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New centre blends military and engineering expertise to fine tune business success

L-R: Amanda Foste and Adam Fraser-Hitchen

An innovative facility has been developed in the Midlands to provide forward-thinking organisations across the region with access to pioneering team development opportunities.

Army Colonel Adam Fraser-Hitchen and former Army Captain, Amanda Foster are both Chartered Engineers who, in the latter part of their careers, have carved out a reputation across the UK as business development strategists through their consultancy Dragonfly Directors.

Drawing on more than 60 years’ experience, from barracks to the boardroom, they have challenged a unique blend of military, engineering and business expertise to create the Dragonfly Team Synergy Centre.

Located at the picturesque Ednaston Park, on the outskirts of Derby, the centre comprises all-weather command exercises, delivered alongside bespoke, organisational-specific activities – all designed to take teams to the next level of collaboration and success.

Using a dynamic blend of leadership and development techniques, the facility puts groups of between 6 and 12 individuals through their paces in a team day format.

Managing Director, Amanda, has an MSc in Engineering and Management as well as a Professional Certificate in Education (PCE) and delivers a unique perspective gained from a series of notable career firsts.

After reaching senior Warrant Officer in the Army, which included a key engineering leadership role in Afghanistan, Amanda was selected to be a commissioned officer. Her roles included Senior Leadership and Management Instructor for fast track engineers at a military technical school, Officer Commanding of a Logistic Regiment’s engineering teams and Equipment Support Operations Officer in Army Headquarters.

Her specialism in the business environment is reviewing organisational strategy, process and tactical delivery, championing improvement and implementing change.  Amanda also holds a Director role on the Board of the Society of Operations Engineers, representing women in engineering.

Amanda said “In the military, command exercises are a core element used to develop teams and also to assess and fine-tune leadership potential.

“The Army is run like any other business, albeit complex and on the world stage, but everyone has to work together and know their role an involvement from the start.

“In business, the issues faced are similar, but by taking time out for teams to come together and play out scenarios in this type of setting, it becomes quickly apparent how the development opportunities can be applied in their day-to-day roles for the good of the team and the business overall.

“The command exercises take place indoors and out.  This is not an obstacle course, nor the chance to show physical capability.

“Instead they challenge and encourage a mindset that values problem-solving, parallel thinking and collaboration.

“This is a team day to engender a culture of collaboration from the word go, and these are skills that are retained and utilised for the long-term.

“The feedback from teams going through the process has been wholly encouraging.  The results have made an immediate impact on the success of the organisations that have attended.”

Playing a key role in the strategic direction of the centre, Adam Fraser-Hitchen draws on a successful career in the military including military operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and, more latterly, has influenced major transformation programmes in the Army, Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.

Adam added “In our experience, ineffective strategies, broken processes and inadequate systems and tactics often point to shortfalls in people development.

“As a result, we’ve developed the Dragonfly Team Synergy Centre to unify teams, nurture existing and potential leaders and create a culture of mutual trust.

“Once an organisation introduces these approaches into its operations and develops them within the business, the impact can be considerable in terms of business growth and success.

More details about the Dragonfly Team Synergy Centre can be found at: https://dragonflyteamsynergy.co.uk/.

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