Pilgrim Support defines itself as a communication and support firm. Support and communication are the terms that best describe the range of services (and products) we offer our clients. However, our real goal and our real business, is to help you excel in yours.
The Pilgrims team relies on a network of independent professionals to offer a range of services that will help you move forward step-by-step on your paths towards Excellence. Find out more below. Nothing beats personal contact and information tailored to your needs. Don't hesitate to get in touch with Philippe Leman. He will be happy to advise you.
Some clients come to us for one-off projects. For many others, our involvement becomes a journey, short or long, that combines awareness-raising sessions and workshops. These are designed to both increase employee awareness about certain themes or key messages and to translate their new understanding into concrete action.
Conferences / training
The Pilgrims offer several types of training conferences and presentations:
- Duration: 2 hours to 1 day
- In English, French or Dutch (or bilingual FR/EN or FR/NL if you want)
- Common thread: one or several themes selected by the client; or a story used as a common thread to explore specific aspects of Excellence
These sessions have several potential uses:
- Strengthen a key message during a convention or event
- Learn the concepts, attitudes, methods and techniques related to a target theme
- Journey "kick-off" (starting point, awareness-raising) (see below)
Events are also included in this framework. While we are sometimes asked to provide our services at conventions and events organised by companies, we are also asked to provide full days on a theme. These are based on a single common thread and include a "study" session (company messages and key messages/strong themes based on storytelling) and a "fun" session.
Thanks to our partnership with Euro Space Center, we can take you to the stars during a morning dedicated to the key messages of the Apollo 13 mission (storytelling with audio and video from the period) and spend an afternoon in the space shuttle flight simulators and on the astronaut training equipment. Success guaranteed! The same model can be used to tell the story of the Leopold I frigate in the morning and go to sea in a boat in the afternoon or to share lessons in Excellence in the morning and take on a blaze at the firefighting school of Ottignies-LLN in the afternoon.
A short or long "journey" can provide the combined benefit of:
- Employee awareness-raising about key concepts or attitudes through awareness-raising sessions (see previous point)
- Translation of the information into concrete action during workshops on the targeted themes (see below)
- Assimilation of practical ways to improve approaches to work and processes through a business game (see below)
- A federating event, in line with the common thread selected (see illustration opposite)
The journey usually starts with a kick-off of two hours to a day with the complete group (team, department, company). The themes the client wants to move ahead with to create action points are defined during a preliminary briefing. One or more workshops are given at an interval of two to three weeks or two to three months. A business game - to mobilise and build unity - can also be included as one of the improvement actions.
The impact of the messages can also be reinforced by the use of electronic voting tools.
As you may have already realised, our sessions all emphasise:
- Awareness-raising about messages: these are primarily messages about attitudes and behaviour, the way in which people do their work. In addition to knowing what is expected of them in terms of their work and the way they work, it is crucial that employees also buy into their work. They must see the added value, the primary reason for what they are doing. Storytelling is excellent for this purpose
- Translation into concrete action: "Now what? What's in it for me? For the team? The purpose of the workshops is to answer these questions. Lasting a half-day (to meet the operational needs of teams) and based on the common thread chosen for storytelling, they provide a one-hour training session followed by one or two highly-targeted workshops of 75 minutes each. We work with management to define the internal monitoring procedures for these actions.
Business game - Project Ballista
What is the link between siege machines from Antiquity, the Apollo 13 crew's extraordinary journey back to Earth and our own ability to master and improve our daily working processes
The Ballista Project uniquely combines an innovative interactive "business game" (you shoot projectiles with a catapult!) and training sessions illustrated with the Apollo 13 mission case study (with sound and video from the period).
Two to five teams of four to six people each use a catapult to overcome the worst enemy of every work process: inconsistent results. The objective of the day isn't to shoot as far as possible, but to improve aim. The game has four phases. The teams learn to identify, master, measure and improve the process throughout the day as well as to document it and move from development to production phase.
The training sessions and game stimulate and reinforce:
- Rigour and performance measurement
- Creativity and innovation
- Control, documentation and work process management
- Teamwork and cooperation
- Continuous improvement
- Communication and empowerment
- Learning from mistakes
All of this is accomplished in a day that includes discovery, collective action and lots and lots of fun!
- Employees are busy throughout the day
- The game evolves continuously
- Each step helps them grow
- There is a good balance between training sessions and the business game
Some may feel that this isn't a very serious approach. However, Philippe Leman has been leading these sessions very successfully for several years as part of the third cycle at the Royal Military Academy in Brussels (with officers from 15 different countries ranking from Major to Lieutenant-Colonel).
Ad hoc services and state-of-the-art expertise
The Pilgrims each have their own speciality which can be easily provided to clients based on the type of context, event or journey.
These very advanced support services include the following missions, which we provide on a regular basis:
Vision, mission, values: the fundamentals of every organisation. Company strategies, operational objectives, expected team and individual behaviour...it all starts here. Yet, organisations often haven't defined these points of reference. Or they are written up like a display window for outsiders and don't mean anything internally. Or they aren't broadcast. Or translated into everyday requirements... By the end of the facilitation day with Philippe Leman, the management team will have a brief, precise vision, mission and values statement understandable and translatable by all.
KNOL: this odd term means Key News On-Line. It refers to a highly effective internal communication tool driven by management and involving the entire organisation. The process is based on the creation a very light communication tool, proven 100% effective, and on regular, short meetings. The entire process takes maximum 14 minutes a week. With management involvement, it only takes two to three days for Pierre Guilbert, a communication specialist, to complete implementation in the organisation.
Process mapping: as part of the journey of process mastery, measurement and improvement, teams are required to take a look at and improve their own processes once they are back in their work environment. To achieve this, we suggest that, combined with the facilitation services provided by Philippe Leman, companies adopt the "Islands of Peace" principle (teach teams to fish rather than give them fish). By taking a half day to teach a team to map one of its work processes and identify potential points for improvement, the team will be able to repeat the exercise itself for all of the processes in which it is involved.
Conflict management: More communication. Managing conflict between teams, individuals or a company and its customers requires very specific expertise which Pierre Guilbert has. The approach doesn't try to find a solution to the conflict "at any cost". It ensures that there is respect for all involved and that the result is beneficial to all.
NEW: Interim management: you've explored the concepts, attitudes and Excellence methods. You've initiated a number of actions through the workshops. Now you want to be sure that it wasn't all just a grass fire but will be sustainable over the long run. We can provide an interim manager for a limited period of time to help you implement the structure, tools and people you need to ensure that "Excellence as a Way of Life" is sustainable over the long term.