Case Studies

FASTLEAD@Genea - Cost effective and personally customisable - Why we chose FASTLEAD

Genea – a fertility pioneer - is passionate about making a difference for patients, and fostering a collaborative culture where people grow and thrive. In 2017, FASTLEAD was introduced to support 35 emerging and front line leaders gain the skills required to lead effectively within the business, and to encourage cross-collaboration.

What is Genea’s business?

Genea has forged a reputation as a pioneer of fertility treatment, insightful research and world leading science. We implemented FASTLEAD to support current and emerging frontline leaders in gaining the self-insight and skills required to lead effectively, and to encourage cross-collaboration across the business.

When did you implement the program? 

We started FASTLEAD with seven pods in February 2017, and four more in September 2017. All participants did Leading vs Managing and Time Management as foundational topics, then they could select four more topics from the 14 that were available. Following the six month program, pod participants were mixed again and did the remaining FASTLEAD topics informally.

When looking for a frontline leader development program, what were your criteria?

We were looking for a number of criteria:

             Relevant and current content that matches the challenges of frontline leaders today and over the next two to three years.

             A cost-effective solution, because we wanted to implement it for a lot of our frontline managers. It was a big investment for a mid-sized organisation such as Genea.

             Content that was flexible enough to meet the differing levels of experience and competence of the group.

             A supplier that was flexible in terms of what the final solution would look like.

How did the FASTLEAD program fit your development and business criteria?

The pod concept ensured great flexibility and enabled us to tailor the module priorities in terms of the groups and sequencing. It allowed us to easily meet specific individual and organisational capability requirements.

What results have you found since implementing FASTLEAD?

Our leaders reported improved leadership skills, greater confidence in their leadership ability, and an improved relationship with their team. Most of them also said the program improved their relationship with their manager and made them more likely to stay with the organisation.

The personalised nature of the sessions, as well as the models shared, helped our leaders explore different ways of dealing with various situations. Time management, delegation and conflict management were particularly impactful, with participants reporting improved personal organisation, a more nuanced approach to delegation, and a more confident approach to conversations with their team.

If you were talking to someone in a role like yours, would you recommend FASTLEAD? What tips would you give them for successful implementation?
I would definitely recommend FASTLEAD. My advice to any organisation implementing it would be to ensure a high degree of internal ownership and coordination. This helps maximise the pod concept in terms of participant mix and modules, and brings the broader groups together also for key learnings across the whole organisation.

What are Fastlead participants saying?

A senior embryologist empowers his team

What were some of your leadership challenges prior to FASTLEAD, and what did you want to get out of the program?

It was a difficult time for me in the lab. I was receiving some criticism that was difficult to hear, about my ability to make good connections with colleagues on the same level as me. I was managing well up and down the line, but I wasn’t managing well across my peers. Improving those skills was a key thing I wanted to get from the program.

What was your experience of the program?

It was very valuable being paired with very different departments, such as Biomedx, Biochemistry, Embryology and Ultrasound. That helped me see that the leadership challenges in different departments were actually quite similar.

When you have leaders from different departments coming into the same room to share experiences rather than discuss business issues it helps break down the silos.

How does FASTLEAD differ from previous development programs you’ve been on?

The structure was a key difference – the fact it was over a sustained period of time versus a typical two to three day course, which is pretty intensive but easy to forget. Exposure over time makes it easier to change and build habits that are going to stick, rather than getting an intensive bunch of information without time to practically implement it and get feedback on it.

A lot of the concepts on the program weren’t new, but the practical application of them made a difference. So did having the time to discuss particular scenarios, which makes the program customised and personalised. The practical adaptation of concepts was very valuable.

What has changed as a result of FASTLEAD?  What skills have you applied and what’s been

the impact?

One of those most significant things was coming up with a personal mission statement. That has stuck with me and has changed my way of thinking about my leadership style. A key part was learning to be a magnanimous leader who empowers my team to realise their potential. It has enabled me to do this without holding a specific title or a position of team leader. Doing it without a formal position of leadership can sometimes be more effective, because people don’t think I’m telling them something that might affect their salary or performance review.

I’ve also strengthened my connection with my peers. Many things have contributed to this. The most important was being consistent and being myself, rather than trying to be different things to different people. I found I became a go-to person for troubleshooting and patient related challenges. Instead of simply trying to help people, I was able to pass my skills on. It was very much a two way conversation.

What advice would you give to anybody doing the FASTLEAD program?

Commit to the time. Block it out every month. If you plan it all well in advance there’s no excuses. Protect that time – both you and the business will get value from the investment. Look for ways you can actively implement the things you’ve learnt. The program runs over six months, so if you implement a change that doesn’t work, you have time to go back to the group, discuss it, get a different perspective, and try a different approach.

What were some of your leadership challenges prior to FASTLEAD?

I was having difficulty delegating and with time management, especially managing interruptions. I was also avoiding conflict with staff and not challenging non performers.

What was your experience of the program?

The coaching sessions were hugely beneficial. Face-to-face contact with a coach and other members  of staff was invaluable. This cannot be replaced with online modules. The networking aspect with other team members across the company was also great in broadening my understanding of different departments and their challenges.

How does FASTLEAD differ from previous development programs you’ve been on?

It was face-to-face, not online, with strict meeting times. This was very important. Having a structure where you’ve locked in two hours each month, rather than being left to your own devices, creates an experience that helps you remember what you have learnt.

What has changed as a result of FASTLEAD? What skills have you applied and what’s been the impact?

FASTLEAD really helped my ability to see the big picture, and to adapt my style depending on which nurse I am managing. It has greatly helped my ability to delegate, helping me understand I cannot do everything myself, and nor should I. It’s not the best use of my time. I can now delegate without feeling guilty, and do so effectively.

What advice would you give to anybody doing the FASTLEAD program

Stick to the meeting time and make sure you attend. Face-to-face is so important.

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