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Meredith Patton, Operations Board  CSC, now DXC, (Leadership Development Programmes 2015-17)

Steve has recently delivered a comprehensive leadership development course to my account, which recently won a large contract and needs to rapidly develop its ‘next gen’ of technical and business leaders. As part of this course, I also received professional coaching from Steve over the course of about 9-10 months.

Steve’s teams’ delivery record is impeccable, with all course modules delivered to schedule with relevant, effective and interesting content presented by Steve and his colleagues. The course has been effective, with several of its candidates subsequently able to assume increased responsibility on the account and perform well. There have also been some remarkable personal transformations over the duration of the course, with people overcoming, in some case, quite marked limitations to excel in areas where they have previously not: especially in areas like staff engagement and communications. I would rate the return on our investment in this course as reasonably high and if we successfully implement lessons learned, I expect the return on the next course we run to be higher. Steve has been pivotal to its success, most particularly in being demanding of the current management team as active participants in the development of their staff. In doing so, I believe he has helped to improve the overall business culture of the account.

As an individual coach, Steve has been very valuable to me in addressing my professional development needs and encouraging me to broaden my thinking about key management challenges.

I would recommend this type of investment to any business needing to get the most out of its people and I would unhesitatingly recommend Spring and Steve in delivering this type of course.

Jonathan Brindley, General Manager, BladeRoom Group

Jon Brindley

Going from only having to manage my own time and day-to-day activities in a key account sales role to being responsible for the entire business as General Manager there was a steep learning curve I had to go through and continue to develop with Steve’s help.  Not only did it require me to change my day-to-day activities, but I also had to consider how my interactions with the rest of the business and team needed to change, how to use my personality strengths to my advantage but also focus on improving my weaknesses, become a leader figure both within the business and externally, and completely change and widen the things I pay attention to on a day-to-day basis to include both a longer-term strategic outlook across the whole business as well as the detail of daily operational activities.

I have worked very closely with Steve over the last 18-months in this role with him mentoring, advising, coaching and training me to cover all of the above.  I think it would have been a lot harder, if not impossible without his help.

Luke Webber, Operations Board CSC (Leadership Development Programmes 2015-17)

One of my direct reports has worked for me in a variety of Service Management roles for the last 30 months or so. It was obvious to me that she had the raw management and leadership qualities required to progress and become a significant asset to the Company, inhibited by a predilection for unambiguous process and a lack of confidence in certain circumstances.

She has completed the Spring Leadership cadre and has benefited significantly from the training provided by the team.  Her ability to deal with ambiguous internal and Client challenges, combined with a distinct improvement in confidence when engaging colleagues and seniors has improved immensely.  30 months ago, I’d have considered her a strong Service Manager.  Now I consider her a candidate for a Senior Delivery Position across a significant Account numbering some 450 employees and generating upwards of $100million revenue per annum.

Jem Davis, Senior Operations Manager, DXC

Whilst ostensibly a programme for burgeoning leaders, the Spring Programme has an important, secondary, seemingly innocuous benefit.  That is to question the existing leaders in the organisation and hold their performance ‘up to the light’. They too, are taken on a voyage of self-discovery and are able, and indeed encouraged, to participate in the various modules.  Often relaxed, and possibly complacent, an existing leader needs to continuously critique their own performance.  The Programme allows the existing leader to evaluate the actual versus the theory being presented to the future group.  It enables the existing Leader to change or, hopefully, be confident in their own style.  It suddenly affords the leader the opportunity for reflection and understanding.

For me, I realised I simply hadn’t taken the time to consider my actions.  Having developed a leadership style naturally – it was interesting to consider, analyse and determine more of ‘why I behaved as I did’.  The best compliment I can pay to the course is that I realised that what I had taken many years to formulate was laid out in easy module form.  This gave me confidence in myself (I wasn’t making a complete hash of it) and so confidence in the training materials for future leaders.

Importantly, the course material is a series of aids that can be adapted to suit as required.  There is no formula for being a successful leader but it needs to draw on the individual’s own strengths and traits for them to develop their own style.  For example, while one person needs to practise a presentation many times, others need the ‘buzz’ of spontaneity that comes from a less scripted approach.  In learning about yourself you can determine whether to follow a rehearsed or more improvisational approach.

Pairing the people on the course with existing leaders as mentors can benefit both parties.  The existing leaders have the gift of time to reflect on themselves as they attempt to steer a path for the future leaders.  The future leaders have dedicated, quality time to dissect the existing leaders and compare their experience against the theory of their course modules.

The self-discovery process meanders effortlessly into the understanding of others.  Improvement lies in wait for experience.  Future leaders morph into the present tense…

Adrian Powell, Principle Solution Architect, DXC Technology (Leadership Development Programme 2015-16)

I would very much endorse Steve Lobley and his ‘Spring’ team. The Spring Programme has really helped to enhance the breadth and depth of engagement within my professional sphere.  It has allowed me to better understand myself and others which have already led to very positive outcomes within my business.

I believe that the insightful nature of the Spring Programme can add great value to both individuals and wider working groups in terms of enhanced team dynamic, better client understanding and engagement and by ensuring that we get the best value out of our people.I would argue that our investment in the Spring Programme has well paid for itself over the last 12 months!

Ian Williams, Service Delivery Manager, CSC, (Leadership Development Programme 2015-16)

This is a remarkable programme and I feel proud to have been part of it. Any doubts I might have had about “yet another management course” were dispelled within an hour of the start of the first session. The quality of the teaching, the materials and the planning was all very high. More importantly, the effect it has had on me as an individual is very positive. I now feel empowered to lead – it’s as simple as that.

I also know that leadership is difficult and the creation of the “cohort” is the final triumph of the course, providing a powerful support structure for all of the candidates. Thank you.

Jon Sale, Managing Director Voicepath Ltd

I would just like to say thank you very much for the help you have provided through the mentoring process, it’s been great. I certainly feel that the process you used and your knowledge gave us new tools and awareness, and provided reassurance to finish and fine-tune existing processes. It gave us the confidence to know we are working efficiently in the right areas of the business to move forward. We most certainly will call for consultation as things come up, thanks for that. Look forward to working with you again in the future.

Nick Sydenham, Lead Solution Architect, DXC (Leadership Development Programme 2015-16)

The Spring Leadership Development Programme that Steve runs is fairly unique in my experience, in that it not only provides practical information and examples that can be put into practice but also makes you reassess personal assumptions, expectations and objectives.
There are many training courses that teach skills, but only on Spring have I been on one that changes the way you think; it is, therefore, a tremendously effective way of promoting leadership, both personally and applied in a corporate setting.

Caroline Duckworth, Chief Executive of Quartet Community Foundation, Bristol

Our initial contact with Steve and his team was when we were able to access some free coaching which I used for two of my senior management team. Both individuals had very different needs and Corine Hines very quickly built their trust and confidence so that they each gained a huge amount from the experience with one of them citing this experience as the single most important piece of development in their career. From this, we then accessed the Growth Accelerator programme and worked with Steve Lobley. Steve did an excellent job working with the Senior team getting us to work through our vision, mission and strategy. Most importantly he allowed us to work as a team, explore our differences and develop our strategy for achieving our ambition for growth. He also helped us develop a way of analysing our processes internally in order to improve them. All of the team gained enormously from the experience and it has equipped us with processes to make sure that we use what we have learnt going forward.

Andy Green, Operations Manager, DXC (Leadership Development Programme 2 2016-17)

I have spent a very enjoyable year completing a Leadership Development Course with Steve. His concept of the Climbing Belt has helped visualise the new ideas/processes/tools that he has provided us during the course and each Day-long session was a real joy to be part of. I have made particular use of his advice to spend more time in the car listening to “Andy Green” rather than Chris Evans. Steve’s teaching style is very engaging, and helps save the sessions from becoming “yawn mungous”. I will really miss our third Wednesdays this year.

Pete Carr – Deputy Chief Executive at GFirst LEP – Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership

I’ve worked closely with Steve over 12 months at GFirst LEP on operational management and our major UK and European funding plans. I have benefited greatly from Steve’s excellent ability to quickly absorb and assimilate complex information and then convert this into effective strategies/approaches.

Steve is able to see the ‘big picture’ whilst also working at a very detailed level. His extensive knowledge of business support organisations and programmes, together with a strong focus on the needs of the customer, has been invaluable in preparing our plans and bids for funding. This has included two very complex, multi-million pound UK and European funding plans.
Steve is focused, self-motivated and gets things done.

Reuben Terrett, Service Architect, DXC (Leadership Development Programme 2015-16)

The Spring Leadership Programme, led by Steve and his team, was superb and of high quality. A very worthwhile investment by my company. The extensive and multi-layered programme provided me with the insight, context, knowledge and self-awareness that I needed to fully understand my strengths and hone them and apply them in a more considered way. It was also useful in highlighting the “hardwired” behaviours that I needed to moderate, refine or just plain stop doing in order to become a more effective leader. Having completed the programme, I was left with an incredibly useful “bag of tools” that I have often reached for to provide myself with the time, headspace and techniques I have needed in order to lead my team to success and pass on what I have learned to them. This has led to higher morale, a less frenetic atmosphere and a workplace finally freed of entrenched energy zapping drama cycles. The Programme has provided us with the space we have long needed as a team to objectively consider what we are doing and why we are doing it and how we could do it better, more efficiently and cost effectively. Thanks Steve for helping us to trigger this new period of self-awareness, drama-free enlightenment and yes, fun!

Chris ter Bekke, Engineering Lead, CSC (Leadership Development Programme 2016-17)

When we first started SPRING, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. Steve dived right into it on the first day, and I have to say from there on in, the pace didn’t stop one bit. Steve is a very passionate individual and has years of knowledge and experience that he’s willing to share with you as the course progresses. He’s more than willing to take time to go through things to ensure that you understand every aspect of what’s being taught.
I personally found the course to be of great benefit to me and my career. The lessons learnt have already been put into practice to great effect, and if in any doubt, I can either speak to Steve or recap using the materials provided. I will add that at no point during the course did I find myself bored or uninterested. Steve’s delivery lends itself to easy understanding and interactions which help it all stick and maintain your interest.
It’s been a pleasure to learn from Steve, and I hope I continue to do so in the future. I cannot recommend the course or Steve enough. A true asset to any organisation!

Ian Robins – Head of Marketing, Sift Media

Steve is a natural leader who excels at creating shared visions, providing direction and driving plans that align teams to common goals. From strategic thinking and planning to coaching and mentoring, Steve is able to focus those he works with to achieve objectives whilst ensuring the development and learning of individuals – the sign of a great leader. Steve has a practical, hands-on approach combined with a passion for performance and results. His direction, open approach and support for my development made my time working with Steve inspiring, motivating and rewarding. Steve is a great person to have within your business.

Mally Findlater – Task & Finish Manager at GFirst LEP

Steve’s skills have been invaluable through the preparation of the Strategic Economic plan for Gloucestershire. His ability to assimilate complex data and issues quickly and effectively has supported the whole process. He has been central to the strategic planning involved, and worked closely with both internal and external stakeholders, bringing focus, energy and drive. I would certainly recommend him to any organisation looking for support forming and implementing strategic change.

Claire Gardner – Customer Relationship Manager at DXC

I’ve been working with Spring for almost 3 years now and seen huge benefits from both a professional and a personal perspective. I originally attended an employer-sponsored Leadership Development programme, which ran over a period of 9 months covering all aspects of Leadership. I was always particularly interested in the Emotional Intelligence side and the self-awareness required to use the tools to best effect. Working with Spring to analyse the outputs,  discussing and understanding why certain results were appearing, helped in a large part to inform some of the decisions I have taken in my professional life.  There are aspects of my work life that have changed for the better as a result of my involvement with Spring, that I wouldn’t have had the awareness of or confidence to change previously.

John Watkins – Managing Partner at G3 Consulting

Steve has the unique background and experience to apply proven business models and strategy to a broad set of market applications for scale, supply chain leverage, and operational performance. We found our relationship with Steve to be very effective

Sarah Tyler – Tourism and Retail Project Officer at GFirst LEP

I worked with Steve for just over two years and during that time have gained a great deal of respect for him – he joined our team at a stage of change and worked with us all to improve and develop. When going through a change of any description, it can be quite a stressful time – Steve guided us through in both a professional and light-hearted manner. Steve became a valued member of our team and is still very much missed.

Kevin Parry – Process Improvement Executive

Steve is an excellent manager and coach with clear business experience. The team learnt a lot from him during his time with us and benefited from his example as a hardworking team player and an excellent communicator.

David Owen – Chief Executive at GFirst

Steve helped with the formation of Gloucestershire LEP putting in place structure and governance models as well as coaching the senior management team and facilitating a strategic planning process for GFirst. Steve is a great strategic thinker who really helped our business and engaged with staff and stakeholders alike.

Sarah Danson – Business Engagement Manager

I have worked with Steve over a number of years in a variety of roles. His energy and enthusiasm never falter and with that comes a great ability to motivate people and deliver results. He is able to take a business’s visions and goals and ‘translate’ them so that they have meaning at all levels of an organisation; bringing teams together with a sense of common purpose and an understanding of the direction of travel.
For Steve getting the best out of individuals is also important and he takes a genuine interest in really getting to know team members and building strong relationships. I highly recommend Steve and look forward to working with him again in the future!

Katy McCarthy – Digital Media Officer

Steve is an excellent communicator, working with a committed and hands on approach, and passionate about getting the job done to the best of his ability. Steve is always encouraging and positive and above all, I was impressed with his capability to motivate and inspire others.