Ex Marine runs management training – bootcamp style

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Shop Direct Group and Glaxo Smith Kline are among a number of big name clients to recruit a former Royal Marine Commando to run management training courses.

Both organisations have called up Merseyside-based Go Commando to run leadership courses, while private prison operator Kalyx and HMP Manchester have also been signed up as clients.

Go Commando was set up a year ago by former Commando Greg Pye, who says his different approach to staff engagement and team development has proved appealing to chief executives and HR directors.

Pye’s claims his team building business is in increasing demand as organisations seek no-nonsense bonding solutions for their top teams against the current backdrop of business austerity.

Shop Direct Group hired Go Commando to provide leadership training for senior management, while Glaxo Smith Kline asked the company to deliver a team engagement conference for 75 employees.

Meanwhile, Go Commando is working with prison officers and other staff at Kalyx’s private prison HMP Bronzefield in Middlesex to create a better working environment and improve motivation.

Pye, whose business is based in Wirral, said: “There is a lot of money spent on golfing and days at the races, but we are a fraction of those costs.

“We do a process of ‘engage and align’. We align staff behind the company ethos and engage the people. We are not there to hold people’s hands. You have to achieve a lot in a short space of time and that is exactly what chief executives want.

“This is not about turning up and swinging between trees, which was done to death in the 80s and 90s. Each course is tailor made to suit the specific requirements of the organisation. We break down unhealthy barriers that have formed in work and get people working together from across different departments.

“We have been asked to tackle all sorts of issues including communication problems, a lack of adhesion or understanding, for example, between sales and administration, or product development.”

Shop Direct’s two-day conference involved one day of conference-based activities around the hotel and a second day on the side of a mountain.

“We take the best bits from the military – discipline, timing, structure, team work and communication – and apply them to today’s frantic business world. It is exactly what chief executives want from their teams,” said Pye.

Pye says the change in the group dynamic after each course is always striking: “There’s a lot of faceless communication in the business world these days. But when you put people together they gel a lot quicker and it is a bit like speed team building. And this is because we get people to interact in ways that aren’t by text or email.”