Working in a market that has been recently deregulated, this major commodity producer suddenly found itself operating in a competitive environment for the first time.

To meet this challenge, the business focussed on three areas: increasing efficiency, managing supply chain strategically (enabling them to deal with market fluctuations), and developing new commercially sustainable relationships with key suppliers and customers.

The company identified four specific areas of underperformance:

  • Dysfunctional alignment and lack of direction among teams
  • A reluctance and inability to manage poor performance
  • Poor productivity and time management in too many places
  • Shortfalls in customer quality and production targets

Our challenge was to develop Change Leadership Cohorts drawn from all sectors of the business with a core mission to drive change. The aims of this were:

  • To break down the silo mentality
  • To create a more commercially aware workforce, making decisions informed by greater financial awareness and their implications for the business
  • To engage and develop staff to take up new and challenging roles


We spent time with the board to assess the business’ strategic choices and their implications (in terms of organizational structure and processes). Crucially, we also reviewed the leadership and management that would be required to steer the business through what was inevitably going to be a difficult period.

At the senior level, we created an emergent, scenario-based program, supported by current research, thinking, and practice across the business as well as their sector.

We created decision-making scenarios and simulations that stretched the participants to think and act in new ways. A key issue at this level was around decision rights— how these were allocated and the responsibility that goes with them.

In terms of content, we ensured that relevant aspects of personal impacts and presence, influence, strategy, organizational behavior and design, organizational culture, and engagement were covered to provide new perspectives and ways of thinking.

Both the content and the methodology of the program were accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) as a Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Leadership, consolidating the learning and encouraging further professional leadership and management study.


The participants developed a collective understanding of the organization’s strategic objectives and priorities, helping to actively break down the silos that disconnected them.

As a result, the management team was more aligned, engaged, and utilizing better decision-making tools and frameworks.