Senior Leadership Development Programme


Senior Leadership Development Programme

“We had already put in place LEAD Development Centres for our senior leader group, and it was very important to introduce Centres that would work for our large population of Plant Managers across Europe. Cegos have been excellent partners in helping us get the design right, and then in the delivery of lively, action learning based programmes. I have greatly enjoyed seeing our managers have ‘light bulb’ moments!”

Chris Thrush, Group Director, Human Resources

Business need

Berendsen plc is Europe’s leading textile service business. It offers textile provision, cleaning, maintenance and supply services to business customers in 16 countries. In 2012, they introduced their leadership framework model, LEAD – Leadership Effectiveness and Development. The LEAD model identifies the behaviours at Senior Leader and Plant Manager levels that will most effectively contribute to Berendsen’s future success. There are eight key areas of leadership, which are grouped around the three strategic goals of Operational Effectiveness, Customer Focus and Building for Growth. Berendsen approached Cegos to help design LEAD Development Centres to assist the embedding of these behaviours for Plant Managers.


The LEAD Development Centres were created in response to Berendsen’s specific objectives and their particular business market. The challenges and outcomes revolved around the areas of leadership behaviours identified as key to the company’s future success, and were delivered in a way that held ‘real life’ business relevance to the managers taking part. The format involved a LEAD 360 feedback process prior to the event, a two-day interactive development programme using role plays of relevant business situations, feedback during the event, and post-centre feedback in the form of customised development reports for each individual. The business case was devised for a textile service industry context, supported by relevant background materials. The Development Centres focused on the Plant Managers gaining a thorough understanding of the overall business goals, as well as finding a balance between operational effectiveness and the customer viewpoint. Developing the ability to think like a customer, and predict their needs was the fundamental behavioural change expected from the senior leadership development programme.

Observers from Berendsen were on hand throughout to offer coaching and feedback, and the post-centre reports provided to each individual are aimed at furthering their ongoing leadership development.


By creating relevant work-based scenarios, LEAD Development Centres enable managers to focus on the practical ways that the LEAD behaviours apply to their work, their attitude, and their continued development. Delegates found the experience to be intense, challenging, and very successful in encouraging a more customer-centred focus.

The post-centre reports were also especially useful, providing each of the managers with a personalised way of building on what they had learned, including practical tools, actions and support.