Under the leadership of CEO Colin Robertson, Alexander Dennis Ltd have enjoyed a sustained period of growth and profitability. The business now has a turnover of over £0.5 billion and has established itself as the leading UK bus manufacturer, employing over 2,000 people at its plants in Falkirk, Scarborough, Guildford, Skelmersdale and internationally in Australia. Its ambitious strategy has resulted in ADL becoming a major global player with partnerships across the world including China, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Malaysia.
The Leadership Factory started working with ADL in 2009 in order to support the continued growth strategy by creating strong leaders across all areas of the business to drive and enable corporate strategy. Working closely with the HR and Change teams in ADL, The Leadership Factory designed and delivered an on-going programme of leadership development: Leadership for Profitable Growth (LPG). Over 60 senior managers across ADL have participated in the programme since its inception, engaging in intensive sessions covering topics such as strategy, culture, high performance teams and change.
As ADL has grown, The Leadership Factory’s support has developed into other areas and functions of the business, providing management development supervisory support and coaching across the operation. These activities have been a core element of the ADL Operational Excellence program.
The learning that managers have achieved through the workshops and coaching at leadership, management and front line supervisor levels was applied into achieving real change in the workplace. Core to the ethos of the Operational Excellence programme is that change is made ‘sticky’: real change happens in the workplace. Projects now focus on finding practical solutions to problems, new approaches that will reduce costs or improve quality. This is then supported in turn by top management, who play an active role in evaluating the impact of the projects to ensure that the topics are relevant to the overall strategy.
Developing leadership and behaviour skills as part of the LFG programme, in parallel with driving business improvement through its Operational Excellence focus, has meant that ADL have been able make the change stick. The LPG programmes continue to support the on-going changes in ADL with a growing team of high performance leaders in every area of the business. The Operational Excellence journey continues and is helping to deliver sustained business improvement.
Colin Robertson, CEO, is a huge supporter of the leadership development across the business. Listen to his thoughts on leadership and its importance to the business in the video link below: