Leadership Development Programme


Honda is a Japanese public multinational conglomerate corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles and power equipment.

The world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer since 1959, as well as the world’s largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines measured by volume, Honda produces more than 14 million internal combustion engines each year. Honda became the second-largest Japanese automobile manufacturer in 2001 and the eighth largest automobile manufacturer in the world.

The Blue Water Primeast leadership programme took managers from foundation to advanced levels of leadership performance in the UK and then in Europe and Japan. It delivered an improved J D Power customer survey performance score. Blue Water continues to work with Honda on a variety of projects in the UK and mainland Europe.

The Brief

In 2003 The Honda Institute identified the need for a leadership development programme for their UK dealer network that would specifically improve their customer satisfaction – as measured in particular by the global J D Power survey. The success of this programme was such that the programme was developed wider and exported to Asia and Europe.

The Solution

Working with The Honda Institute, who commissioned the programme, Blue Water (part of Primeast since November 2017) developed the original UK initiative into a three-tier performance improvement programme for a diverse, multinational management audience. Taking managers from a foundation to an advanced level of leadership capability.

Encouragement was provided by Honda Japan, who noted the improved J D Power performance of the UK and concluded that the Blue Water leadership programme was a critical contributor to this success. This led to a 10-year partnership where the programme was exported to Asia by means of Blue Water training Japanese coaches in Japan and to Europe through delivery by regional associates.

The Results

  • The outcome after nine months was that Honda UK rose from 5th to 3rd in J D Power automotive service ranking.
  • General managers were highly engaged and requested that the programme be extended to their line managers.
  • A long term partnership developed between Honda and Blue Water during which time Honda regularly surveyed profitability, staff and customer satisfaction surrounding participating managers.
  • These surveys repeatedly established that the Blue Water Leadership Programme consistently delivered significant performance improvement.
  • An ongoing relationship that has seen Blue Water working continuously with Honda in their European distribution, R&D and dealer network operations since 2003 to the present day.

“I have participated in many leadership programmes or courses within my 32 year career, without doubt the programme Blue Water have created for Honda is the best of those. It’s about the way leadership ideas are changed into real workplace behaviour, it really makes a difference.”

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