Developing, designing and delivering ‘The BJ Way’

by David


The challenge

When we first met Janet Orgill, Learning and Development Manager at Browne Jacobson, she told us about the learning and development plan the firm had been working on for some time. The team had identified that technical training at the legal firm was well structured but what was missing was a framework that would help develop people’s skills across the business, so she’d come up with lots of ideas, all captured on a spreadsheet. There was some internal debate as to how to take the plan to the next level, so we jumped at the chance to help.

Janet was really keen to create something visual; something that would get people interested and intrigued; something that would make a real impact across the business. This sounded like it was right up our street and we couldn’t wait to get going.

The solution

We started with a brainstorm session, teasing out lots of information about the firm, the people who worked there and their needs. Together, we came up with thoughts about how the new framework could make a visual impact and ideas that would engage and excite people with it. We worked really closely with Janet and the team to ensure whatever we created would be in keeping with the firm’s values and deliver the right opportunities for learning.

We created a straightforward but eye-catching plan incorporating both personal effectiveness and leadership. The firm wanted an approach that would allow people to choose from a suite of options so we created a range of challenging and interactive workshops covering personal impact; personal skills; teamwork; planning and organising; coaching and developing others; supervising and leading; and recruitment and selection. We continued to work closely with Janet and her colleagues in HR to ensure the content was always spot-on.

The result

Everyone at Browne Jacobson, both support staff and lawyers, took ownership for their learning and development. ‘The BJ Way’ was linked to the appraisal process so lots of great conversations happened about how skills could be developed alongside technical expertise. Word spread and demand for workshops increased.

‘The BJ Way’ demonstrated the firm’s commitment to its values by investing in its people. Everyone at Browne Jacobson had an opportunity to follow a development path tailored to them, meaning people wanted to stick around because they saw a great future at the firm. This approach to learning and development really helped Browne Jacobson to be ‘law, less ordinary’.

Want to know more?

We knew how important it was for people to take ownership of their personal development, so we designed ‘It’s all about me’, a key workshop in the plan that allowed individuals to create their own learning and development roadmap. Individuals were able to take a snapshot of where they were ; consider where they’d like to be at the firm in the future, and scope out their own development. As well as identifying the options ‘The BJ Way’ provided, they were asked to think about other development opportunities, e.g. secondments, shadowing a colleague or projects they might be able to undertake. People at the firm really loved this straightforward approach as they could plan where they wanted to be and used ‘The BJ Way’ to help them get there.

Browne Jacobson were about ‘law less ordinary’, so it was fitting we created some unconventional names for the workshops, like ‘Taking the floor’ (covering presentation skills) and ‘Send it to me in writing’ (covering, you’ve guessed it, writing skills.)

The workshops reflected the roles people had at Browne Jacobson and were aimed at helping everyone develop, right across the business. The programme was named ‘The BJ Way’, and this has since been integrated with the business and technical learning at the firm to be part of this too.

What they said…

“I really liked the creative way the session was delivered and information was captured.”

“There were valuable lessons taught, which can be utilised in our daily working life.”

“It was great the way the brand values were included and how we were given time to reflect on our own writing.”

“I found the workshop very engaging and interactive; everyone got involved.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about how David helped to transform and embed learning and development at Browne Jacobson, give him a call on +44 (0) 1858 461071. He’d love to chat to you about it over a cuppa.