‘Cultural Transformation’ Award – Shortlist

We are delighted to be shortlisted for our entry in the category of ‘Cultural Transformation’ at the 2024 Consultancy Awards.  We will find out if we have won on Thursday 13 June at an Award Ceremony in London.

Pride and passion shines through in our work with Ferring Pharmaceuticals…here is our story:

Visual showing U Thrive

Cultural transformation through Leadership Development has always been a priority for Ferring.  However, in 2023 there was still seen to be a need to bring Ferring’s ‘leadership principles’ to life, provide a common language and consistent use of tools and behaviours in order to develop leaders across the organisation.

They approached us to partner with them to create a portfolio of leadership programs, with the mandate to craft and implement global, scalable leadership programs unlike anything provided in the past. This is right in our sweet spot – creating sustainable business environments where leaders and others thrive, using our experienced facilitators with diverse backgrounds, global reach, language capabilities, and ability to reach tangible outcomes.

The requirement for remote leadership, across time zones and cultures, is more prevalent than ever before.  Hence a key driver behind the need for the programs was to provide leaders the opportunity to learn virtually and connect via an experience mirroring their day-to-day.

Ferring’s Leadership Programs have 3 levels, two of which we were responsible for designing and delivering: U-Grow (for new managers) and U-Thrive (for experienced leaders), both are highly participative, engaging and fast-moving development programs.  The third level is for senior leaders.

  • U-Grow aims to build high levels of self-awareness, then develop skills and capabilities which enable choices as leaders about leading others, building confidence and knowledge of key behaviours that deliver results.
  • U-Thrive aims to equip leaders with the right mindset to lead effectively, navigate change and maximize their potential and that of their teams/business areas. Learning is applied by working on a unique and personal ‘Leadership Challenge’ throughout.

 The programs aim to:

  • Build confidence and behaviours based on the Leadership Principles so they can be more impactful and influential
  • Learn models they can put into practice immediately
  • Build a connected and strong network so they have continued peer support and can encourage each other’s growth and development goals beyond the program
  • Be supported and encouraged by a senior sponsor
  • Encourage cross-cultural understanding and diversity of thoughtVisual sowing seeds with diploma

We worked with Ferring to bring content to life that ensures innovation, applicability and ‘stickability’ beyond the program and is their first cohesive learning journey and not a stand-alone training.

We listened to what Ferring needed and built an open dialogue to co-create a state-of-the-art outcome.  They wanted minimal disruption to day-to-day commitments, yet with time to practice and apply learning and encourage building strong cross-functional relationships.

Design focused on creating high levels of engagement through the quality of what we do, our Sladen ‘house style’ e.g. minimal use of slides, everyone on camera, make the learning enjoyable through high levels of energy.  We built in peer coaching and moments to ‘let the dust settle’.

Leaders were assigned a ‘home cohort’ of 15 participants. The programs comprise of the following elements:

  • Leader Briefing – to bring line managers up to speed on participants’ development
  • Kick Off – bringing excitement, building momentum, and helping participants identify the most productive mindset for them to be in
  • Learning Labs – a series of 3-hour model sharing and exploration sessions, interactive learning leading to application and stickability
  • A ‘Learning Wonderwall’ provides a bank of resources
  • Skill Bites – 90-minute sessions, fun and impactful, focused on building one essential skill
  • Action Pods – peer coaching sessions for small groups where leaders bring real-life challenges and gain coaching from other leaders helping them unravel the issue
  • Capstone Event – to round off their learning and solidify key points
  • Teams channel for networking and connection with dedicated facilitator outside sessions
  • Visuals created a strong look and feel

Cohorts came together from different functions and countries to help build a network.  The high levels of trust and psychological safety created exceeded expectations. This helped break down silos and enhanced collaboration and cross-functional awareness.

U Thrive Visual

The work has been delivered virtually, plus face-to-face cohorts in Copenhagen and Germany.  In 2023, leaders from 35 countries and 10 different business unit/functions have embarked on the programs.

Results are measured using surveys at the start, middle and end, and through capturing testimonials at the capstones.  Engagement surveys will also show the program impact on both leaders and their teams.

Participant comments highlighting beneficial effects:

  • “U-Grow feels like the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of leadership development, we have been given so many tools which are perfect for the job, and it is up to me to decide which tool to use for which job”
  • “Understanding and “living” the Ferring Principles, creating a culture of feedback, trust and growth, where everyone feels included, challenged and can unlock their potential”
  • “Being able to empower my team to participate in giving new ideas or ways of working as well as changing the culture of work within my area”
  • “Greater engagement, culture of open communication, culture of inclusion, promoting growth”
  • “It has been crucial for me to understand my influence. U-Grow is one of the most professional programs I have attended. In sales I need to build long lasting relationships with key customers, U-Grow has been great for this.”

Participants share their experiences which has great impact on generating demand for places.  The benefit of word-of-mouth recommendation has generated excitement, creating desire for more cohorts and different languages which we are delighted to continue to deliver for Ferring through 2024 and beyond.

Logo for Consultancy Awards 2024