Legal Futures Associates, Athena Professional, have won a prestigious national award from the Association of Business Psychology for “excellence in coaching & training”. Directors Nicola Jones and Jane Green-Armytage were presented with the award at a gala dinner in London earlier this month.
“We are absolutely delighted to have our work recognised by the ABP,” Nicola said, “It is especially pleasing as this is the first time we have ever entered any kind of award, so to win straight out-of-the-blocks like this was thrilling. McDonalds won this category last year, so it feels like we are playing with the big boys!”
The award submission was based on a development programme for aspiring associate directors which Athena Professional delivered to leading heritage development company, City & Country. Jones explains, “We were so fortunate with this client, because they were open to working in new ways. In particular, they were willing to think strategically about learning & development, and they realised the business value of investing in the right people.”
As the 24 fastest growing privately-owned company in the country, City & Country have rapidly expanded staff numbers. Athena Professional came on board as the business was morphing from a regionally-based family firm into a national player with joint venture funding.
Jane Green-Armytage explains, “Our challenge was to deliver a programme which gave participants every-day tools and techniques in leadership and management, so they could see the benefits of committing to changes in behaviour.”
Jones and Green-Armytage see some real correlations between the work they do in the legal sector and the needs of a company like City & Country. Green-Armytage says, “These are people who are technically outstanding professionals. They consistently win “House Builder of the Year” as a result of their technical expertise, but they realised they needed to broaden skills and address motivation and commitment to change in order to make a success of their plans for growth”.