Leadership development in financial services
In an ever-changing world, what type of leaders do we need at the helm of our organisations? Do you already have them in your business? Is the internal talent ready to step-up? Are you helping them prepare for that transition?
One global financial services business has clearly differentiated itself in the marketplace by taking the lead in this vital area.
- Major leadership development programme for leading financial services firm
- Rigorous research and design feeds into creative, engaging events & exercises
- 75 leaders participate globally enabling redrawing of the internal talent map
“You understood our ambition to transform the business and have worked with us on developing our leadership capabilities to meet that challenge. Thank you for your partnering, your preparation and your brilliance.”
This multinational organisation, with millions of customers served through a stable of financial services brands, commissioned us to deliver a ground-breaking development programme.
The objective was to provide a comprehensive insight into the leadership capability within the organisation, help understand and strengthen the talent pipeline and provide leaders with a positive and valuable development experience.
At the outset, we worked in collaboration with the executive team to define the leadership behaviours, initially through individual executive team member meetings and then by shaping common themes with our knowledge of leadership psychology and external market perspective. This work coincided with a refresh of company values, and these were dovetailed into the new leadership framework to ensure a coherent and consistent message.
Based on a clearly articulated set of criteria, we would need to design a rigorous assessment and development process to achieve multiple goals including accuracy of measurement along with an engaging, face-valid participant experience. Crucially, it would be important to provide participants with a ‘realistic job preview’ so that they could touch and feel the experience of leading a global business.
Our solution comprised of a bespoke simulation exercise containing the data, challenges and opportunities that typify a day in the life of a multinational CEO. We then worked with the HR function to design, align and deploy a set of development interventions and support to be offered to all participants, including workshops, individual coaching and online learning solutions.
Once a detailed and careful communication plan had been designed (with help from the internal comms team) we came to the moment of truth. The project was launched with full board sponsorship and people were invited to participate.
Over the coming months we helped the business to assess and develop approximately 75 of their global leaders and high-potential people. In such projects, it is important to give participants the opportunity for honest reflection, and not to make assumptions around their aspirations.
Each person therefore received a personalised one-to-one service that included the opportunity to tell their story, underpinned by the provision of a confidential hotline to an occupational psychologist not involved in the project. They received a detailed (two-hour) face to face feedback session, supplemented with ample opportunities to explore the outputs and learn from them.
As well as ensuring that each participant enjoyed and gained from the experience (captured in a detailed report and personal development plan), the business also wanted to understand the findings at an organisational level.
We therefore produced a comprehensive organisational analysis which included evaluations of leaders’ capability, aspirations, market benchmark, general management capability vs technical and functional expertise, and potential for succession. We presented this information and our recommendations to the Executive Team and the main Board.
This element of the project proved particularly valuable, with the organisation receiving an accurate database and internal talent-map that they used to shape subsequent talent management decisions and resourcing.