Future Leaders – Shaping the Valve Industry’s Future

‘Possibly the most rewarding activity of my career’

Cohort 1 with BVAA Chairman David Millar



Cohort 2’s Valve building exercise at BEL valves, and the ‘helium stick’ challenge at Rotork Gears

Cohort 2 with Dr Martin Haigh MBE (Photo courtesy of Lattitude7)



Photo courtesy of Lattitude7
This ringing endorsement – and there are many – comes not from the programme’s delegates on this occasion, but from the BVAA’s Director & CEO, Rob Bartlett.

“The programme has had an amazing effect on all those involved in it,’ says Rob. ‘I believe we all instinctively knew the BVAA Future Leaders Programme had terrific potential, but all my colleagues have been blown away by the successes of the first cohort, and the tremendous impact it is having on the second in 2017. Speaking personally, it is possibly the most rewarding activity in my trade association career.”

What is the Future Leaders Programme?

In 2016 BVAA launched a new programme specially designed to develop a small group of future leaders for the industry.

Eleven individuals were identified by their employers as having the right qualities and potential to become leaders within their own organisations. The first cohort of 11 delegates was put through a range of exercises and activities designed to help them FastTrack their experiences within the industry, ramp up their personal skills and knowledge, but without having to change employers, which in former times many of us had to do in order to advance ourselves. Such moves are of course very disruptive for the employers, and involves a significant element of risk for the employee.

Company Knowledge- Transfer Days

The ‘FLP’ as it has become known comprises a series of days set at each one of the candidates’ own premises. There, the host and their colleagues educate their cohort in a particular specialism, activity or area of excellence in which their company excels. Delegates also receive short lectures on product types, systems, facility tours, etc., increasing substantially their understanding of the wider valve industry.

Personal Development Days

In addition to the dozen or so company days, BVAA provides the group with a series of personal development courses to help round the individuals. The breadth and depth of this element has been substantially increased for the 2017 intake, such was the positive feedback from the first cohort. This now includes TQ Psychometric testing and attributes wheel assessments, helping generate a composite team profile – particularly important as the group works so closely together over the year.

Personal Development Consultant Dr Martin Haigh MBE commented, “It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege creating and delivering the learning and development interventions for the FLP. I have witnessed some amazing breakthroughs from cohort 1 and was blown away by their confident and seamless presentation at the AGM. Before we started the personal development training for the second cohort, I carried out a psychometric test on the delegates. This gave us a good steer on where to focus our leadership efforts. More importantly, the team profile from the psychometric instrument indicated that all the primary work preferences were covered and that we have a really well-balanced group. So it has been proven because I have seen how well the team has gelled together and how their complementary strengths are driving strong outcomes. Like the first cohort, this second group of leaders are applying the PD principles in the workplace and making things happen. I look forward to the remaining sessions this year and helping to make a difference to this rapidlydeveloping team!”

BVAA Networking & Technical Training

Throughout the programme BVAA has provided opportunities for the cohorts to expand their personal network of contacts, and offered free-of-charge technical training courses from BVAA’s extensive portfolio. All delegates enjoy a life-long discount on BVAA courses thereafter.

Experience Days

Another feature is the ‘experience days’ organised by BVAA at the behest of the cohorts, to suit their learning needs. Cohort 1 for example visited a valve casting facility – witnessing first-hand a valve pour, something many of us had to wait a lifetime to see. The group also spent a day touring the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at Sheffield, which included AMRC Castings (formerly CTI), Nuclear AMRC, AMRC Design Centre, The Welding Institute, AMRC Training Centre and the inspiring AMRC ‘Factory 2050.’

Beyond FLP

At the end of the programme, each cohort makes a presentation to the BVAA membership at the Association’s AGM. The Cohorts are also encouraged to think beyond the life of the programme. As Rob Bartlett explains, “‘You drive, we assist’ is very much part of the philosophy of the FLP. Some of Cohort 1 were very keen to extend their programme to include a Level 3 Mentoring qualification, under the auspices of Institute of Leadership & Management. By working with our personal development consultant Dr Martin Haigh MBE, (Lattitude7) this was delivered in spring 2017. I’m delighted to say they finished the taught programme recently and have furthermore been mentoring Cohort 2 delegates as part of that course requirement.”

“We are also encouraging the groups to stay connected – not just through the BVAA committee structure which several have joined - but also through reunions, additional training and an alumni social networking strand.”

Father of the project, and BVAA vice- Chairman Colin Findlay has the last word, “When the BVAA’s small WG comprising myself, Tim Guest and Rob Bartlett got together to kick around our Board’s outline proposals, we had a clear vision that we wanted to not only advance the individuals, but also the industry as a result. I think it is clear we are sowing the Cohort 2 with Dr Martin Haigh MBE seeds of our industry’s continued success with the programme, but many of the individuals are already enjoying personal career advancement. We have to thank our members for giving up a lot of time and energy to the visits and in rolling out their top guns to support us. It really is what we hoped for and appreciate on these very useful days.”

“From their post-event reports to their CEOs, it is clear that each day has been different, building up their knowledge and offering new ideas into the future leaders that will benefit them and the efficiency of the industry for decades to come.”

If you are a BVAA Member and would like to nominate a suitable candidate for the next cohort, commencing in January 2018, contact rob@bvaa.org.uk

N.B. Spaces are severely limited and may have to be subject to a selection process.

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 42


Autumn 2017 // Issue 42
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