MTO Forestry’s first-line leaders Soar! from ‘good to great’

In 2017, MTO Forestry embarked on a company-wide leadership development journey, with a focus on developing and investing in their emerging and first-line leaders. Wanting an approach that could cut across sectors and engage people on all levels, MTO appointed Free To Grow to present Soar!: a blended learning journey that equips first line leaders with the motivation, knowledge and skills to perform at their peak and inspire their people to do the same.

MTO Forestry's first-line leaders attend Free To Grow's Soar! programme.

Dynamic leaders developing their leadership skills during Free To Grow’s Soar! blended leadership journey. Facilitated by Ben Maartens, far left.

We were looking for an intervention where we could hone in on our front-line managers and give them an opportunity to be part of the change journey with MTO,” says Chief People Officer, Gretchen Blake. “For us, the Soar! programme was absolutely amazing – specifically the blended learning techniques.”

Customised to MTO’s context, Soar! combined growth projects, Coaching Circles and Management Sessions to embed learnings and enable first-line leaders be more successful in their roles. “This approach gave us the ability to give our leaders the tools as well as the chance to apply those tools and then to receive feedback and support,” shares Gretchen.

Following the success of the Soar! in 2017, MTO expanded the programme in 2018 to include two additional groups in their White River region. Yvonne van Romburgh, General Manager of Training, speaks to the impact of the programme. “We’ve seen a difference in the drive of the learners who have completed Soar! They have a better understanding of our company, their role within the company, the difference they can make, and a general desire to maximise their personal growth.”

MTO Forestry's present Free To Grow's Soar! blended learning journey to first-line leaders in the White River region.

Free To Grow Facilitator, Mbuso Mlagisi, enjoys sharing in the feedback presentation of a group of first-line leaders in White River.

Implementation of Soar! at MTO’s Regional Divisions in Knysna and White River continues in 2019. Free To Grow is delighted to support MTO in ‘creating an ecosystem for growth’ through the continued development of their leaders.

Soar!, a leadership development programme, aimed at helping supervisors move from leading self to leading other.

Leaders engage in transparent and meaningful discussions as they present a summary of their learnings during a Soar! workshop.

Free To Grow’s Soar! blended learning journey presented at MTO Forestry Cape Town.

A motivated group of first-line leaders celebrate their achievements alongside their managers after attending Free To Grow’s Soar! blended learning journey at MTO’s Cape Town plant.