A global security company was pursuing a market-leading strategy, integrating its capabilities to provide business solutions for its diverse customer groups as well as expanding its core services in emerging markets. The challenge was to integrate its various businesses to create new customer solutions while sustaining the local focus and innovation that have led to its success. An essential part of the route forward was to connect the strategic and leadership development agendas, engaging the leadership population in the business challenge and using the processes to develop their capabilities to meet the needs of the strategy. This meant connecting the senior team and many of their immediate reports in an exploration of change, their role in making it happen, and generating the initiative to move forward.
In addition, the talent development program was re-worked to align to the future leadership behaviors needed to achieve the strategy. GP Strategies was invited to work in collaboration with the in-house team in designing and delivering an approach to achieve these goals.
GP Strategies Solution
The Senior Leadership Network was established for the senior talent population. The group met through a series of sessions that included Executive Team members. A foundation session was designed and facilitated by the combined team to make the connections between strategic shift and leadership development. As part of this process, GP Strategies engaged a Professor of Strategy from a leading international business school to set the strategic challenge in context. At the foundation event, a series of action learning groups were established to tackle projects to focus on cross-business strategic issues.
The group identified topics to address and provided recommendations for future change. The group continues to meet as the changes are implemented and new challenges emerge. The Global Business Leadership Program targets a talent population at the next layer in the business and uses the same foundation design, but then develops its leadership capabilities through two additional modules held at different locations around the world.
Participants apply their learning to their roles between modules. In addition to strategy, the program includes leadership, coaching, team leadership, change leadership, client relationship management, innovation, personal resilience, and more. The process is highly participative, with a focus on changing behavior through the work people are doing. It includes the use of coaching in learning groups on real, personal issues that connect with the program content as well as increasing their coaching skills through immediate feedback.
In addition, the participants work with the local business on current client challenges, offering consultancy, which draws on their experience and also their learning from the program. This has made significant differences to business performance in these local offices. The two leadership populations have also been integrated to maximize the learning impact, with Senior Leadership Network members mentoring Global Business Leadership Program participants.
The work of the Senior Leadership Network population has helped to deepen and develop the strategy, finding the places and processes for creating global interconnection (for example, around account management processes), maximizing buy-in, and keeping accountability as close to the customer as possible. It has helped to generate a leadership population that bridges the strategic and operational agendas and drives performance in the business.
The Global Business Leadership Program continues to develop leadership capability through a series of cohorts. It has achieved high levels of feedback for its impact on the leadership contribution of its participants and on the performance of their teams. This has led to significant achievements in change management in the business, and client relationships have grown and developed, which has generated real bottom-line impact.
*The services described in this case study were performed by Bath Consultancy Group, now GP Strategies Corporation.