Building skills and behaviours to lead Operations at London Midland

Tom Joyner joined London Midland in Spring 2013 as the Operations Director, completed a significant restructure of the Operations function, developed a clear business vision for Operations, and confirmed the specific operational priorities. Part of the restructure was to create a new strategically driven Operations leadership team and included a number of newly recruited external appointments, and some reassigned London Midland managers. Tom described this new team as having huge potential, operating below their capability initially, with scope to grow, develop and to make a positive impact.

Tom wanted to build the capability of this new team and to develop leadership behaviours aligned with the London Midland business values. t4c designed a campaign of activities to include a combination of:

  • A period of intense development work within the first 3 months (90 days) of team launch
  • Health checks on team behaviours and performance every 90 days thereafter
  • 1 to 1 coaching, as required and agreed
  • An annual team MOT
  • Using the MBTI profiling to create a ‘common language’ between individuals inside and outside the leadership team
  • 3 ‘blue sky’ ‘no agenda’ days per year which will develop the creative and strategic thinking of the leadership team, encourage links with external organisations who demonstrate best practice and create ‘thinking space’ for the leadership team members.

At the end of this programme, Tom said:

‘I have worked with train4change Ltd for over 15 years during my career within the Railway. Most recently I worked with Sarah and the team for over 3 years during my tenure as Passenger Services Director at London Midland.

Over the three years my Heads Of and Senior Operations Management team were transformed from a somewhat dysfunctional, largely tactical group of individuals to a functional, cohesive and highly effective leadership team who influenced a cultural shift within the business. The t4c team designed and delivered a series of one and two day modules throughout the three years to develop the leadership knowledge, skills and behaviours, further enhanced by 1:1 coaching sessions for those in my team requiring additional help and support.

I have also had first-hand experience of train4change working as a partner to change the culture and approach of First Great Western customer services as part of a multi-million pound transformation in 2008. My first work with train4change came when I was running the Silverlink Metro business and again train4change delivered excellent results in a timely fashion that were above specification.

I have always found train4change to be an organisation which understands our industry and works with integrity and is focussed on delivering tangible results. The team work in a collaborative, creative way, acting as a ‘critical friend’ to challenge constructively, being responsive and adaptable, and totally committed to the outcomes we have mutually agreed.

I would have no hesitation in recommending train4change, and I look forward to working with Sarah and the team in the future’