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Home > News > May 2004 > 13-May-2004

Development helps improve the flow of leadership at Saint-Gobain Pipelines

Saint-Gobain Pipelines is aiming to improve its competitiveness and foster greater cross-functional working by running a five-day leadership programme for its ‘high flyer’ managers. Executive education specialist Roffey Park is delivering the modular programme, which aims to develop the company’s top five senior management competencies.

Saint-Gobain Pipelines is targeting the programme at managers, aged under 35, who have the potential to be heads of functions or even general managers in the future.

"We have seven geographically-spread locations and we wanted to bring people together to help them network with each other, so they could see a commonality between themselves and what they’re doing in the business," said John Hool, HR Director at Saint-Gobain Pipelines. "The programme develops the key competencies of vision, leadership, organisational awareness, motivating and developing others and achievement orientation."

Following discussions with three development providers, the company commissioned Roffey Park to design and deliver the programme.

"In the people management arena, Roffey Park has an unrivalled reputation for experiential development and that was a big attraction," said John Hool. "They didn’t offer just business school, analytical thinking. They gave us confidence that they could also help people implement behavioural change."

Roffey Park worked closely with Saint-Gobain Pipelines to create the modular programme. Called the Leadership Development Programme, it is delivered in-house at Saint-Gobain Pipelines’ business centre in Ilkeston, Derbyshire. So far, 30 managers, in two cohorts, have taken part.

The programme starts with a two-day module covering leadership, strategy and strategic planning. This is followed three-four weeks later with a three-day module covering issues such as performance management, motivation and managing change.

"The participants are all dealing with demanding, highly variable situations in their day-to-day jobs," said John Hool. "This programme gives them a toolkit of skills to help them handle complex people management situations. It also gives them a greater insight into how their sphere of operation fits within the widerwhole of the organisation."

Saint-Gobain Pipelines plans to run the programme again for a third cohort of new managers, who are either new to the organisation or who have recently been promoted to a managerial level.

"The leadership programme is now a fundamental part of enhancing the competence, energy, capability and flexibility of the management team," said John Hool.

Saint-Gobain Pipelines provides iron pipes, fittings, valves, manhole covers, gullies and gratings to the water and sewerage, telecommunications, highways, civil engineering, construction and housing sectors. With 1,500 staff in seven sites
across the UK and Ireland, the company has a £150m turnover and is part of the global £18bn Saint-Gobain Group, which operates in 46 countries and employs 170,000 people.

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