Type of Project: Talent Management through forma ILM L7 Programme

Riverside are one of the largest providers of social housing in the UK and they approached No Guru in late 2011 to see if we would partner with them to deliver an ILM Level 7 Diploma Programme to senior managers identified through an assessment centre as “talent”.

The Diploma is a hugely ambitious undertaking for candidates alike and we identified units of learning relevant to the organisation so that it would:

  • Equip managers with tools and skills to progress in the organisation
  • Help to retain talent within the organisation
  • Support them in addressing challenges presented in the sector; welfare reform, mergers and acquisitions etc
  • Allow them to take on specific projects and secondments to address come of the challenges

In delivering the programme we tried to find new ways to weave together classroom sessions with experiential and other elements such as:

  • Princes Trust Volunteering
  • Leadership Cafes with senior leaders
  • Cohort Projects eg Charity Fundraising And CSR elements
  • Off site visits eg Jaguar Land Rover to explore lean process and methodologies
  • The programme was delivered in partnership with Riverside from January 2012 completing in early 2015.

Riverside Housing


The programme became “RISE” and has ben instrumental in pushing forward the strategy for talent within Riverside.  


  • 9 out of 10 members of cohort achieving ILM L7 Diploma in Strategic Leadership & Executive Management
  • Evidence of cohort members being seconded to business critical projects

We held the graduation ceremony in the surroundings of the Liverpool Athenaeum and graduates were presented their Diploma by Carol Matthews who expressly thanked No Guru for their work with Riverside.

"We approached No Guru to help us as part of our RISE talent management programme, to equip senior managers to address challenges such as welfare reform and ensuring the viability of the organisation. Our experience of No Guru is that they put the needs of the client and the learners first and are very flexible. I have worked closely with them to develop the ILM Level 7 Strategic Leadership & Executive Management qualification for RISE. Through thorough pre-project planning they have made this process very easy and the work delivered has been to a high standard. I would recommend No Guru as a provider to any organisation."

Richard Bell
Learning and Development Partner Riverside Housing


No Guru now working with University of Huddersfield

Quarter 1 has started off with brilliant news, a newly commissioned programme of delivery for the University of Huddersfield to deliver ‘Strategic Thinking in Higher Education’ as part of an ambitious programme of development for Senior Managers. This leads to a recognised qualification from the Chartered Management Institute.  Head of Staff Development, Daniel Benton explains (more…)

Coaching for Results: Event with Professional Liverpool

We are delighted to be partnering with Professional Liverpool to deliver a FREE seminar on Monday 5th March (3pm to 5pm).

This explores the role of Coaching (and Mentoring) in helping staff deliver business results.  The session will be run by John Drysdale and will be a chance to find out how you can coach more effectively and perhaps consider a role in Coaching and Mentoring through our ILM Programmes.

To reserve your place click here. (more…)

Nexus – The University of Leeds

News this week is we have been working with the team at Nexus based within the University of Leeds.

Nexus is a new hub to connect business and enterprise with world leading research and innovation within the University. The video below shows the state of the art facilities which will house high tech companies and create a collaborative space, developing a community which supports business growth in Leeds City Region. (more…)


John's Blog

The Immortal Memory: Robert Burns

Address to The Liverpool Athenaeum  2nd February 2018

I was delighted to be asked by club President Sir David Maddison to deliver The Immortal Memory at The Athenaeum Burns evening which I attended with my wife Fiona. This is a huge honour for any Scot and I hope I did it justice.  Burns provides such a rich tapestry I found it a real challenge to be succint and speak in a way that would connect with the audience – I chose to set Burns against the universal themes we recognise today and in the challenges we face in uncertain times.  I hope you enjoy it.   JD


The Immortal Memory – Robert Burns 1759-1796

The Athenaeum 2nd Feb 2018

President, ladies and gentlemen, fellow proprietors and distinguished guests.  I am honoured to propose the Immortal Memory this evening.

To one Robert Burns who lived between 1759 and 1796.


Image Triage – be careful what you post

How to avoid public ‘shaming’

If you’ve ever read Jon Ronson’s book ‘Shamed’, you will know the devastating effect social media can have on people who have posted something stupid on the internet.

Ronson highlights the case of Justine Sacco (a director of corporate communications) who, before boarding an 11-hour flight from Heathrow to Cape Town, Tweeted to her 170 followers what she thought was a series of lighthearted, acerbic comments about her journey. (more…)

Across the great divide

Let’s be kinder to each other in 2017

There is a striking memorial in a park in Indianapolis.  It marks the spot where in April 1968, Robert Kennedy told a waiting crowd that Martin Luther King had been shot and killed, before speaking from the heart and his own personal experience, that violence is never an answer to our grievances.  His calming words quelled the rioting that other cities endured in the days after Dr King’s death and, arguably, saved some lives that night.


The memorial itself is an arresting work of art.  (more…)