Tomorrow’s Leaders Programme
As Brightwater Group emerged from the negative impacts of the global financial crisis on its Australasian energy and minerals sector clients in late 2013, the CEO and Senior Management Team (SMT) focused on the internal talent pool upon which future success would depend. They recognised that restructuring their divisions and refreshment of the middle management tier were essential to their development strategy.
Brightwater engaged ODI to design, develop and deliver a leadership programme for its emerging leaders, aimed to develop a new cohort of work-ready successors to draw on for future middle management roles. The programme was delivered throughout calendar 2014.
Twelve participants were selected based on their potential ‘to carry out their boss’s boss’s job’. They were trades or degree-qualified and operated in project or supervisory roles, with limited leadership experience.
Eleven Brightwater outcomes were articulated as early indicators of success. SMT were looking for improvements to:
- safety leadership and compliance
- internal and external brand promotion and engagement
- financial/commercial understanding including cash/cost control
- estimating and execution of projects and engineering solutions
- collaboration with and understanding of each business unit’s value
- employee engagement and clarity of role and performance expectations in teams
- future-oriented thinking
- level of direction and ownership
- communication with all levels
- compliance with documented standards and procedures and focus on continued improvement
- review and reflection on work completed – sharing of learnings.
- An Induction and Closing event for participants and their line managers
- A series of time-spaced experiential workshops (each prefaced by light preparatory work), facilitated by different specialist facilitators, targeted at 20 behaviours articulated on Brightwater’s leadership competency framework
- Use of a workplace application tool to ensure new learning is applied at work
- Coaching support by line managers between workshops (Prior to the programme, line managers were interviewed by an ODI coach/facilitator to identify their individual support needs. Coaching sessions and coaching tools were provided by ODI to meet these.)
- Mid and end-of-programme on-line surveys of participants and line managers to evaluate application of learning, contribution to targeted business outcomes, and workplace support.
- Personal Leadership and Communication (Rosita Guy)
- Developing Teams (Desirée Williamson)
- Commercial Knowledge (Bob Miller)
- Managing Performance (Linzi Ebbage-Thomas)
- Developing Individuals (Kathryn Jackson)
- Collaborative Relationships (Michelle Shields)
- Health and Safety Leadership (Kevin Wood)
The following are results from Kirkpatrick evaluation of programme participants and their line managers undertaken during the programme. Quantitative scores are compared with our research-based benchmarks.
Line managers of programme participants reported their observations of application of learning and contributions to targeted business outcomes, some of which are provided below:
- “He’s better at managing relationships with stakeholders.”
- “Listens to all opinions.”
- “Communicates with me far more effectively.”
- “Shares his knowledge.”
- “Involves staff in decisions and planning.”
- “Has developed his thinking around preparation for meetings.”
- “Works with others in the team to improve overall performance.”
In early 2015 Brightwater engaged ODI to provide performance management skills training to Brightwater’s Tier 2 and Tier 3 managers, both to induct them into Brightwater’s performance programme and to develop their skills at leading focused and productive teams.