Soft Skills Need Hard Skills Too: Lynley Corcoran’s QBS Journey at Coles

Prior to engaging QBS, Lynley Corcoran and her team at Coles had done extensive work on soft skill development programs. These programs were highly beneficial, but they lacked the operational management skills that their operational leaders required.

Lynley aimed to address specific challenges within the organisation, including:

  1. Supporting leaders in transitioning to a new operational management model that placed people management responsibilities back with the leaders themselves.
  2. Providing recognition and qualifications for employees, many of whom lacked formal qualifications, to prepare them for future roles.

While Coles had implemented programs related to soft skills, financial management and job readiness, they had a gap in critical thinking and operational improvement skill development.

How QBS Solved the Challenge:

Engaging with QBS, specifically through the COE program, provided a structured and effective solution. Here’s how it benefited Coles:

  • COE’s 70/20/10 design initially challenged leaders, especially those without tertiary education, and some who had not finished high school. However, QBS provided exceptional support, instilling confidence in participants to complete the program.
  • Leaders emerged from the program with the ability to proactively manage both their business operations and their teams for all-round KPI improvement.
  • Several COE graduates were promoted to more significant roles.
  • The program’s extensive engagement requirements, including interaction with managers, teams, and stakeholders, had a cascading effect on the organisation. This butterfly effect contributed to tangible improvements in engagement scores, with program participants positively influencing their teams.

Key Takeaways 

Lynley highlighted the brilliance of COE’s extensive engagement requirements, noting that participants couldn’t avoid engaging with various stakeholders. This engagement had a pronounced and positive effect on engagement scores across teams. Lynley strongly recommends QBS programs, highlighting their elegant design, significant impact, and positive feedback. She suggests starting with key leverage points and influencers within the organisation, particularly those with a growth mindset.

If you like what you read here, and feel you could benefit from a chat to scope your unique situation, book a call here to chat with Anita or one of the team.

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