Our client, a subsidiary of a major global player in the 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

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, with 12 workshop days plus up to 2 days per month to meet with their sponsor, complete self directed learning, prepare for workshops and work on business 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 approach reduced opportunity costs, allowed for maximum interaction during the workshops and provided support during implementation.
  • Modular Workshop Programme that was spread over 12 months to maintain momentum and 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 senior managers and external leaders drawn from other Morgan Clarke clients (e.g.; Canon, Lloyds TSB). Some of the sessions were run by participants to broaden their experience.  The programme was also commercially focused, with an emphasis on continued strong business growth and sustainable profitability.
  • Individual coaching from Morgan Clarke has been the key to enabling personal development and to accelerate the embedding of new behaviours.
  • Mentoring for each participant by their sponsors.
  • Business Improvement Projects sponsored 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 Was 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%).

If you face a similar challenge contact Clive Watkins on + 44 (0)1306 621600 or email him at clive.watkins@morgan-clarke.co.uk