Building a Leadership Pipeline

We helped prepare leaders at all levels to roll out a new global talent assessment process.

The Need

A large pharmaceutical company needed to enable effective career coaching discussions quickly and effectively; ensuring that everybody in the organization experienced an equitable and empowering career coaching process. 

The company’s goal was to attract, develop, and retain top talent by making sure they were introducing career planning processes and tools that would maximize the right opportunities for the individual and the business—fairly, consistently, and transparently. Furthermore, they needed to ensure they had a strong leadership pipeline for the future.

To do this, the company implemented technology that assessed an individual employee’s likelihood of success as a leader. Everyone in the organization who wanted to be considered for leadership had the opportunity to be assessed. But what if the assessment came back saying that an individual didn’t have the aptitude or wasn’t eligible? What if people chose not to take the assessment, even if the company wanted them to? 

The company needed help figuring out how to keep people motivated, fully engaged, and growing as they progressed in their careers. They needed a way to train their current leaders on how to have pre-assessment conversations so that the opportunity was equitable and the right people were getting into the pipeline. Further, leaders needed to be able to navigate potentially volatile post-assessment conversations to help people think through the long-term implications of their assessment—all while maintaining or regaining trust. 

The Blueline Solution

The company’s need was urgent, so they turned to Blueline to design and produce an immersive synchronous, team-driven discovery experience in about 10 weeks. We needed to help leaders navigate tricky conversations and ensure the right people were filling the leadership pipeline.

Our solution was to develop an immersive, scenario-based simulation to help supervisors develop the skills and confidence necessary for effective pre-and post- talent assessment development planning conversations with employees.

We started the engagement with our Voice of the Business (VotB) process. We interviewed roughly a dozen subject matter experts one-on-one and conducted a few small focus groups to identify a broad range of increasingly challenging scenarios. In each case, we challenged Subject Matter Experts to identify best practices and likely common failure points. This process allowed us to clearly identify the storyline, individual scenarios, learning objectives, and scorecard metrics.

We went on to design and deliver a flexible scenario simulation comprised of eight distinct scenarios that model the progressively difficult career coaching challenges leaders face. A live leaderboard and a team-driven learning model encouraged collaborative engagement.

Navigating a mid-project pivot

Halfway through our engagement, the Covid-19 pandemic hit. The project was still a priority, as enthusiasm and support for the process grew. The added challenge was how to create an authentic, team-based learning experience for a newly remote workforce.

Our entire design was originally an in-person event, but we were able to easily pivot to remote deliveries—first at a small scale, then at a larger scale with over 100 people per session.

We needed to make the experience just as compelling virtually as it would be when delivered on-site. An important element of this was adapting the live leaderboard to be accessible in real-time to individual teams. We also added a feature to our design and delivery platform that enables the facilitator to tailor the simulation in advance, or even make changes on the fly.

The Result

We knew we had done our job right when we heard:

“This has been the best learning experience I have had in my career.”

Although the pandemic pushed the project into the online world, the virtual, team-based design delivered a powerful experience. Senior leaders could share their wisdom from past experiences, while junior leaders brought a fresh perspective to complex interpersonal situations—conversations that had never happened before.

This project was the first of roughly a dozen different simulations created for this client using Blueline’s ExperienceBUILDERTM digital design and delivery platform. The company has subsequently taken advantage of our ability to deliver the simulations in multiple languages simultaneously. Several of these simulations have been translated into 10 languages and are being used by our clients around the globe.

See More Showcases

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