Leadership Development

The challenge

SKY needed to develop a language and culture of leadership for their people leaders. A new competency framework had been developed – the challenge was to align the leaders to this, and to make the values of SKY come alive.

Business objectives

SKY were looking for a robust and consistent leadership programme for over 200 leaders, which would proactively equip them to perform their role more confidently in an increasingly complex and competitive environment.

Our solution

We began an extensive design/diagnosis/customisation process – meeting with focus groups and key stakeholders for their insights and input to the content and desired outcomes. We then designed and personalised a leadership programme for SKY: The Leadership Journey.

A two-hour introductory session for 50 key leaders explained the objectives, involved them in a learning activity and set the scene for them to encourage their direct reports to sign up for The Leadership Journey.

The programme consisted of 2 x 2-day blocks of face-to-face facilitated workshops that each tackled a key competency. Workshops were held off-site and about six weeks apart. The rollout was over eight months.

The Leadership Journey had a strong internal brand that supported the learning programme. Based on air travel, the learning materials included:

“boarding passes” as invitations
an in-flight “welcome and safety” video featuring senior leaders and filmed in a plane
“transit lounges”: follow-up sessions for groups to reflect on their learning journey.

The results

The benefits have been measured from a number of sources including feedback from one-up leaders, evaluation questionnaires, stories of significant change and impact on personnel issues.
Positive changes include:

  • An increase in leaders working together on business issues, and addressing employees directly about the behaviour they are seeing.
  • Leaders are more open to considering how they have contributed to their team members’ behaviour.
  • Real examples of upwards managing – people who are leaders addressing the behaviour of their leaders.
  • Staff proactively looking for support and feedback so that they are getting the support they need to deliver their KPIs.
  • Real recognition from leaders about things that have to be done differently. There is a “group think” about things that have to change.
  • Potential employee issues are being dealt with more quickly. More informal conversations are happening earlier (proactive not reactive).
  • Leaders are putting more energy going into giving immediate, specific feedback to their team members.
  • More recognition of the way a leader’s behaviour affects staff engagement. Engagement results are being taken more seriously.

In October 2014, SKY won the NZ Association of Training and Development Education Trust Learning & Development Award in the Learning and Development Initiative of the Year category.

“Choosing a delivery team with the right cultural fit was crucial to the success of our leadership development programme. The Learning Wave took the time to understand our business, requirements and culture. The team are so easy to work with, from design to logistics to delivery. With four different facilitators delivering the same content, each attendee was adamant that their facilitator was best. I would have no hesitation in recommending The Learning Wave to any company wanting to deliver leadership development that results in positive, meaningful, cultural change.”

Stephanie Whyte
As the Training Manager