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Working on the basis of 30% uplift in performance of 39 Senior regulators on a minimum salary of £75k. 39 people are now delivering the work of 51. The cost saving of a more productive team over employing more Regulators is £900k, a greater than a 5x Return on investment for the whole programme.”

Interview with Senior Executive one year after completion of the programme.


The Challenge

Senior Leaders - Leadership Talent Development Programme

LeaderShape was appointed to deliver a programme of leadership development for a non- governmental legal and financial regulatory body. The aim was to prepare 12 participants for higher office, taking into account rapid expansion and the need to propagate and maintain the desired culture, despite significant diluting factors.

A rapidly changing internal environment meant 3 new CEOs over the duration of the programme plus implementation of a new strategic plan. Personnel with prime responsibility for the programme also changed. There was therefore no consistent senior level sponsorship, integration with OD policy or personal development plans and a lack of involvement by line managers.


During a period of frenetic change management, the organization established:

  1. The need to comply with a new regulatory framework
  2. The need to align dispute resolution with preferences of the client audience
  3. The need to build a responsive, agile organisation able to anticipate and respond to the ebb and flow of different categories of complaint and their impact upon staffing 


The risk of this period of change to the service included:

  1. Losing the wrong people
  2. The cost of replacing good people
  3. Non-compliance with a new regulatory framework
  4. Failure to build an agile structure



The programme comprised of 6 key elements:

  1. Diagnostic and report
  2. MBTI Step II
  3. 11 x ½ day MasterClasses addressing key issues and fostering a deeper understanding how leadership, climate and culture impact performance.
  4. Pre-MasterClass prep through the ALIVE online learning system
  5. Post-MasterClass ALIVE Calls
  6. LEIPA ® 360  assessment, with raters including relevant organisational colleagues followed by a debrief which highlighted key strengths and development areas.


Success Against Desired Outcomes

A trial of the new operating structure blueprint now covers 300 people. Merging Judgment and Operational side into one role should bring a 40% saving across the organisation. The programme highly influenced my thinking of how I managed it’. 


LeaderShape believes that the full benefit of such a programme is not achieved during or at its conclusion, but after a one-year period when the changes in behaviour have had time to form a true legacy. Interviews were therefore carried out in 2016 to analyze the long term impact.


On a personal level, participants reported the programme:

  1. Built Emotional Intelligence and ability to use this in the workplace to empathise and connect
  2. Increased empathy
  3. Led to understanding of different leadership styles, their attributes and when to use them
  4. Increased delegation through use of coaching style to free up capacity in the leader and develop subordinates with real responsibility
  5. Developed leadership maturity, self-confidence and a support network especially when leading in times of ambiguity
  6. Improved networking and organisational knowledge
  7. Provided access to a catalogue of development tools.  


At organisational level, the programme:

  1. Established a networked leadership resource
  2. Went some way to developing a learning organisation
  3. Improved performance in areas of participants’ influence
  4. Several accounts reported significant return on investment


Drilling down:

Networking and Organisational Knowledge:

The general building of a network, was a powerful and useful heart to the programme.  Having a whole period focused on learning was very valuable including:

  • Having the network
  • A few hours to focus personal development
  • The NGO was something of a mystery, hard to get into and I learned how the organisation ticked
  • Making the connections from within the organisation less mysterious
  • The group became one, it was really good to get a view on what other people thought about the organisation
  • How the Board worked


Emotional Intelligence Development

  • Emotional intelligence – the programme gave a good reminder to empathise and see things from the perspective of others and their challenges
  • It gave me an understanding to navigate the landscape of how people worked and operated
  • I have better conversations with my people
  • Having the awareness to step back and think about the impact of my decisions
  • EI – how to engage to get the biggest win in every decision you make
  • I developed empathy and understood the difference from sympathy, doing much more listening
  • Being conscious of EI
  • It really helped me to build rapport with my team 


Leadership Styles

  • The leadership styles were very important and the surveys helped to put a lot of things into context
  • Revisiting the leadership styles of the leaders (3 CEOs during the programme)
  • It gave me a framework to get better outcomes and a vocabulary to make sense of structures, individuals and the politics
  • The ability to adapt to a given situation
  • Getting away from the commanding style
  • Made me consider what are my preferred styles
  • Understanding the different styles of leadership and the importance of using styles other than one’s default style
  • The great impact of the coaching style



  • The programme reminded me how much I enjoy coaching – taking the development aspect away from command and control
  • The biggest impact was taking a more coaching approach, getting out of my own way with the team owning and taking responsibility.
  • Recognising that I was doing too much for people
  • You need to grit your teeth and invest the time in coaching, but you win big time in the end
  • Allowing managers to step into the space and do the job
  • I learned to let go with managers doing a lot more
  • Previously I tried to fix things immediately now I listen and not tell people what to do but coach them into their own solution


Confidence Building

  • I am more pro-active about leading change and not waiting for permission
  • I do not expect clarity all the time, defining my own objectives to forging my own clarity
  • Helped me to work out myself what I need to achieve
  • I am now a more effective and better colleague to be able to get things done and in a more efficient way
  • I developed self-confidence especially in front of execs where I now am comfortable attending meetings and challenge


Participants reported a boost in Self Confidence from the programme, saying:

I am more confident

It made me clearer about what I am and what I should work on

Made me realise that I really do want to be a leader

It has given me a leadership maturity

I am a more rounded leader

Now I get much more recognition and have an efficient team

It has positioned me as a key player in the organisation

I get recognition

I get a lot more input into the strategic vision


One final testimonial from a Senior Executive included the endorsement: 

Case resolution and Case progression are all the highest they have ever been. The way we tackled it (reducing the general casework queue) was influenced by what we learned on the programme’.