How Scan-Pac embraced interpersonal excellence to manufacture positive change
It was people not product that consumed Craig Armstrong when he joined the leading development and manufacturing company, Scan-Pac, as President three years ago.
Like every great business leader Craig knew Scan-Pac needed to continue to evolve its products and processes, but people needed to be in the equation too. Craig wanted to create a cohesive environment in which his people could thrive as a team, to drive safety, innovation, and change.
Having already completed a programme with Axiom on delivering change at Scan-Pac, Craig’s leadership conversations were already naturally evolving towards ‘how we work more effectively as a team’.
“We got to the point where we were saying, okay, we understand what it takes to make change happen. We understand it takes us having the ability to change hearts and minds. Now we need to better understand ourselves and our people, so we can engage everyone in that change.” That’s when Craig once again picked up the phone to Axiom.
This is the third time Craig’s worked with Axiom because “each time has always been hugely successful,” he says. “I find it a collaborative partnership. I’ll talk about the challenges the business is facing and what I’m striving to do, then Axiom will offer various programmes to help us navigate our way through. I just always get a strong sense that Axiom are genuinely in it to make us successful. Their programmes always leave me feeling like that.”
On this occasion the programme was a series of four virtual workshops, offering a powerful formula for helping teams secure interpersonal excellence.
The Straight ‘A’s Approach
“We call it our Straight ‘A’s Approach,” says Chris Carey, Axiom’s Managing Director. “Regardless of what sector you are in, success is dependent on your people having the ability to build effective relationships with key stakeholders. From shop floor to top floor interpersonal excellence is a tremendous skill and is often the key to sustained success.”
That’s why Axiom developed its now proven Straight ‘A’s formula – the unlock to interpersonal excellence.
- The first ‘A’ is for Awareness. This is all about self-awareness and understanding what your leadership qualities and communication preferences are.
- The second ‘A’ is for Acuity. This is all about knowing how to read signals from others. Understanding that how they like to work and communicate may not mirror you – then being respectful of that.
- The third ‘A’ is for Agility. This is about how you can adjust your communication and ways of working, so that you create win / win outcomes for all concerned.
“The team found this learning just fascinating,” says Craig. “Understanding their own style, then learning how to spot the working styles of others. But what I think the team were most engaged in was learning about the triggers that can demotivate or disengage someone else.”
During the series of two-hour workshops, participants explored their own profiles and the likely profile combinations of those within their immediate teams. These sessions explored sensitive subjects, so did it matter that the workshops couldn’t take place face-to-face?
“The pandemic meant we weren’t able to host any of these sessions face-to-face, but in the end, it probably worked out better that we held them virtually. We have a plant in Texas, so we’d have always had some people joining us remotely. Having us all online worked out well – especially given Axiom did such a fabulous job of virtual event facilitation.”
Axiom’s Chris Carey and Miles Henson facilitated these interactive sessions. “The Ying and the Yang they bring is fabulous,” says Craig. “They just had a very natural flow between them that was engaging to be part of. And the credibility Miles brings with his work with high performing teams, his deep-rooted knowledge in personalities and behaviours, his work here in the US with Olympic coaches – it’s just fascinating – and made the one-to-one confidential coaching that Miles delivered as part of the programme even more valued.”
“There’s been a dramatic increase in self-awareness within the business, and I’ve seen my leadership team proactively leaning in and really making visible changes in how they lead and communicate.
I also think it speaks to the success of the programme that there’s been a desire from certain leaders to better understand this topic so they can be more effective with their teams and better deal with certain situations.”
“I think what Axiom does is help create a psychologically safe space to explore this topic and have these, sometimes challenging, conversations. It’s becoming a natural part of the way we are talking about ourselves and our relationships with each other – we’re framing it in that straight A’s context – and we are seeing great results.”
The next step in the partnership is for Scan-Pac to dive deeper into the topic of Emotional Intelligence.
What our client says
The verdict from our client, Craig Armstrong, President, Scan-Pac:
“Truly successful companies have a higher level of Emotional Intelligence, more so I think than academic or business intelligence because it’s about how people work together. If you are looking to create a high performing team, I’d thoroughly recommend Axiom and this programme.
The passion and knowledge that Axiom brings is fantastic. Even when you aren’t in the same room as Chris and Miles, they have this tremendous ability to communicate their enthusiasm and expertise, they are highly engaging, and I think that’s testament to their work.”
Scan-Pac is one of many clients who have worked with Axiom to benefit from their ‘Straight ‘A’s approach to interpersonal excellence and their Emotional Intelligence workshops. Other clients include global pharmaceutical companies and vehicle manufacturers of the world’s leading brands. To find out how Axiom can support your team and business, simply give Chris a call on +44 (0)33 3088 3088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org