Our client, a subsidiary of a major global player in food ingredients, employs 1500 people in six worldwide locations and has a strong growth agenda. The directors had run a very successful business for a number of years, tending to make all the key decisions. This had created an environment where senior managers habitually deferred upwards rather than taking responsibility for their own business area or function.
The challenge was to get senior managers to ‘step up’ and take full ownership for, and control of their own businesses. The business plan for 3-5 years forecast an unprecedented rate of growth stretching current management resources and also requiring the intake of new skills and capability.
Morgan Clarke’s Approach
Working closely with the directors, and other relevant stakeholders, we clarified the requirement and designed a leadership development programme that was aligned with the needs of the business. We agreed the programme aim, objectives and the nomination process and success measures with the directors. The nomination process had transparent selection criteria so that the individuals had a clear understanding of why they were chosen and what was expected of them.
Participants were thoroughly briefed to ensure that they clearly understood the approach and the need for strong personal commitment over the course of a year. This commitment equated to 12 workshop days plus up to 2 days per month to meet with their business sponsor, complete self directed learning, prepare for workshops and work on business improvement projects.
The programme involved a ‘blended learning’ approach:
- Self Directed Learning Guides were used to set expectations, enable individuals to fully prepare and learn new models and concepts ahead of workshop sessions. This self-directed learning approach reduced opportunity cost, allowing for maximum interaction time during workshops and providing support during implementation.
- The modular workshop programme that was spread over 12 months to maintain momentum within the initiative, was practical, action oriented and aligned to business needs. It was stretching for the participants and there was an emphasis on personal responsibility for self learning. Throughout the programme there were regular contributions from the clients’ senior managers and external leaders drawn from the wider business environment and other Morgan Clarke clients (e.g.: Canon UK, Lloyds Banking Group). Some of the sessions were designed run by participants to broaden their knowledge, understanding and experience. The programme was also commercially focused, with an emphasis on participants’ continued contribusion to strong business growth and sustainable profitability.
- Individual coaching from Morgan Clarke has been a key success factor in enabling personal development; accelerating acceptance and embedding of new behaviours
- Mentoringfor each participant by their business sponsor
- Business Improvement Projectssponsored by directors (with Morgan Clarke guidance) to help participants stretch their capability in new areas, implement new skills and approaches, cascade tools, techniques, and learning to other team members and deliver a return on investment (payback on commercial leadership development programmes is often achieved through the projects alone)
- Measurement of individual progress against learning objectives and impact on the business
What is Achieved
Measures of success so far have included:
- Excellent feedback from both participants and sponsoring directors attesting to the quality of our content, exceptional facilitation skills and ability of our delivery team to act as a catalyst for essential organisational change
- Participants assuming full commercial and leadership responsibility for their business or function, taking a longer term view of their business, sharper decision making and actively giving and receiving performance feedback
- Pre-tax profits up 9% in the first year
- Sales revenues exceeding €200m for the first time. (Up 7%)