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Helping Leaders Crack the General Manager Code

Building GM capability to achieve real business results

Becoming a General Manager (GM) within this leading multi-national FMCG had always been one of the most exciting of career moves, but also one of the most daunting. What is more, the General manger is ‘the critical role’ in ensuring business success. When the organisation moved to a new, regional way of working the shift in scope made the transition to the role even more challenging and the importance of getting it right more crucial.

Serac supported the HR team to develop a structured capability programme, and ways to excite and engage GM’s in this new approach.

Various tools and techniques were already in place to help new GMs but these were inconsistent. Feedback showed that a new GM was more likely to learn by trial and error in relative isolation than by any sort of consistent, joined up approach. 

We began by building a solid understanding of the experiences, knowledge and expertise needed for a GM to be successful in the role. Using these insights, an easy to follow phased approach was created which stepped new GMs through various learning stages and interventions. We also developed a new sense of identity that resonated with the GM audience, focusing on the idea that the programme would equip each of them with a suite of skills to allow them to ‘crack the GM code’.

The phased approach was accompanied by a comprehensive toolkit which targeted the delivery of tangible business benefits in the day job and also aligned development benefits for the individual, clearly showing what was expected of them at each phase. In addition, the toolkit was underpinned by a detailed capability matrix, against which potential and new GMs could measure themselves and their progress.

A common and consistent approach to developing new and potential GMs is now in place across the organisation, creating a recognised standard of achievement and ensuring knowledge is shared across the GM community. What’s more, GMs are taking up their roles with more confidence and with greater ability to drive real business results.

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