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Equality & Human Rights Commission, Wales

Developing Leadership competency in the Head of the EOC Wales to ensure she became the ‘candidate of choice’ for the enhanced role of Director of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights for Wales after the merger of the various discrimination organizations

The Challenge

To identify and fill the leadership gaps required to fulfill the enlarged role.

Client Profile

The Equal Opportunities Commission was a statutory vehicle for the promotion of Equality Legislation. The organisation was organised on a Regional basis. The client was the Head of the EOC for Wales.

 

Background

  • The EOC was due to be disbanded in 2007, when  the various bodies dealing with discrimination were to  merge into the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, whose Chairman was Trevor Phillips.
  • The new organisation would be much larger than the previous component parts as Gender, Sexual Orientation, Human Rights, Disability, Racial and Religious discrimination were all to come under its banner.
  • All the Senior Regional posts, as well as central positions in London, were advertised and recruited via Whitehead Mann Headhunters.
  • The Head of EOC Wales was very keen to apply for the new position of Director of CEHR Wales.
  • She had been given insights that the key to success in the enlarged role would be effective leadership.

Desired Outcomes/Goals

  • The client’s stated objective for coaching was to develop the competencies that would make her the unbeatable candidate of choice for the new role.
  • The focus was to enhance her leadership and influencing to a new level.

Intervention

  • The first stage was to undertake a LEIPA 360° assessment, with raters including relevant organisational colleagues who might be consulted during the selection process, including Welsh Assembly members; followed by a debrief which highlighted key strengths and development areas.
  • Once these were understood, the process progressed with six two-hour coaching sessions addressing these issues and fostering a deeper understanding how leadership, climate and culture impact performance.
  • New Leadership behaviours were experimented with and assessed during sessions to take further learning and embed positive development.
  • Specific preparation for the assessment process also formed part of the content.
  • Sessions continued monthly throughout the stages of the selection and assessment process.

Success Against Desired Outcomes

  • Client was unanimously appointed to the position of Director of CEHR Wales by the panel.
  • Feedback after the selection panel, from the Chief Executive of the new CEHR, identified clearly that it was the focus on leadership excellence and the understanding demonstrated by the client that made the panel unanimous in its decision.

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