National Grid Transco
The situation: Mergers can take a while to bed down. National Grid Transco plc is an international energy delivery business which resulted from the merger of National Grid and Lattice in April 2002. The resulting organization is responsible for multiple large and complex energy delivery systems in their respective markets. Whilst considerable progress has been made in merging cultures and re-engaging the workforce, a major requirement remains. NGT needs to ensure the breadth and depth of leadership available for the future development of the business. This involves both identifying high-potential employees and working with them to build a range leadership skills.
The approach: To meet this need NGT decided to work with the Leading Out Loud program from BlessingWhite. This program provides both the “what to do” and the “how-to” of authentic leadership. It focuses on leadership communication around specific business issues developing the discipline required to craft, clarify and hone leadership messages.
“Leaders have to be great communicators”, says Morgan Chambers, Group Head of Leadership and Development for NGT. “We are aware from our employee survey data that as managers we need to communicate, communicate, communicate,” she says. “But it has to be a two-way dialogue. Whether it is face-to-face, by e-mail or through presentations to staff it has to be about providing them with an opportunity to ask questions about the information, not just telling them.”
Leading Out Loud balances personal reflection and activities to bring clarity to:
- The organization’s vision, values, and direction
- The role of the manager in driving business results and creating an environment in which employees are engaged, contributing fully, and committed
NGT managers work on blending competence (data, cases) as well as connection like personal stories, metaphors, and values. Managers work for the entire session with a ‘real’ business challenge and leave with a plan for ongoing work.
The results: The impact on the way managers communicate has been profound. They are able to craft messages that work whatever the level of employee they are addressing and, as a consequence, their new found authenticity leads to greater credibility as leaders – both now and the future.