The Board of Trustees (which I chair) of a regional theatre recently commissioned Nicola King to undertake a full and independent review of the company. There were worrying staffing issues against the background of major organisational change, and we wanted to better understand the underlying problems. As part of her review Nicola considered a fair amount of documentation and also set up a full staff listening exercise which comprised an online survey and a great many face-to-face and telephone interviews. The response rate to the survey and the offer of interviews was by any measure very high indeed.
At the outset what impressed me in particular was Nicola’s immediate grasp of the task facing her and the clarity of thought with which she proceeded. She discussed in great detail both the proposed methodology and reporting structures of the review and reached full agreement with us as her client. She then “got on with it” and over two or three weeks accumulated an enormous amount of data, which she then distilled and presented to the Board by way of initial findings. There followed a meeting and workshop with the entire theatre company which Nicola steered with huge sensitivity. It was clear that her listening and questioning skills are very highly developed.
In communicating with me, the whole Board, individual staff members and the whole company Nicola demonstrated impressive understanding not only of the issues at stake but also of the wider context. Her use of appropriate verbal register, her objective style and her questioning approach and factual delivery were also complimented by her excellent sense of humour and a down-to-earth quality that everyone could relate to.
We have now gained not only a comprehensive report and a good many sensible and achievable recommendations but also a sense of a job done extremely effectively. We have an agreed way forward that is well signposted and clear. A very very positive and worthwhile experience all round, one which is clearly going to benefit the whole organisation. Thank you!