Leadership Development - Governmental

Leadership Development at a Governmental Organisation

Case Study

This Governmental Organisation has worked with Hennessy Consulting to provide two leadership talent programmes. A highly technical financial organisation, historically their people have been recruited and promoted on IQ and technical knowledge. They have been undergoing a culture change to increase leadership skills and to value these skills in promotions and appointments. Hennessy Consulting designed and delivered 12-month talent programmes at two different levels of leadership over the last three years.

The Leaders Programme is for Audit Managers reporting to Directors, we delivered 3 cohorts for a total of 30 managers. Objectives include:

  • Lead our people, teams and work
  • Better understand the people you lead
  • Create your sense of purpose
  • Demonstrate strategic thinking
  • Contribute to the wider impact of our work across the public sector
  • Innovate and bring fresh thinking
  • Step up to complex challenges
  • Develop our people and skillsets

Selection onto the programmes was by application, supported by manager and shortlisted by area. We created a competency based interview process, acted as independent Occupational Psychologists on the talent selection panel and facilitated the decision making meeting to finalise participant lists. We oversaw the feedback delivered to successful and unsuccessful applicants, ensuring this was positive and developmental.

Programme diagnostics were employed to inform individual personal development plans (PDP):

  • TMSDi reviewed individually and in their intact teams
  • 360 degree feedback questionnaire
  • Hogan Development Survey

We partnered with another provider who delivered 5 workshops and we led the orchestration of the programmes from launch to close, delivered the diagnostic feedbacks, facilitated action learning sets, delivered
coaching sessions, oversaw and facilitated the leadership position paper, delivered workshops on strategy and complexity and integrated Executive Leaders’ sessions into the programme.

We were responsible for:

  • Launch event created a safe learning environment and set up Kolb’s cycle of experiential learning and leadership intro.
  • Facilitated action learning sets supported individual personal development plans and application of learning from the workshops.
  • Coaching supported deeper individual enquiry and development
  • Leading in Complexity workshop made sense of the organisation’s strategy and business plan, introducing new techniques for strategizing in a VUCA world
  • Leadership Position Paperpulled all the learning together into a 2,500 word paper on their own personal leadership journey, using postgraduate level critical thinking to enquire into their own assumptions about leadership, application of learning from the workshops and their leadership purpose and vision for now and the future. This was peer reviewed in a learning set, first as a Formative version and then in Summative version.
  • Executive Leaders supported to deliver sessions at the workshops and to have more informal lunchtime dialogues with small groups from the talent programmes.

The Emerging Leaders Programme is aimed at Audit Principles reporting to Audit Managers, we delivered 4 cohorts for a total of 57 participants. This followed the same structure and format as the Leaders Programme outlined above, customised and adapted to meet this less experienced audience of emerging leaders. For example the Leading in Complexity workshop was redesigned as an Introduction to Strategy Workshop with the same links to the organisation’s strategy. It was important that there was some overlap with the talent programmes to help develop consistency and shared ways of leading in the new culture.

The impact of the talent programmes was measured in a number of ways. Firstly, by the number of successful promotions – this was a positive indicator as many promotions were achieved and participants themselves attributed their success in large part to the programme.

Participant quote: An internal role popped up which is … Private Secretary to our new [CEO]. I applied for the job and got selected for an interview, and spent almost the entire time talking about compassion, empathy, love, kindness, doing away with the ego, and the massive impact mindfulness and meditation has had on me. He called this morning and said I got the job!

Secondly, by reviewing the annual reviews of participants we were able to see good or outstanding ratings for the vast majority. Finally by writing an evaluation report summarising feedback from the participants and progress made against PDP’s.