In our leadership development case study, the client is a global company, headquartered in Scandinavia, expert in machining solutions and tooling for metal cutting. Its success is attributable in large part to its high-value brand which, in turn, is sustained by its culture. To keep the brand vibrant and maintain this powerful competitive advantage once the current leaders retire, the company has had the foresight to articulate a very clear mission and vision defining the leadership skills that must be developed for the company to remain successful in the future. Not having the in-house expertise or professionals to provide and manage a leadership development program, the company turned to us three years ago to design a comprehensive program.
The overarching objective of the program is to reinforce the culture and thereby support the mission and the strongly held values of the parent organization. The program also needs to:
- Align with & support a corporate global talent workforce planning program
- Unify all leaders, at all levels, around the stated mission, vision and values
- Build basic managerial skills and advanced leadership skills among all levels of leaders
- Engage all leaders, particularly senior leaders who participated in an earlier program that was not well received
It became evident, at the inception of the planning, that a tiered and targeted program would be most effective in meeting the diverse learning styles and unique needs of three critical groups:
- Senior Executive Team – Focused primarily on team development
- High Potential Mid-Level Leaders – Focused on providing advanced leadership skills
- All Leaders – Focused on providing core managerial skills
The three programs were deliberately sequenced from the bottom-up by involving the senior team in the other two tiers to socialize the idea of a program developed specifically for them. While content for each group differs, common elements are integrated throughout, albeit often delivered in different ways to ensure relevance and application to that group.
The modules include:
For Senior Executive Team For High Potentials For All Leaders
|For Senior Executive Team||For High Potentials||For All Leaders|
The results from our leadership development case study have been exceptionally positive. The program is meeting its original objective of culture and knowledge transfer as it readies future leaders for their new roles. In addition to building skills, the program has also created common models and a common language within the organization. Strong financial results have been directly attributed by the North American CEO to our practical and innovative approach to this program. The company also credits the program for:
- Employer of choice awards
- An increase in employee survey scores
- More internal promotions
- Positive participant feedback
- Low turnover of all participants, particularly the high potential managers
Keys to a Successful Project
A targeted and tiered approach has been critical to the success of the program as it has:
- Gained the endorsement and willing participation of the senior team
- Ensured that the content of the program – as well as its delivery – is engaging and relevant
- Communicated common messages about the culture in ways that are relevant to the day-to-day work of each group
- Broken down silos at each level
- Helped manage conflict in a productive way
- Set the stage for succession planning that will ensure that the brand and culture of the organization is sustained
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