As the community grew it became difficult for staff to get to know and remember everyone, which they needed to do in order to maintain a personal feeling for those on the programme. A key success factor is how ‘generously and collaboratively’ Fellows work together, which depends on their ability to find, contact, and get to know each other quickly and easily. The Institute needed a way to organise Alumni for ongoing networking, so they introduced groups based on interests which can be accessible
The Forward Institute exists to build a movement for responsible leadership. A hybrid between a think tank, consultancy, and leadership development organisation, they work with the UK’s biggest institutions and organisations and run development programs throughout the year.
New cohorts of ~70 leaders start the Fellowship program every November and are broken down into discussion groups led by a facilitator to build relationships with peers across the public, private and social sector. They also attend three residential events – immersive times with activities, speakers, technique workshops, and more.
Due to popularity and demand, the Forward Institute are now launching other programmes, meaning their community is growing rapidly.
They adopted Names & Faces to help them to manage the sheer volume of people in the community, to help bring everyone together, and empower the people on their programme.
Camilla Upson, Senior Communication Manager at the Forward Institute, says the visual layout of the tool – including a view of everyone on a single, scrollable page – makes for easy browsing and jogs her memory when she needs it:
I used to know everyone’s names and faces but as we grow it gets much more challenging. Names & Faces is a brilliant tool for visualising, keeping track of, and remembering everyone in the network.”
Instead of signing in to their full CRM, she uses it to check people’s details – like job titles – quickly on her phone and says having a living breathing expression of their people data ‘easily accessible’ in people’s hands keeps them more accountable for ensuring data is up to date.
The ability to work generously and collaboratively is one of the four practices the Forward Institute’s developing leaders are assessed on throughout the programme. With Names & Faces, they’re empowered to reach out and can deftly avoid the embarrassment of forgetting names at events.
Fellows use it to easily phone other Fellows, especially after the residentials when they need to get in touch. Having everyone’s phone numbers at the drop of a hat is super useful, especially when you’re on the go.
Each Fellow lists their interests on their profile which enables everyone to search and find the right person to reach out to for strategic projects and to share and gain knowledge.
After the programme, subscribed alumni members stay connected to the community and continue to build relationships through Names & Faces.
Names & Faces has been an invaluable tool for us so far. We’re looking forward to taking advantage of the new features on offer in order to better connect our community and use it to prompt them on their continued journeys as responsible leaders.
We’ve been using Names & Faces for three years now, our Fellowship community, the team and all those we work with closely are featured in it. What we value most is that it visualizes our growing community in an intuitive way. I use it, the team use it, Fellows use it and it connects our community together in a way that is non-intrusive and extremely useful.