture and to raise the profile of action-learning as an important learning methodology for the organisation.
Participants have already created changes in the way they manage their teams. They have gained confidence to delegate more and have learned and practiced applying situational leadership approaches in their work. Reporting back helped in the application of tools and knowledge learned.