Like many leading financial institutions, the London Stock Exchange has experienced major, and sometimes traumatic, changes. In the 1980s it employed more than 3000 people and by 1996 was down to below 1000. The Exchange had nascent schemes for graduates and people with potential for management, but wanted to fully develop an imaginative and challenging one-year programme to release the potential of participants.
Maynard Leigh was selected to develop the Professional Self Management Programme that eventually served both graduates and non-graduates. Starting in the early 1990s, Maynard Leigh developed and ran the one-year PSMP scheme for much of the decade. It consisted of three broad areas of activity: personal skills, team skills and business skills.
The wide ranging workshops included how to influence others, customer care and market awareness, decision making, managing meetings, leadership, creative problem solving, project management, team dynamics, self-presentation, and managing time and goals.
Participants were nominated and subsequently supported by a sponsoring manager who also attended some of the workshops and liaison meetings. They devised imaginative post workshop activities, such as Opportunity cards, similar to Chance cards in Monopoly. Participants selected a card randomly and undertook whatever they found on it.
One person spent a day in a wheelchair in the Exchange building and wrote a report about it. Another had a letter published in a national newspaper, while a third organised a charity event raising money for homeless people. The point of the cards was for each person to make the most of the opportunity, much like entrepreneurial activity in real life.
The Maynard Leigh associate spent considerable time in the Exchange ensuring that the programme met all its objectives, monitoring the quality, and trouble shooting. Occasionally the associate seemed part of the Exchange's staff, for instance contributing in performance reviews or attending the selection panel for nominated participants.
Scores of people passed through the Professional Self Management Programme, which acquired considerable prestige within the Exchange, with many of the programme's alumni going on to promotion.
"Maynard Leigh have a unique approach in combining conventional business know-how with the ideas from the performing arts," said then Head of Personnel, Steve Hull. "I believe this can speed up learning and create an exciting yet safe atmosphere in which to grow and develop."
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