Case Study: FMCG Leadership Development
Building a Learning Curriculum
The story is probably familiar. Over the years, a variety of small programs designed and delivered by a multitude of internal and external resources has been deployed to develop leaders in this large and successful fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) group.
Eventually, the patchwork quilt became too difficult to manage. Harbour Future Leaders (HFL) was invited to assist the client with overhauling the entire set of programs, and assist in developing a concept model for the organisation’s new learning curriculum. The brief was to consolidate a range of development programs into an integrated, seamless series of programs.
The model developed by HFL reflected the client organisation’s approach to leadership, based on Drotter’s Leadership Pipeline (1). The Leadership Journey defined for the client consisted of three streams—Managing Self, Managing Others and Managing Managers, with “turning points” for each stream.
The theory of the turning points is important— leaders often struggle most when moving
from one level of management to another, and the turning points help explain—and the leaders to understand—why this is very often the case.
With the client, HFL defined a series of key criteria that we defined as the required
components for the new curriculum to be immediately engaging and also to stand the
test of time.
Key success factors
Our core requirements in the design phase were that the programs needed to:
• Fully engage all participants
• Be “aspirational and inspirational” – the “WOW” effect
• Be practical and immediately transferable to the workplace
• Incorporate the current front line leadership and emerging leader programs
• Utilise existing global tools and practices
• Be designed, delivered and project managed externally
• Run throughout ANZ and the Pacific (in English)
• Target all levels of management as well as nonmanagement staff
• Be transferable to internal staff to run down the track
• Be flexible and adaptable to on-going changes in the business.
These last two criteria were important in selling the return on investment of the assignment, and ensuring that the design future-proofs the curriculum. HFL’s role
HFL assisted with the overall design of the curriculum, and then designed and delivered the Managing Self series which consisted of 10 modules developed around 10 core
The modules were supported by the organisation’s e-learning system as pre- and post-session content enhancement. HFL strong believes in making sure that learning and skills practice takes place between format workshop learning events. As a consequence, coaching, on- the-job assignments and the MBTI style inventory also supported the two workshops.
For new leaders or those choosing to become leaders, there was an introductory assessment and development workshop which established the organisation’s expectations of leaders and built foundation leadership skills. Upon completion of the first ‘turning point’, participants embarked on the emerging leader programs that included workshops, group coaching and project-based learning.
The second ‘turning point’ was a ‘Day-in-the-life’ Development Centre identifying the targeted development needs for a person about to manage other managers. From there, development was individualised, and there were two workshop forums.
Programs in each of the streams reflected common messages, skills and principles and built on previous learning. The learning design focused on ensuring participants walked away
from the program talking about what a fantastic time they had whilst having learned applicable, realistic and hands-on practices which they will comfortably use
back in the workplace.
Formats used in the design included:
• Assessments and ‘instant’ feedback
• Enthusiastic facilitators
• Business simulations
• ‘Stretch’ Development Centres
• Pre- and post-work
• Supporting e-learning modules
• Follow-up sessions with manager
• Team competitions
• Games, prizes, contests HFL also provided all administration and program coordination of the Total Learning Curriculum.
This was achieved through the use of an online registration system with regular reports and evaluations being provided to the organisation.
The client has reported back the following outcomes:
• Observable improvements in leadership capability
• Improved candidate recruitment.
• Increased staff retention
• Ability to build strong employer branding
Vicky Sandman, who was Area Head of Organisational Development for the client during the design phase of this project, believed that the overall benefits of the program were two-fold; “Not only has the program equipped our employees with the right capabilities but it has also provided us with a visible investment in employee development. Both areas have assisted greatly in recruitment and employee retention.”
(1) The Leadership Pipeline: How to build the leadership powered company, Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter and James Noel (Jossey-Bass Inc. 2001)
(2) Assessment and Development Centres, http://www.harbourfutureleaders.com/AssessmentCentres
Harbour Future Leaders is an HR consultancy that specialises in assisting enterprises to identify and grow their leadership capability. We uniquely combine world-class assessment methods with effective blended leadership development programs. We have designed and executed over 100 programs for over 40 clients across the region in the last six years. We are privileged to work with some of the regions’ most admired companies across the Asia-Pacific region, who entrust us with the planning, measurement and development of their most valuable asset – their future leaders.