Monday 6 July 2015

Transforming the capability of future leaders - Case Study detail

The Head of Talent Management used to work with Simon at Gemini Consulting and kept in touch over the years mainly through LinkedIn.  He received the SJ Associates “Ambitions” newsletter and showed interest in the whole area of Motivational Maps and career planning.  Simon had a couple of pro bono informal coaching sessions to help him think through career management within his current employment and also with reference to his long term goals and perceptions of strengths and core capabilities.

His job focus changed to Head of Learning and Development and it was in this context that he asked Simon and Realising Ambition to pitch to deliver a UK and Poland based Leadership Development programme for their highest performing middle managers and future leaders.


Our client was a London-based investment banking consultancy founded in 1997. The company focuses on business and IT consultancy and IT service and has some 800 staff internationally, including 660 permanent. Its clients include nine of the world’s 10 leading investment banks. In London, the company has 250 business and IT consultants, with a further 80 in New York, Boston and Toronto. It also has nearshore facilities in Poland, Spain and Costa Rica providing 480 programmers.
Our project took place within the context of a merger process. 
The Project
SJ Associates’ sister training and development company, Realising Ambition, was asked to design and deliver a Development programme for 14 of the company’s  top performers and future leaders in the UK and Poland. The programme consisted of various modules spread over a nine month period. Additionally, all participants received one to one coaching in between group sessions. This helped to individualise the learning and create Personal Development Plans. It also ensured there was an effective follow up and accountability mechanism that kept the learning live and focused on day to day practical issues.
Following a whole group orientation and introductory session, modules were designed on the themes of Team Development and Management and People Management and Engagement
Topics covered in the various modules included:-
  • Developing a greater understanding of own and other’s behavioural and communication preferences  (Tetra Map)
  • Coaching skills
  • Meeting management
  • Influencing and assertiveness skills
  • Presenting with impact and confidence
  • Creating high performing teams
  • Holding challenging conversations
  • Conflict resolution
  • Developing relationship management and customer service skills
As a result of the development work the participants are better equipped to build and maintain more constructive relationships with colleagues and customers.  They also learned leadership skills which they have applied in a project management context. 
Programme Evaluation 
Post programme the client conducted a comprehensive evaluation process with all participants. They were asked to rate various components on a scale of 0(poor) to 4(excellent).
The questions and ratings were as follows:-
How would you rate the programme/content in terms of helping your personal development? 

How much of what you learned on the programme have you been able to apply or use on your current project?
How effective was the format of the programme e.g. group sessions, 1-2-1 sessions, practical content compared to theory?
How knowledgeable were the trainers about the subject matter?
How well did the trainers present the material and answer your questions?
How would you rate the trainers overall?

They were also asked to comment on what they liked most about the programme?
  • 1-2-1 sessions were mentioned most often 
  • “Building up well described fundamentals of coaching followed by well organised practical exercises”
  • “The best bit about the programme for me is that it genuinely has boosted my confidence in myself as a project manager/consultant which is great, and I think that is a product of Stephen and Simon rather than any particular aspect or content of the programme. “
  • The 'how to be a coach' sessions they gave were very interesting and was one of the best soft skills development type exercises I've done”
Suggested improvements were:-
  • Longer timeframe for the programme with more 1-2-1 sessions
  • Off- site venues rather than company facilities

Other Participant feedback:-
  • It has been extremely worthwhile, it has helped with confidence  and  enabled me to deliver better presentations
  • There was a good balance between theory and practical stuff and I liked how it has been individualised
  • Extremely interesting and worthwhile and has helped with meeting preparation. The high performance team framework enabled me to identify patterns and characteristics in teams that I am involved with
  • I use the GROW model for planning my approach to meetings and I feel better equipped to have tough conversations
  • I am more self-confident as a result of the programme – it has helped me to know that of course I can do it.
  • The way it was presented was excellent. I found Tetra Map really useful and use it. I spot the different types of characters at meetings and adapt my approach accordingly (when necessary).
Client testimonial
“Realising Ambition worked with us to develop and deliver leadership training for a small group of our top performers. Having been through our TOP Talent programme previously, we were looking to take a dozen employees from across Europe and give them personalised coaching and training to help them develop into future leaders of the company. This was the first time we had attempted this, so it was essential that we found a partner who could work flexibly with us, adapting to our specific corporate needs but also adapting to the diverse range of individuals involved (IT developers to business analysts and project managers, junior to more senior employees, as well as different nationalities and cultures). Realising Ambition was the perfect partner in this case – they were able to tailor the programme to deliver exactly the right mix of group learning, individual coaching, formal training and informal knowledge sharing that we needed, and the participants responded very well to the programme – many commented that it was the best training they had ever received. Whilst the content, structure and delivery of the programme were all first class, it was the knowledge, experience and empathy of the coaches delivering the programme that made all the difference – they have been there, done it and therefore can coach others based on deep first-hand experience in a way that both challenges and motivates the participants”
Head of Talent Management and Operations.
Stephen Pauley, Director, Realising Ambition (UK) Limited, May 2015.

To discuss your team’s requirements and the ways we can support you and your team to realise your potential, please contact Stephen Pauley or Simon Jones ( 

1 comment:

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