Having faced up to the challenges of the pandemic, Manchester Airport Group took the earliest opportunity to bring together its Senior Leaders for a 1-day event. The objectives: re-energise everyone about the future of aviation and inspire them about the possibilities ahead.
As with all in the travel industry, MAG has had an incredibly tough 2 years reacting to the pandemic.
Working hard throughout, vital steps have been taken to guarantee the survival of the business. Thanks to a valiant effort by everyone, the Board was now able to focus on recovery and growth.
The Senior Leadership cohort had not been together face-to-face for over 2 years. Virtual burnout was on the rise, and the business recognised the importance of bringing them together face to face to recognise what they’d achieved and re-connect everyone.
Set against the ever-changing backdrop and day-to-day pressures created by the pandemic, the event planning needed to be extremely flexible, whilst the event itself had to be COVID-safe yet as involving and human as possible.
With under 1 week to go, and with positive testing on the rise within the team, MAG decided that the event would also need to go ‘hybrid’, so that Leaders now working from home could participate. Everyone on site had to take a PCR test the afternoon before, and Leadership teams worked in ‘bubbles’.
INVOLVE’s approach is to always maximise the opportunity of having all the Leaders together in one place, at one time. Keeping plenary presentations short, varied and to a minimum, and maximising discussion, idea generation and involvement – be it face-to-face or online:
The unique setting was underneath an actual Concorde at the Runway Visitor Park at Manchester Airport. The huge airy room was divided into 10 Opportunity Zones with big custom backdrops and graphics. ‘Growth Sprints’ were co-facilitated by MAG and INVOLVE, and used to identify quick wins that will help unlock recovery and growth
Sessions on the main stage, between the wheels of the aircraft, were streamed live to home-based Leaders followed by virtual breakouts facilitated by INVOLVE, to allow further in-depth discussion and ideas from non-attending Leaders
Using a tablet-based polling platform, everyone could provide instant feedback on a range of discussion points such as the priorities for the business and the suitability of the MAG culture for the new world post pandemic
Live Visual Facilitation was used to create ongoing drawings summarising key discussions which could be shared at the live event as well as virtually
It was vital that the output from the event was integrated into the existing business plan afterwards. Each member of the executive team took ownership for the ideas which affected their areas of the business, and these were prioritised and agreed by everyone at the end of the event
Over 200 ideas were originated and ranked. A consensus was reached on how the culture needs to evolve and everybody truly appreciated seeing their colleagues happy smiling faces in the flesh at last!