Business-related challenges blended with personal growth for an international audience

Business-related challenges blended with personal growth

A creative, solid and inspiring relationship from the start between Alstom and De Baak has resulted in the co-design and deployment of more than just a leadership development program. It has proven to be a unique opportunity for a creative collaboration that has linked, blended and enhanced the business-related challenges with personal growth of everyone involved.


Operating in high growth markets

Alstom has a long tradition in the academic and cognitive development of its leaders. Faced with a shift in the business potential, and anticipating the growth in the BRIC countries, Alstom chose De Baak to design a Leadership Development program for its highly talented managers. It includes a special focus on the global aspects and involves some of their people working in these countries. The program is designed to support its participants with experiences and tools to develop their competences and become effective all-round leaders at an international level.

Three key leadership processes

The design is based on guiding principles, all converging around three key leadership processes:

  • Developing self
  • Supporting others (teams)
  • Expanding the business (dealing with change, transitions)

The program focuses on the following managerial competences:

  • The ability to take decisions
  • Resilience
  • Motivating and inspiring
  • Continuously managing and empowering people
  • Generating creative approaches by the business
  • Relating behavior with business challenges

This unique Leadership Journey also refers continuously to the 4 Leadership Dimensions and their Attributes as selected and implemented by Alstom since 2015: Entrepreneurship, Collaboration, Agility and Global Vision.


Learning Flow

De Baak uses a number of interactive learning methods. In this way, participants are continuously confronted with the experience-oriented learning cycle: doing, reflecting, thinking, experimenting and doing. It is a process of acceleration and deceleration, divergence and convergence.

The results

Participants from Asia Pacific, India, America, and Europe are brought together for the whole duration of the program.
International coaches/facilitators and Alstom-speakers co-facilitate the program.
The first module of each cycle is held at the De Baak campus in Driebergen, offering the participants with surroundings that enhance exchanges, sharing and stimulate learning by actively committing to the journey. Module 2 is organized in a country that offers a unique experience to many participants as it will offer them the opportunity to discover the richness of another culture.
Finally, Module 3 is held near Paris, allowing for the higher level of Alstom’s management to attend the final presentations prepared by the participants.

The results, so far, are:

  1. Self-awareness: Participants realize how seeking for and delivering feedback is valuable. And how it supports them to discover how others perceive them. They also realize that they are more creative and effective when they work and share with others instead of working ‘alone’ or in isolation.
  2. Team dynamics: It is splendid opportunity for people from countries as well as different business units within Alstom, to meet, be curious about and get to know different cultures, ways of working, approaches to the business better.
  3. Action Learning: Participants have to define, design, develop and present a project linked to a part of Alstom’s business that they are not familiar with. The presentations to the highest level of management have thus far led to serious discussions about a few new concepts.
  4. Visibility: All involved (including HR, Talent Development and the higher level of management) meet at regular times in a such way that it allows for authentic visibility of everyone’s potential.
  5. Networking: Participants are given various opportunities to meet managers (N+2 and higher) and discuss openly about their ambitions and expectations.
  6. Life-work balance: Reflection and discussion about the balance between Being and Doing lead to rich exchanges and inspirational life lessons. Linking the outcome of the experiences shared with the daily business has proven to be very effective for all involved.


An eye-opening opportunity

“Working with De Baak is a pleasure – we collaborate with very professional consultants, who have shared experiences and market intelligence so it is also for us, at management level, a strong ‘eye-opening’ opportunity.” –
VP Global Leadership, Alstom

Company background

Alstom is a world leader in integrated transport systems.
As a promoter of sustainable mobility, Alstom develops and markets systems, equipment and services for the transport sector.
Alstom offers a complete range of solutions (from high-speed trains to metros, tramways and e-buses), passenger solutions, customized services (maintenance, modernization), infrastructure, signalling and digital mobility solutions.
The company recorded sales of €7.3 billion and booked €10.0 billion of orders in the 2016/17 fiscal year. Headquartered in France, Alstom is present in over 60 countries and employs 32,800 people.


If you have any questions regarding this reference case, please feel free to contact us.

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