Building a centralised leadership development pipeline


A global international financial services group


A global international life insurance and financial services group with 25,000+ employees all over the world.


The company had some internal leadership development initiatives but these were implemented locally. A new global HR development team was put into place, with the goal of building a centralised leadership development pipeline, and as such aligning the group talent development strategy. The main components were talent review, focus on the top 100, accelerating leadership development of high performing senior leaders with a specific focus on agility. A number of programmes were created by the company and KDVI was called in to assist with group coaching in the High Potential Programme. The contact person within the organisation had good experience with the group coaching methodology and wanted to see it applied within the organisation.


A reoccurring programme as part of the company’s leadership development strategy. It involved a collaboration between the organisation, KDVI and other business institutions. The company’s programme was focused on high potentials (cohorts of 35-34 leaders), with the goal of complimenting experience gained on the job, broadening global mindset, understanding the impact of macro environment on business strategy and commercial agility. The programme lasted 6-9 months, and consisted of 2 modules with coaching and action learning projects in between. KDVI managed the coaching portion of the programme with 8 KDVI Faculty members over the course of 9 months.


Module I—The GELI, PA and Personal Bio were used as preparatory instruments. The first day consisted of a Lecture on leadership followed by the Self Portrait exercise and Group Coaching with the instruments. Participants committed to personal action plans with learning partners and were expected to meet with their line managers following the module to discuss and execute these plans. Individual coaching calls were conducted 2 months later to check progress as well as a group coaching call to keep cohort members up to date on each other’s plans as well as to share experiences.

Module II—The LAQ was used as preparatory instrument. The workshop opened with a discussion on High Performance Teams and High Performing Organisational Culture. Following the group coaching session, participants were asked to prepare a one page Leadership Challenge which addressed the key issues they faced in their workplace and what they needed to work on in order to become better leaders. This was followed by one to one coaching, some self-reflection time and then peer coaching activity using the Critical Incident Method (CIT) as well as the issues identified in the Leadership Challenge exercises. Individual follow up calls were also conducted after the second workshop.

Following the programme, participants had to make a presentation to the Board.


Most of the participants were making the transition from expert to manager and had to learn how to be agile. They also had to think about how they will progress in their career, with many of them without a clear idea on how to be creative in developing their role and how to be proactive with their personal development. The coaching intervention was an eye opener and provided leaders with insights into themselves, to others and to other business units. They became more aware of their ability to master their own agility, of their coaching ability and how they could apply it in their own practice. They were also much more in control of their own career development. Moreover, the organisation itself was very engaged throughout the process and put alot of effort into the programme and development plan. Mentorship and ongoing coaching was set up following the coaching intervention.