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Developing and implementing Leadership Models that are practical yet inspiring

Building on their run of success this global company decided, after much debate, that it needed to raise the bar on it’s leadership in order to move to the next level of performance. Serac and its partner organisation were commissioned to develop a bespoke Leadership Framework that had the full commitment of the senior leadership group.

Good leadership frameworks are practical, they define expectations of what it means to be a leader in this company, are simple to understand, yet edgy and inspiring and codify what makes the company special.

We took 16 leaders from across the organisation on a rollercoaster ride enquiring into what makes this company great and where their leadership falls short. It was not an easy ride. Amongst the many forward looking and open leaders, the group contained skeptics, those too busy to get engaged and those with pretty fixed views. The team interviewed 40 plus leaders from across the organisation, as well as several from external companies. They also conducted extensive desk research into latest thinking. By the time the research phase was complete even the most hard nosed member of the team was convinced that a framework was not only needed but could make a massive difference.

Findings were shared with the top management team and over several meetings we worked with them to develop a simple framework that encoded their special DNA and also defined where and how they needed to improve. Realizing that this needed to be ‘lived at the top of the organisation’, several key issues, often taboo subjects, had to be faced into – perceived micromanagement, lack of empowerment, inconsistency in developing people. Topics that had held them back – despite their success. Without agreement they could not proceed, they could not live the model.

After a year long journey, the model is now there, defining a handshake between the top team – a common language building a common identity. The on-going implementation is leader led to all leadership groups via a centrally designed programme to give leaders an experience of what the model means - delivered by their leaders showing the way. Ultimately people processes and reward systems will change to re-enforce the way and achieve ever greater alignment – raising the bar on their leadership.

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