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Investing in Leadership: Brunvoll’s Strategic Approach to People Development

Brunvoll has a strategic goal of investing in competence and people development. Like with many other companies, Brunvoll has leading experts who take on the role as expert leaders. Developing leadership capability with technical experts presents unique challenges. The very nature of expertise demands a deep, narrow focus. This can come at the expense of broader skills necessary to successfully navigate workplace interpersonal and organisational dynamics, and effectively lead others. Strong professional expertise and strong ties to Brunvoll are great qualities, but we believe that the role of a leader differs from that of a specialist.

Leadership training is an essential part of Brunvoll’s competence development programme. We believe that leadership is a profession, and the most significant difference for a specialist transitioning into a leadership role is a greater focus on employee well-being, collaboration, and performance. Often, it is expected that leadership is something that a specialist should be able to do intuitively, perhaps without leaders having studied or trained for this role. Helping experts with the transition into the leadership role requires an understanding of unique motivation, career, and life aspirations.

During 2023,  Brunvoll’s people managers were guided through an internal leadership development program. The programme’s goal is to gain a common leadership platform, increase leadership competence, succeed in the leadership role, to thrive, and feel confident that they can build rapport, deal with conflicts, inspire and motivate their co-workers. Some are seasoned leaders, while others have just recently stepped into their new roles as people managers.  The aim is both to learn from the course, but also to learn from each other and to share experiences.

The course instructor is our Human Resources Consultant, Ketil Hjelset. Ketil previously held the position as HR Director at Møre og Romsdal Hospital Trust (Helse Møre og Romsdal HF). He has also served as Chief of Staff, among several other roles, in the Armed Forces for many years. Ketil’s leadership and people development background made him the perfect candidate conducting Brunvoll’s internal leadership programme.

Themes covered in the training sessions were general management (understanding of unique strengths and areas for development), communication as a management tool, work environment (cooperation and guidance) and employee follow-up. Each training session included individual preparations (videos, reading, podcasts etc.).

“Attending a leadership development program at Brunvoll has been truly enriching”, says Tore Bolme, Office Manager After-Sales Service. “The collaborative environment fostered insightful discussions, allowing me to gain valuable perspectives from other leaders and our great mentor, Ketil Hjelset. The course helped refine my leadership skills, empowering me to effectively navigate complex challenges with confidence. I am grateful for the opportunity to grow and learn in such a supportive setting.“

For Brunvoll, this is a relatively new programme which has been adjusted along the way based on feedback and evaluations from the first participants. The last group of leaders will complete their programme in May. New feedback might lead to adjustments to the programme. Continuous improvement is also important in this area of Brunvoll’s business.

“Leadership is a never-ending journey of development and maturity. Good leadership fosters development, and I believe that through this programme, Brunvoll has further developed its culture of performance and value based leadership”, says Ketil Hjelset.

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