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Management Development

Management Development

Global Senior Management Development Programme.



Client’s need

The Wood Group is an Aberdeen-based world class global oil services and engineering company with around 18,000 staff and at 2006 a turnover of approx. $3 billion p.a. and operations in over 30 countries. A 2003 review recognised that the next generation of Group director level staff needed to be developed for key positions. Wood Group looked at a management development programme for its individual company director level and senior management staff.

Our Approach

The management development programme (MDP) has a number of objectives;

  • Improving the knowledge, skills and behaviours of its senior managers at Wood Group to help create a more consistent and more effective management style across the whole company.
  • Emphasising the need for managers to have both strong people management and business skills in order to meet Wood Group’s challenging growth and profit plans.
  • Equip managers with not only the knowledge, but also a range of practically applicable tools and techniques, to make them as effective as possible.
  • Help to make these key staff better able to move into Group Director level positions throughout the company.
  • Allow senior managers to build a global network of contacts that would lead to increased synergy and ‘joined up thinking’ across the group.
  • Understand the cultural differences that need to be considered when managing in a global company.

The leadership development programme is designed to allow individual managers to consider their own specific development needs and construct their own personal development plan. Following in-depth discussions with the HR director a two-part course was proposed, with each section comprising a week long, residential off-site course, in either the USA or Scotland. A number of tranches, each involving 20 participants from as diverse a range of disciplines, business units and nationalities as possible, are being run for several hundred staff.

The overall nature of the part 1 course focuses on self-awareness and ‘soft’ skills development such as motivation and communication but also include inputs on change management and leadership. The second part of the MDP is a business project led course. Part 2 has been designed in conjunction with feedback from the target group and the main board. It involves input from main board directors, who define the project, and in-house Wood Group subject experts, who contribute tailored material. It is closely linked to, and builds on part 1 though the project led focus is on ‘harder’ more business specific knowledge such as strategy, finance, change, risk and ethics. Both parts of the course have been designed and delivered by Taylor Clarke.

The Impact

Feedback from our Wood Group programme, via participant learning case studies and re-visiting 360 degree feedback has shown it to be a powerful development vehicle. A large part of the success of this programme has been due to our consultants’ ability to engage the participants fully. We work with participants for 12 – 14 hours day, over the course of 5 days, and find that this total immersion approach yields major benefits in terms of encouraging real openness, engagement and learning in a supportive but challenging environment

The success of the MDP within Wood Group has led to us being asked to work in a number of related areas. The first of these is a series of bespoke seminars with the main Board i.e. the group’s new Chief Executive Allister Langlands and his direct reports.

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