“I’m looking forward to helping empower people across North’s business to reach their full potential.”

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Dawn Robinson has recently been appointed as Global Director of People at North P&I Club, a leading global marine insurance company. Here Dawn speaks about delivering a new leadership and development programme that will equip North’s employees with the skills and experience to become brilliant leaders.

Becky Norman, Deputy Editor, HRZone: Congratulations on your new position of Global Director of People at North P&I Club! What attracted you to this role? 

Dawn Robinson, Global Director of People, North P&I Club: There’s a travel theme deep down as I move from trains to ships! Joining North was a wonderful opportunity to continue with a global local business that’s already long established as a great employer and genuinely has its people at the heart of its business. 

Becky Norman, Deputy Editor, HRZone: How will your past experiences and skills transfer across to this new position?

Dawn Robinson, Global Director of People, North P&I Club: I’m looking forward to helping empower people across North’s business to reach their full potential. Having both lived and worked in a number of roles around the world, I’m ready to use this experience of different cultures and business processes to drive forward North’s embryonic leadership and development programme.

Becky Norman, Deputy Editor, HRZone: Over the next 18 months, you will be focusing on delivering North’s leadership and development programme. Can you tell us a bit more about your approach to this training and what it will entail for employees?

Dawn Robinson, Global Director of People, North P&I Club: Working with our partner, Roffey Park, I’ve been involved with their pre-planning and initial interpersonal sessions with people across the business. Going forward this will form the fundamental learning experience around North’s core values and behaviours. We call this ‘Navigating North’.

Our senior operations team is leading by example in attending the first roll out, with six group days of learning over the course of seven months. This also includes a 360 degree feedback process linked to a newly formed behavioural framework called True North.

North’s key differentiator in the market is our service excellence. The quality of our service delivery is largely down to the quality and skills of our people.

The next stage will see a further 70 leaders following in their footsteps. As part of a global mix for all cohorts, the programme is designed to stimulate business discussions and establish a more collaborative approach to moving the business forward.  

The programme provides a balance of theory, pragmatic tools and opportunities for ongoing feedback to focus on all elements of leadership from a personal, people and business context.

Becky Norman, Deputy Editor, HRZone: Why is the development of leadership skills among North’s staff so important for the company? What value will it bring?

Dawn Robinson, Global Director of People, North P&I Club: North’s key differentiator in the market is our service excellence. The quality of our service delivery is largely down to the quality and skills of our people.

This programme allows us to equip our leaders with relevant skills and experience so that they are comfortable with our business vision and to take responsibility for how our people are led and motivated. The programme will deliver a benchmark and framework for leadership across the business.

Becky Norman, Deputy Editor, HRZone: As someone who is new to the company, how will you ensure the programme will be suitable for North’s workforce? Do you see your unfamiliarity with the company as a challenge to developing the programme?

Dawn Robinson, Global Director of People, North P&I Club: I was fortunate to attend the first cohort before even joining North! I felt that I’d accumulated six months’ learning in just two days, covering both the business strategy and getting to know my peers.

In providing such investment, time and global coverage to our ‘Navigating North’ programme, I do believe we will create a great catalyst for continuous improvement and change.

I’m currently working on the ‘vision’ and ‘strategic’ objectives for the business and therefore am able to ensure that the programme completely aligns with our ‘people’ strategy for the future. 

Becky Norman, Deputy Editor, HRZone: Once the programme has been completed, how will you measure its success? And what steps will you take to improve it for future use?

Dawn Robinson, Global Director of People, North P&I Club: The line managers of attendees will offer support through each module of the programme and the 360 feedback will help us to review progress and how these positive changes in behaviours are being demonstrated.

We have regular people and member surveys that can feed into other observations. The behavioural framework and KPIs, linked to the strategy, will help us understand how our leaders continue to drive through a number of different interventions.

We will of course continue to review the whole professional growth strategy to incorporate lots of different learning opportunities, as no one solution provides all the answers.

However, in providing such investment, time and global coverage to our ‘Navigating North’ programme, I do believe we will create a great catalyst for continuous improvement and change.

About Dawn Robinson

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29th Sep 2017 13:45

It's great to be working with you, Dawn, at this exciting point in North's 157 year history. Looking forward to working with you on your talent management programme, 'Magnetic North', too, in the coming months! All the best. Adrian Lock, Programme Director, Roffey Park.

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