First Impressions Do Count

Huw Tuckett, Learning Development Consultant, reflects on his first year with Impellus

Huw Tuckett joined the Impellus Training Delivery Team in August 2016. An experienced business leader who has held C-level positions in industry describes what it’s been like to leave the office and join a team that’s committed to improving the performance of the managers it serves.

I joined Impellus in August 2016 and immediately experienced a very steep learning curve in my first few months. Not only was I getting to know my colleagues and learning the ‘Impellus’ way of doing things, I also had to get to grips very quickly with all the course material that I would be delivering to delegates.

My On-boarding Experience

As an organisation, Impellus strives for consistency in the quality and delivery of its open management courses which means a rigorous sign-off process as a consultant joining the business. In a relatively short space of time, I was required to learn between 5-6 hours of content for each of the 11 ILM leadership and management courses and was observed by two other Learning and Development Consultants and the Operations Director on each course before being signed-off to deliver it on my own.

I started at Impellus just before it launched four new Commercial Skills courses, so I was also involved in writing and reviewing content for these with my colleagues – which put me on a level playing field with them rather than being the ‘newbie’ – which was interesting and satisfying.

Another big aspect of my on-boarding experience, was handling the logistics and travel involved in the role. Very swiftly I got to know the conference and banqueting teams at some of the 25 training venues we have across the UK. Travelling around the country in the winter months from one venue to another after having been on my feet all day certainly tested my resilience.

The Impellus Culture

My first year has been challenging but rewarding. The creative and supportive culture at Impellus has made it all worthwhile – I have received tremendous support from my colleagues. I really appreciate the teamwork that goes on behind the scenes at head office to ensure we can deliver the Impellus’ brand values and meet our clients’ expectations.

Highlights of the Year

I opted for a change in lifestyle when joining Impellus and it has been refreshing not to be sat at a desk daily trawling through a huge email inbox. Instead I’m now personally interacting with managers from a variety of organisations in the training room.

Initially, I admit, it was quite daunting – standing in the room in front of up to 24 people. Even though you know you have the full support of your colleagues and line manager, you are effectively ‘on your own’ and you need to overcome any challenges that may occur on that day. As an example, when I was delivering a course in Maidstone, we experienced a wasp in the training room. It was tricky trying not to let the insect overtake proceedings, but then when several delegates were getting flustered and occupied by its presence, I had to pause delivery and took action!

I’ve experienced a great deal of job satisfaction in the last 12 months. It’s particularly rewarding to see delegates experience, what we refer to as ‘lightbulb moments’, when everything falls into place and they grasp an aspect of leadership theory, or they realise the impact that certain behaviours can have. It’s refreshing to read the post course evaluation forms that the delegates complete and to see how the day has equipped them with the skills and tools to be better managers.

It’s also been very enjoyable being able to use my own commercial experiences from previous roles and organisations to create examples and stories to embed the learning theory on our courses.

One of the highlights of the year for me was when a CEO who had been in business for 40+ years attended one of our courses. He brought along members of his Board and they engaged very well with the content. Afterwards he thanked me for the day and said that I had taught him something new that day and he would now see things differently. I was particularly touched by his comment bearing in mind the experience and knowledge he had accumulated over the years.

Approaching my Second Year

Our training delivery year commences in September, so my colleagues and I have spent the last few weeks reviewing and refreshing the content of our open courses. In line with Impellus’ brand values of continuous improvement and ‘there’s always a better way’, we work hard to ensure that our content is current and relevant for our audiences. It’s been good being together for several days at a time in our St. Albans office with the rest of the team.

Whereas in last September, I started off very much ‘as the new boy’, this September we all start the year on a level playing field delivering refreshed course content.

We’ll be training in three new venues this autumn, so it’ll be interesting to meet the new teams in these hotels and work with them.

Lastly, by no means least, I’m really looking forward to meeting a host of new managers over the next few months who’ll attend our courses with the desire to develop new leadership and management skills.