Cape plc, a global leader in industrial services, had ambitions to transform the corporate culture to improve its already enviable reputation for delivery capability to clients, team and personal performance, and enhanced workplace safety. A comprehensive programme for the introduction and implementation of an Operational Excellence (OE) ethos was designed, including a fundamental upskilling in senior and mid-level leaders in the context of a VUCA world.
Achieving this would take a number of culture changing interventions, including a suite of personal development programmes to up-skill various management cohorts. Primeast’s brief was to design and deliver a programme of behavioural interventions for senior leaders – those people with the potential to become Executive Team members within 3-4 years – and another programme for future leaders (those in the operational function with the potential to become senior leaders).
For both programmes, participants would be drawn from all parts of the client’s global operations. This multi-cultural approach was designed to ensure that the client made the best possible use of all its managerial talents, as well as offering the opportunity for participants to appreciate the cultural differences that exist across the global operations and to develop valuable internal networks for personal support and corporate benefit.
Primeast created a full design for the two programmes, including the facilitation, delivery and programme management services for a core curriculum of personal development modules. Furthermore, structured coaching support for participants was built in, to reinforce the achievement of personal stretch objectives. Importantly, it was intended that the programmes would run for at least three years, so a continuous improvement mechanism was necessary, to ensure that lessons-learned from module delivery could be captured and embedded in future delivery.
Finally, these new programmes needed to complement existing people development activities. This was achieved by involving all the stakeholders effectively and ensuring that inputs from all key parties were appropriately incorporated.
The programmes have been in delivery since 2014 and are still evolving in line with the transformation program milestones. In that time, all of the participants in the first cohort of the Senior Leaders Development Programme have had a promotion within Cape plc. Furthermore, they have contributed to a corporate-wide project that is making a fundamental difference to the way that Cape operates.
Programme sponsors have reported significant impact on the business and during the period since first delivery, the content and structure has evolved to reflect to respond to the changing needs of the business. The first Future Leaders programme completed in 2016 and it challenged the participants in a way that has seen significant changes in ways of working for many of them. It has particularly demonstrated the importance of being able to ‘let go’: future senior leaders in the operational environment need to be able to optimise the resources at their disposal, while maintaining good oversight of key operations activities. Delegation is therefore one of the key benefits of the programme to date which has also contributed to a wider culture of learning and development as the organisation continues on its development journey. Primeast continues to work with Altrad (who bought Cape in 2019) on a range of further interventions and programmes at various levels.
“I continue to be amazed by the cultural change that these courses are engendering within the business”.