PZ Cussons Case Study

An Integrated Approach to Leadership Development

This award-winning leadership programme was developed for PZ Cussons who have business units operating throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. The company has a commitment to developing local talent. The corporate HQ commissioned the programme to develop leaders across the business and help cement the culture of the company in its satellites.

The programme, which is ongoing, has already been delivered to more than 300 delegates. The programme Delegates completed 360-degree feedback prior to the workshops and were sent a pre-workshop pack outlining the programme and containing a framework to:

  • explore personal values
  • identify 3 areas of the 360 that will give the biggest performance uplift
  • identify the 3 biggest/most critical people challenges they currently face
  • create a picture of how they would like to be seen as a leader
  • analyse their communication style and personal drivers

Workshops were rolled out across the geographical areas in which the business operates, with workshop modules delivered over four days.

LeadChange delivered the highly experiential part of the programme, working with horses. The sensitivity of horses to intention and energy provides instant feedback to the delegates. Hesitancy, lack of purpose, focus or commitment are all perceived by the horses as lack of leadership. Delegates were coached to change their beliefs, intentions, behaviour etc., creating a different response in the horses, which then co-operated and followed.

A team of professional actors combined theory sessions with communications coaching (personal impact), engaging delegates in ‘presence’ and voice work. As skilled actors, they adopt the persona of challenging people in the client organisation, coaching the delegates to practice difficult conversations (the actors slip out of character and into coaching mode to help delegates reframe and experiment with different approaches).

CECO (Corporate and Executive Coaching Organisation) facilitated sessions that underpin the whole of the programme – incorporating leadership theory, coaching skills practice, exploration of individual and corporate values, and development of an individual competency matrix based on the organisation’s core competencies.

During the four days delegates received 1:1 coaching on work-related issues.

All sessions were conducted in English, although this was a second language for many of the delegates in this organisation. The practical sessions with the horses were particularly useful for these people, as it is a ‘felt’ experience, which they could easily relate to what was happening for them in the workplace.

Delegates expressed great enthusiasm for the programme. Many felt that the four-day format allowed time to explore issues in depth and reflect on them before returning to the workplace. The format also allowed time for hands-on practice (e.g. of coaching skills). In their feedback, many delegates identified the experiential sessions with the horses as a highlight of the programme.

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