Case Study - Halma Group plc

The Halma Executive Development Programme created by the Morgan Leith Partnership is generating a cadre of management and leadership talent that will enable the company to achieve its target of doubling in size while retaining its profit margins.

The programme provides this cadre of talent and so enables the company to succeed through both organic growth and acquisitions.

Additionally the programme is designed around, and reinforces the company's four-core values of empowerment, achievement, innovation and customer satisfaction.

Intervention required:
Halma makes products for hazard detection and life protection, and is the market leader in specialist electronic, safety and environmental technologies. It is highly successful, with annual sales near to £400m and profits of more than £60m. Halma's growth after 20 years of 20% or more annual growth had slowed drastically between 2000-2005.

Andrew Williams was promoted to Chief Executive in 2005. He developed the new strategy of doubling the company's business while retaining its margins by 2011. He focused on three core elements of the business to achieve this.

  1. Changing the culture to suit this drive using cultural transformation tools to determine the four-core values empowerment, achievement, innovation and customer satisfaction.
  2. Developing his cadre of managers and directors to achieve these strategies by using tailored in-house training and development programmes for the profound changes in leadership, coupled with individual performance coaching.
  3. Increasing the rate and application of innovation, for both organic growth and acquisition.

The tailored, in-house programme is directed by Nigel Young, Divisional Chief Executive and designed and delivered by The Morgan Leith Partnership Ltd. (MLP), headed by Graeme V. R. Leith its Managing Director. To complete its learning needs analysis MLP conducted individual and group interviews, focus workshops, and analysed the results of the company's culture survey and the personal development plans of the individual managers and directors.

This analysis was used to determine the design of the programme for the top 250 managers and directors, of the 44 separate companies that make up the Halma Group. This management groups was seen as, and are proving to be, the prime movers in the change that is required.

The essence of MLP's findings was that the intelligence quotient in the company is very high but the emotional quotient was low. This was identified as a prime reason for the company's lacklustre performance prior to 2005.

The Halma Executive Development Programme, is now underpinning the transformational changes required by the business by addressing these needs. The programme has been in operation for only 15 months but is already bearing massive fruit.

The Halma Executive Development Programme (HEDP) is designed to provide the new leadership required by the company, in order for them to carry out the transformational changes needed for its new strategies.

The gap analysis showed the overall emphasis that is needed was to raise the leadership capacity of the management team by concentrating on the key emotional intelligence factors including leadership, team working, internal and external cultural intelligence and working relationships at all levels in all countries.

The programme was designed to underpin and enhance the four core values of Halma, empowerment, achievement, innovation and customer satisfaction.

The programme is run for 14 delegates at a time as three one-week modules. The first two modules are run at Henley Management College in the UK focusing on empowerment and achievement respectively. The third module focuses on innovation and customer satisfaction, and is run in other countries deemed important to the company, such as China, India, Argentina and Japan.

The programme is designed to concentrate on the individual in the first module called 'Empowerment' using leadership models, the PAPI psychometric, and motivation sessions within individual, group and plenary work. A mix of formal input, role-plays, outdoor and indoor exercises, reviews and feedback are used throughout the programme.

The second module called 'Achievement' looks at the internal Halma culture, teams and organization. It uses similar approaches as in module one to further develop the individual, team roles, team development, organizational cultures and core values, performance management and change.

The third module, called 'Innovation and Customer Satisfaction', is held abroad and works, in a similar fashion, on the topics of cultural intelligence; emotional engagement - for example delegates have to work with a local charity in each different country; innovation techniques, such as paradigm shifts and innovation processes within the company; strategy and execution; and customer relationship building including customer and supplier company visit, in the host country. These have been China, India and Argentina so far; Japan, South Africa and Eastern Europe are planned.

Thereafter the delegates become alumni and have business workshops on a regular basis on topical issues, and they join company-wide cross-functional and international strategic projects.

Briefing and de-briefing is carried out with their Divisional Chief Executives before and after each module, against their agreed objectives. Each programme is independently assessed by an external auditor to level 4 of Kirkpatrick's model.

The company's direct investment in the programme has been over £200,000 in it's first two years. This investment will have provided a cadre of over 80 top managers in the first two years. The programme is expected to continue for a further 2-3 years.

The impact of the programme can already be seen in succession changes, the success of major international projects and a rise in employee satisfaction.

When asked what was the benefit of the HEDP, the Chief Executive Andrew Williams outlined numerous benefits:

  1. We now have a pool of empowered and robust leaders who can and will take forward our business strategy.
  2. We are seeing a transformation of the company's culture and an immediate impact on the business results, to the tune of "... millions of pounds".
  3. The City agrees that a positive transformation of the company is taking place.
  4. The company's share price had increased over 60% from the time of the programme starting.

While not all of this can be laid at the door of the HEDP, it was seen as one of a number of changes in the company, which augured very well for its long-term sustainable growth.

Additionally, the programme is audited by an independent external auditor according to the Kirkpatrick model and the results are the best they have seen.

Finally, constant reviews by the Executive Board, the delegates and their managers, as well as the Programme Director, Nigel Young has meant a constant evolution and refinement of the programme design and delivery.