As part of the Graduate Scheme here at TUI there is a significant focus on developing all the skills you need to become a successful future leader. Whilst many of these skills are developed in your day to day role there is also the opportunity to attend full day workshops with a more structured approach to learning.
With the commercial scheme being focused around project work, and an impending group project for all of us to embark on, it seemed highly apt that this should be our first workshop.
The workshop was lead by project management expert Richard Gourlay. We began with some classroom style learning about common project pitfalls and examples of successful projects. There was also a lot of new terminology to get to grips with and a three letter acronym which we all got to know very well… PID (project initiation document). In the afternoon we split into smaller groups and developed a PID for a project of or choice which helped put the theory into practice. The workshop built a valuable foundation for us all when it came to our group project.
Key lessons for project management:
Good project management is all the planning.
Avoid scope creep at all costs, stick to your original purpose.
Think Jerry Maguire “Show me the money!”… Ok so my preconceptions of what a negotiation skills workshop would be all about were a little off, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable.
Malcolm Smith (Speaker of the Year 2010 at Vistage International) came into Wigmore to run the day for us. He took us through some great case studies on high profile negotiations and taught us the fundamental do’s and don’ts of negotiation technique. Feeling ready to take our new skills to the Souks of Morocco (no such luck) we were split into two teams for a role play exercise.
We battled it out as a tour operator and supplier trying to negotiate the best arrangement for our respective teams. After an intense couple of hours we arrived at a deal which satisfied both parties… top negotiating all round!
Key lessons for negotiations:
Never say “is that the best you can do?”
Have 50 things to talk about other than price.
Product Development and Innovation
Working in the finance department I’d never really considered the thought process and effort required to maintain our market leading status with concepts such as Sensatori and Holiday Village. However, I was soon to be thrown in at the deep end.
The most recent workshop was run by our very own Verity Holloway (Management Development Manager) and Ian Corbett (New Product Development Manager).
We started the day with a theoretical approach to product development and innovation, with some real life examples to help get the creative juices flowing. We were then split into small groups and were set one of the toughest workshop tasks I’ve had to date… pitch a new profit generating idea to the Dragons Den!
We had a couple of hours to think of a brand new idea taking into consideration fit with the brand, target customers, marketing, profitability and sustainability issues before presenting in front of a 6 strong panel of TUI’s innovation experts. Given the time pressures involved, the whole group did a phenomenal job in pulling together some great new ideas which suitably impressed the dragons!
Key lessons for development and innovation:
You’re much more creative in bare feet.
No idea is too crazy or ridiculous, write it down and rein it in.
Brendan Kelly (Finance Graduate)