If the idea of delivering a leadership development programme remotely meets with scepticism at your company, this case study is for you. This is the story of how FinTech company Kyriba (a global leader in cloud treasury and finance solutions) developed a demonstrably successful and international-award-wining digital leadership development programme, within a company where virtual learning was far from the norm.
Our client’s needs:
Following an employee survey in late 2019, the company identified some areas where leadership development would be beneficial, to ready its culture for anticipated further growth. The company took a proactive approach to upskilling its leadership population to:
• Unite the workforce behind Kyriba’s vision and values.
• Enable leaders to know themselves better, and to acquire the tools and skills needed.
• Fuel talent development of people at all levels.
• Prioritise and improve employee engagement.
• Improve decision making.
Kyriba partnered with The Oxford Group to design ‘Kyriba Leads’, a global three-day leadership development programme, alongside a four-month learning journey. The programme covers a wide range of topics including:
• The distinction between leadership and management.
• Aligning around a common goal.
• Leading remotely with multiple cultures and styles.
• Having difficult conversations.
The programme was widely supported across Kyriba, but when COVID-19 hit, there were serious discussions about putting it on ice until it could be delivered face-to-face. Nonetheless, the CEO showed his commitment to leadership development by continuing to sponsor the programme, even being involved in virtual kick-off sessions.
So the programme was designed in such a way that it could be delivered virtually in the first instance, but (unusually) pivot to face-to-face later on. Other leadership development programmes around the world were being redeveloped the opposite way around – from classroom to virtual.
The programme was delivered globally and remotely in multiple languages, with local consultants on hand to support leaders. Everything ran smoothly and despite being very busy, and apprehension about virtual delivery, the vast majority of leaders attended all sessions.
To measure impact, an independent survey was conducted three months post-attendance. This highlighted significant increases in understanding across all areas measured. For example, leaders increased the scores they gave themselves for ‘the behaviours and mindset to co-operate across functional groups’ from 6.57/10 (before) to 8.77 (three months after).
It also showed the majority of leaders had already applied 60-80% of the learning in their roles, and that there have been significant increases in performance.
The uplifts were illustrated with examples volunteered by leaders, such as ‘focusing on delegating more’; ‘creating more frequent opportunities and better ways to give feedback’; and ‘being empowered to solve problems’. To illustrate, one leader commented “…most of all, I have tried to be more inclusive about upcoming changes, considering others’ perspectives/needs about changes and new initiatives.”
The programme has also had a positive impact on the business too, including an increase in overall employee engagement scores, particularly in terms of manager-related statements such as ‘my manager supports employee involvement and teamwork’, which rose 10.2%. It’s also helping the business embed a new hybrid working model.
And it doesn’t end there. To sustain the impact:
• The Oxford Group ran a train-the-trainer session to enable the Kyriba HR team to deliver the programme themselves.
• An alumni programme is being launched to ensure leaders continue to support each other in the context of the topics covered.
Such was the success of the programme, it went on to earn a gold medal in the Brandon Hall Group’s Excellence Awards for ‘Best Advance in Leadership Development’.