Case Study: New Zealand Red Cross Director Training

28 November, 2023

Tailored Professional Development: Learn how Kāpuhipuhi Wellington Uni-Professional helped New Zealand Red Cross transform the leadership capabilities of their Directors. 

What was the challenge you were having before you engaged with Kāpuhipuhi?

We’d just been through a major change programme to set us up well to achieve our Strategy. We had created a number of ‘Director’ roles – roles with significant leadership responsibilities across the organisation.

We had the unique opportunity to bring a number of Directors in at the same time and build them as a supportive and collaborative group. We wanted them to not only focus on their own areas, but to also take a whole of organisation approach to their work.

We needed a training programme that could match the huge range of skills and experience we were bringing into our organisation. We also needed a range of sessions to help build the core competencies and capabilities we needed in our Directors.

What was different about our service and approach?

There was a real feeling of ‘pick and mix’ – we could choose the courses that most suited our specific capability development needs and schedule them in a timeframe and sequence that suited us.

As the courses were completed, the evaluations from the courses could be taken into account for the next course. This meant we could keep tailoring the programme to what the Directors most needed. It also meant we could have check in points through the year so learning could be shared between Directors and the Executive Leadership Team.

We also appreciated that we could use our own location as the place for the training, as this helped to reduce our overall costs.

Take us to the moment when you realized our tailored professional development was what you needed to solve your problem.

Before we even had the idea of training Directors as a cohort, we offered a general leadership course from Kāpuhipuhi Wellington Uni-Professional to our new Directors. The Directors enjoyed learning together so much and got so much out of the course (whether very experienced or not) it gave us the idea for a coordinated programme.

We looked through the offerings that were available and were able to have a personalised discussion about what tailored professional development would suit our needs. We worked with Kāpuhipuhi Wellington Uni-Professional Programme Manager Anika Maddalena to design a programme to run over 9 months to factor in time for self-reflection and development.

Having a person taking responsibility for coordinating our programme, and having that contact through the year, also really helped to make sure the overall programme was well coordinated.

Tell us what life looks like now after the director training.

The opportunity to connect, share experiences and examples from work has been invaluable for our Directors. It has meant they could form as a group, get to know one another quickly, find common experiences and ways to frame leadership opportunities and challenges. They’ve been able to take all of this out to their day-to-day experiences and interactions with one another. All of this is helping us have a collective capability – as well as individual capability growth – that’s important to how our organisation needs to work, to deliver our mission.