New ICOS Management Development Programme to shape industry leaders of the future
The new ICOS Management Development Programme has recently been completed by a group of 16 managers from dairy processing co-ops. In doing so they became the first to complete the new, sophisticated, programme. The managers came from co-ops such as Aurivo, Arrabawn, Dairygold, Glanbia and Tipperary.
The programme was designed exclusively for the Irish co-op sector by ICOS Skillnet, which is the division of learning and development within the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society.
The new management development programme stemmed from a working group which identified training needs across the sector. This included industry-specific training interventions, developed by the industry for the industry, to enable substantive business growth.
The ICOS Skillnet programme ties in closely with the objectives of Food Wise 2025 – the strategic plan for the agrifood sector which targets a growth of up to 85% in exports to €19 billion by 2025. Another aim is for the creation of 23,000 new jobs over the same period. The programme also prioritises management development by co-operatives in line with the Report on Future Skills Needs in the Food and Drink Sector which is necessary to achieving Food Wise 2025.
The co-operative sector is funding the initiative and owns the intellectual property for the programme which is also recognised and accredited through the Irish Institute of Training and Development. It uses a mix of lectures and workshops with self-directed learning, covering leadership, influencing and delegation, change management, communications and assertiveness, performance management, conflict resolution, commercial awareness, time management and the importance of high quality HR practices.
Each participant of the Management Development Programme was required to undertake a ‘DISC’ psychometric personal assessment test in advance to give them insights into how they handle or react to certain situations and scenarios in their business lives and careers.
The individual participants in this new programme were from a wide range of agriculturally based professions. This included Agri-Retail Branch Managers, Production Supervisors, Plant Managers, Accounts Managers, Mill Managers, Shift Managers, Site Managers, Sales Managers, Maintenance Supervisors and Payroll Administrators. The programme was designed to create a multi-disciplinary approach reflective of real organisational and business conditions.
Speaking about the new programme ICOS President, Martin Keane, said “The ICOS Skillnet management development programme supports talent development and creates competitive advantages for the business, ensuring a cohort of skilled future managers and leaders for the future, based on best practice and strong business management principles. Based on the success of this inaugural; programme, I am confident that it will make an important contribution to the competitiveness of our industry.”