Client Success Story: Hydro One
Jim Rankin with Hydro One on “The Effective Facilitator”
We sat down with Jim Rankin, Director of Organization Alignment with Hydro One, and asked him to share his experience with Leadership Strategies’ facilitation training. Jim has been involved in the change management and facilitation consulting industry for years. Because of this, he attended a session led by Michael Wilkinson at an International Association of Facilitators (IAF) conference years ago. Jim has been working with Hydro One, the largest electricity transmission and distribution company in Ontario Canada, for the past few years.
Jim was charged with the task of developing respected and experienced managers within Hydro One that needed the knowledge and skills to provide change management support throughout the organization. One of the areas of development Jim saw as key for these leaders was facilitation skills.
Over his years in the industry he reviewed the different facilitation programs that had come his way. However, when it came time for him to take create a development plan, he really liked what he experienced in The Effective Facilitator course he participated in on years ago. In fact, he still uses a lot of what he learned at the IAF session previously.
When Jim was asked what made him come to Leadership Strategies when he began looking for a facilitation training program he said, “Why go shopping any further when you’ve [Leadership Strategies] got everything that will work for your [Hydro One] organization?”
Jim made the recommendation to start sending their staff to The Effective Facilitator public classes that are held in various locations and hosted by Leadership Strategies. Since Jim made this decision, numerous members of their team have completed the course.
When asked how the training has impacted Hydro One’s sessions, Jim began by describing what their sessions used to be like. The old model was to bring a group of people together (regardless of whether they needed to be there or not) and then the meeting leader would start talking and would receive little feedback or interaction. They were seeing a huge loss in productivity because the wrong people were in the meetings and because of the general disorganization that was prevalent.
“People didn’t realize how bad it was because they had never experienced better,” explained Jim. “It was like people who always have vanilla ice cream and don’t know that there are alternatives. Well, they never knew that there was anything better….It was very dysfunctional in many ways.”
His team was amazed to see how different meetings could be run, no matter the size or group of people involved. People’s eyes were really opened to see the impact facilitation could make. Their meetings were running more smoothly and more was being accomplished in the same amount of time (or less).
“Any organization that is looking for a facilitation skills program to provide them with real tools that work and models that they can follow easily, needn’t look any further” says Jim. They couldn’t find any better than the Effective Facilitator, in my mind.”