TOOLBOX: ROADTEST – WHEN WORK IS THE DREAM

Jackee Holder reviews the Dream Manager Europe coach training programme

The tool

Dream Manager is a certified group-based personal coaching programme that aims to address the issue of low employee engagement by enabling individuals to connect business goals with their whole life dreams.

It’s based on Floyd Consulting founder Matthew Kelly’s bestselling book of the same name (2007) and is now being offered in Europe through Mike Greatwood and his team at the DMP Consultancy.

The programme can be adapted for all levels, with employees receiving Dream Manager coaching in multidisciplinary groups or, for senior management, delivered as part of a leadership development programme or individually, as part of an executive coaching programme.

Dream Manager coach certification is a two and half day programme.
To find out more visit www.thedreammanagerprogram.com

 

The coach’s experience

Kelly’s book, The Dream Manager, is a riveting read, featuring a fictional account based on a true story of how one janitorial company (Jancoa) in the US introduced the idea to employees of working on personal dreams.

This focus created a turnaround on a business challenge that was costing the company millions due to high employee disengagement and turnover.

I recently attended a training programme in central London to become a certified Dream Manager. Within minutes of the introductions several coaches had relayed the same experience of feeling compelled to read the book in one sitting because its message was so gripping.

The focus of the training is not far from the book’s title. The programme places employees’ personal dreams at the centre of people development. The underlying philosophy is “that a person’s purpose is to become the best-version-of-himself-herself” (2007) and that if organisations can support staff to realise their dreams this, in turn, can make valuable, important contributions to the company’s return on investment. Focusing on dreams, for example, motivates individuals, and motivated individuals are more engaged.

In the case of Jancoa, the cost of recruitment and staff turnover fell dramatically. The organisation received fewer and fewer complaints from clients, while staff productivity, engagement and morale rose significantly over several years. Employees became promoters of the business no matter what their position.

Throughout the two and a half days’ training to become a certified Dream Manager, I was wonderfully surprised at the programme’s content. From high-end handouts and course materials, and bespoke packaging for the Dream Manager books, to the personalised messages included in all mailouts and the black, soft-covered journal, bookmarks and stickers, the branding was highly polished and well-thought through.

Working through 12 life areas and identifying your dreams in each of them in a Dream Storming session was cathartic and rewarding. In under an hour this simple yet effective exercise revealed what matters most to individuals.

What makes this an outstanding programme for coaches is the workable inclusion of a business model for selling the programme to a range of sectors.

How many times have you come away from a great course and a year later the notes are still in the binder?

Coaches need to work not just on their business, but in their business. The business training included as part of the certification is a welcome, necessary inclusion that ensures success when presenting Dream Manager into your networks and selling it effortlessly to companies and organisations.

It was highly valuable exercise spending half a day identifying the type of companies each Dream Manager would aim to work with, and spending time considering possible referrals in current networks and demystifying the sales process that turns many coaches away from using their skills and expertise to become more business savvy in selling and marketing.

The programme structure means course materials are distributed to organisations centrally. Initial exploratory meetings with organisations are supported by UK programme CEO Mike Greatwood.

While the programme provides detailed lesson plans and set-up content, there is flexibility in how you facilitate and work with the content, allowing coaches to add the facilitation style and delivery that works best for their settings and sectors.

Dream Manager sessions are run in small groups or individually in organisations, attendance is voluntary and the programme is hosted by accredited Dream Managers.

The first cohort of certified UK-based Dream Managers was recently appointed.

In the US, where the programme has been running for nine years, there are more than 75 Dream Manager coaches. While the content is by no means new, the thinking around it is what stands out. It makes this a sustainable programme that will have senior leaders listening to what coaches have to say about the difference the programme can make to issues such as employee disengagement.

In reality, the programme hints at team coaching with a focus on enrichment through the dreams focus. This gives the programme a wider reach and sustainability that speaks to the language of commercial and public sector businesses and industries that recognise the need for a motivated and inspired workforce, but are not quite sure how to bring about the transformation on the home front.

 

The verdict

Very few courses translate knowledge and content of programmes into a business model that provides a framework for coaches to turn knowledge into a viable business income stream for today’s modern coach professional.

The Dream Manager Program Europe does just this.

 

UPSIDE

  • Versatile
  • Easily accessible business model
  • High-end branding

DOWNSIDE

  • Not all coaches will want to be tied into a particular brand
  • Could be challenging to implement with difficult teams or line managers
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