What the client wanted

Impromptu’s relationship with Xancam, a leading edge consultancy specialising in high-potential development centres and senior level assessment centres, has been ongoing for around seven years.

Impromptu role-players have been a major feature of the Xancam designed centres throughout this period. These have been implemented in a number of companies across a range of industry sectors.

The requirement for Impromptu has been to meet Xancam’s need to provide role-players who have the knowledge, experience, presence and gravitas to portray senior managers and who are also able to provide meaningful feedback against a matrix of specific competencies being evaluated.

What we did

Across this period we have provided role-players for bespoke development centres for Xancam clients such as Fujitsu, Britvic, Waterstones, Argos, Telewest, The Spirit Group and AXA Insurance.

A typical example is the recent run of development centres for Fujitsu Account Managers. These required the role-players taking on, variously, a senior police officer or a CIO from a large, fictitious, communications and media organisation. The role-players not only needed to be plausible in these senior roles, but also had to take on and internalise a vast amount of information about the sectors.

In the instance of the police force case study the role-players needed to develop an extensive understanding of policing at a national level, including national targets, political issues, internal organisational structures and tensions and how this translated into the application of cutting edge information technology in respect of effective policing at regional level.

In the instance of the fictitious communications and media organisation a similar level of understanding was required of a complex industry at a global level, including developing a sound understanding of how information technology developments would benefit the growth of this large organisation operating in a technically and commercial complex market.

As well as achieving this, the Impromptu role-players also needed to understand and give evidential and detailed feedback to Xancam assessors on participant performance against the competencies being measured through the development centre.

The outcomes

There are a number of outcomes from these development centres:

  • A trusting partnership between Xancam and Impromptu in which the consistency, business knowledge, feedback skills, and reliability of the role-players is imperative to the quality of service provided by Xancam to their clients;
  • Accurate, concrete and meaningful evidence for candidates on the development centres that makes a significant contribution to the identification of their potential and development needs;
  • Significant benefit to Xancam’s clients in terms of recognising, developing and retaining high potentials.