OSS Foundation 2019 | OSS Retail

OSS Foundation 2019 – a life changing week

With the sun shining at St. Hugh’s college on 1st July 2019, Dominic Prendergast officially opened the 8th Foundation Programme. This was the start of what had been described as a ‘life changing week’.

“I was told by former delegates that this programme was going to be a life changing experience. ‘That’s huge’ I thought, how can a 5-day programme change my life? But oh boy, did the Foundation deliver! It was everything I hoped for and more…” commented Cristina Crespo-Manez, Customer Service Leader at World Duty Free.

The aim of the Foundation is to unlock the delegates understanding of their role as leaders. We therefore began the week by getting the delegates to reflect on their own approach to leadership and develop a self awareness using the Clarity4D personality profiling system. Through this exercise the delegates discover their natural selves and develop methods for more effective communication within their team. To close the day we welcomed Paula Nickolds, Managing Director at John Lewis & Partners to inspire the delegates to think positively about their careers and how they can better lead their people.

Group 3 - OSS Foundation 2019

Day 2 saw Andrew Marrins, Head of Learning and Development at BrewDog lead the day. Andrew was delighted to return to the Foundation Programme as he had previously held the role of Programme Manager between 2016 – 2018. This year, as a guest speaker, he led a series of activities and leadership models reveal how the delegates could apply different leadership techniques to inspire and influence the best results within their team. To end the day delegates undertook a number of exciting and challenging outdoor activities. The aim of the game, ensure your team scores the most points! There were plenty of cheers, whoops and laughter in the evening sun. Congratulations to Group 3 (pictured right) who showed skill, teamwork and intuition to take the winners medals!

Next up, we introduced coaching to the delegates. Great retail leaders understand when and how to take a coaching approach with individuals and the team. Nick Booth, Director at Seventh Wave® led a series of interactive sessions that allowed the delegates to practice the key techniques and develop a coaching style that would engage and develop their team. The day ended with an inspirational session with Mark Axon, Retail Director at New Look. He shared the high’s and low’s of his career and what it takes to be an outstanding retail leader. He also provided our delegates with an incredible opportunity by staying to answer their questions 1-to-1.

On Thursday, our Wellbeing Partner retailTRUST led our delegates through a day talking about adaptability and wellbeing. Great adaptability and wellbeing in the workplace is critical to both the performance of a team and the health of individuals. The day explored both physical and mental wellbeing particularly the importance of resilience in a modern workplace. It focused on how the delegates could identify the signs, lead great wellbeing conversations and how they could lead a positive people culture.

Finally, the final day saw the delegates re-visit the principles of the week and create an action plan for when they return to their business. This ensures that they could seamlessly apply their learning from the programme to generate improved personal and business performance.

Overall what a week we had! The delegates energy throughout the 5 days was incredible and the shear number of ‘lightbulb’ moments was awe inspiring. Every year it is our aim to provide delegates with the best week of their retail careers. It is this drive to continually push ourselves that we’ll begin planning for next year in just a few weeks! A huge thank you to Programme Designer Rob Husband and Programme Manager Sam Mancey for their efforts over the past 12 months in creating an incredible life changing programme. We also couldn’t make the difference we do without the amazing team of Group Leaders that facilitate and support delegates through the challenging work programme. Here’s to OSS Foundation 2020!

Start the journey of unparalleled leadership learning

If you’d like to find out how OSS Foundation can make the difference for your talented retail managers please contact:
Terry Lees
Head of Residential Programmes
T 0121 446 6688
M 07595 928 721
E terry@ossretail.co.uk