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Typical Projects

Communication skills | Customer Care | Attitude & Culture Change | Presentation Workshop

For a more complete list of short case studies of our work please

download Case Studies (in PDF format).

PDN Consultancy - Communication skills
The consultants within this business were from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures. Their business was centred in the UK but took them to major business centres throughout Western Europe. Our brief was to promote clearer methods of communication and influencing skills through the use of acting skills and techniques.

We delivered a two-day workshop that allowed the participants to experience a greater understanding of how they can affect and be affected by others. This was achieved by creating 'theatre-based' experiences for the participants and then allowing reflection processes to build an understanding and thence a change in attitude. This was reinforced through a further process where each participant was allowed to experiment with the use of 'different ways of doing things'.

The workshop contained challenging elements that stretched the participant's abilities and raised salient questions about how they reacted and communicated with each other and their clients. It also used exercises and games that generated enthusiasm and fun.

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ScotRail - Customer Care
A recent contract involved developing a customer care programme for a Scottish railway company, concentrating on the frontline staff - ticket collectors, examiners, conductors, team leaders - and how they interacted with the customers, evolving a variety of approaches that allowed each person to build their skills on the job in a constructive way. This project was designed as a train-the-trainer initiative and therefore transfer of skills was included within the process.

The 2-day process required a challenge to be placed on the participants so that they developed their own 'rules of engagement' with customers - a set of statements to bear in mind when interacting with customers. This also allowed a range of potential problems to be raised with the management, opening a number of communication routes from the frontline staff to the senior management.

The workshop was developed focusing a variety of techniques to challenge and enthuse the participants - fun was a central requirement, as through enjoyment, barriers to new ideas were broken down and a greater level of openness was achieved.

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British Energy Project Group – Attitude and culture change processes
This project contained a double objective of promoting and installing a ‘best practice,’ project management way of working, alongside the promoting of the appropriate ‘soft skills’ needed to support that way of working. The target audience consisted of the whole British Energy project group – senior management, project and programme managers, project support staff and other support staff. This project was designed with close input from the client and was delivered in conjunction with a senior project management consultant. It was promoted as a ‘Forum’ in which debate and discussion of ‘best practice’ was hi-lighted and used to bring out the techniques and approaches and exercises were used so that learning could be applied and tested.

It was considered important that the ‘soft’ elements of the forum were ‘marbled’ throughout its duration (4 days). This proved to be very advantageous as both the hard and soft elements complimented each other very well. Group work was used extensively to explore and test ideas and techniques. The participants were also given a wide range of supportive and clear feedback on their performance and gave feedback themselves on the each other and the process.

There was a high level of cynicism from some of the ‘old guard’ but all participants were enjoined into the process so that each person who passed through the forum would take away important elements from the forum and apply it in a structured way within the workplace. Metrics were devised to monitor the continuance of this process of assimilation on an ongoing way.

In overall terms, this initiative was successful in achieving a consensus of a ‘best practice’ approach to project management that encompassed changes in culture and attitude. It had an added effect of raising morale within the business to work in a concerted way, communicate more, apply best practice techniques, share information and knowledge, and work in a positive way to move the business culture on in a positive direction.

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Liverpool University - presentation workshop
Actors Mean Business has had a long association with Liverpool University mainly delivering a one-day presentation course to the various teaching and support staff. The objectives are to take each person’s ability separately and to expand their knowledge and expertise in a dynamic and continual way. This is achieved by opening each member of the group up to thinking in more open ways, thus preparing them to give and receive honest and sensitive feedback from the tutor and the group.

The techniques used create an environment that allows individuals to be both part of a group but also separate individuals. Thus they can understand that one solution is not always right for all problems, and it is from the individual communicating with their audience that creates understanding and a change in thinking rather than from a good set of slides or a slick script.

The workshops have a high reputation within the university and are always oversubscribed and in demand.

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Actors Mean Business Ltd, 6 Penns Lane, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, UK, B72 1BD
Tel: 0121 350 1112   Email: Nigel@actorsmeanbusiness.co.uk