Leadership development programme design and facilitation


The brief

The need for a leadership programme for a large division of a FTSE 100 company originated at a business conference and during discussions with senior executives from across the organisation. There had been a substantial global acquisition in the business which resulted in the need to address some significant issues and concerns that had been identified. Critical areas to be addressed in the key management and leadership population included culture clashes (both geographical and business cultures), building one leadership community, improving strategic business understanding and developing leadership skills.

The approach

I put together the learning and development objectives, designed a modular structure which ran over nine months and allowed learning to be embedded, designed the content, sourced and managed external providers and organised the venues and attendees (in conjunction with an events coordinator and venue finder). I then delivered and facilitated the programme. The resulting programme introduced some innovative delivery approaches, external providers, locations and venues.

The programme objectives were to improve the business by 

  • enhancing leadership competence in the business to make a positive impact,
  • developing cultural awareness skills – particularly leading and working across different cultures,
  • broadening participants’ perspective on the breadth of the business and understanding its strategy and direction,
  • participants delivering sessions on their specific part of the business,
  • enhancing integration across the business,
  • developing a community of leaders – building relationships and networks,
  • maximising personal achievement, impact and performance,
  • improving participants’ awareness of their leadership style, preferences and competencies,
  • leading people through change with inspirational leadership
  • gaining commitment to the participants’ on-going personal development, and
  • the delivery of delegate-led improvement projects, to deliver real business benefits by saving money and defining approaches to business problems.  These were presented to the business President at the end of every programme.

I continued to iterate, evolve and improve the programme based on evaluation of each module and the overall experience of the first few cohorts. The original modular structure was retained but minor changes made to the content based on feedback from participants.

As the number of cohorts increased I designed and ran two ‘Call Back’ events. These built on, and reinforced, the learning from the programme but more importantly built a strong network of leaders across the organisation who had a shared experience. These sessions were attended by the business Executive team who were extremely supportive of the programme and the resulting business benefits.

The results

I personally ran seven cohorts of participants through the programme which resulted in an alumni group of over 100 leaders. The programme achieved a very positive reputation within the business and there was a significant waiting list for participation. Two further programmes were then delivered due to the positive reviews from previous participants.

Participant feedback from the programme was superb and many people benefited personally as well as professionally from the experience. Indeed, some sessions had a genuinely significant and emotional impact on the attendees. Some of the feedback comments received were;

“It’s been a great deal of fun and I’ve learned more than I could have hoped for. Thanks for it all”.

“… it has been a wonderful learning experience”.

“Many thanks for the hard work that has gone into the course. It has been very rewarding and a memorable experience”.

"The training you organised and ran whilst I was with RR Marine remains some of the best I have ever received".

A real enthusiasm and strong sense of community was evident at the Call Back events and several new improvement groups were formed with volunteers wanting to be involved. Groups were set up around; 

  • Strategic focus
  • Leadership
  • EFQM implementation
  • Change management
  • Sustaining Process Excellence
  • Communication strategy
  • Building and moving the leadership community forward

 These groups designed and developed plans and actions that positively benefited the business over the following months and years.