Wallenius Wilhelmsen is a global logistics and shipping solutions facilitator for cars, trucks, rolling equipment, and breakbulk. The organization’s main purpose is to build sustainable supply chains, imagining new, more efficient solutions for the changing world of mobility and transport on land and sea. Wallenius Wilhelmsen also has an ambitious goal of reaching a zero-emission, full-life-cycle supply chain for vehicles.
In 2016, the organization identified an opportunity to further invest in its greatest asset—its top talent—to grow the company and take a step closer to reaching its strategic initiatives.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen at a glance
- Over 8,200 employees
- Offices located in 29 countries cross the world
- 128 vessels servicing 15 trade routes to 6 continents
- Eliminate siloes, and create stronger cross-functional collaboration across global teams
- Contribute to the organization’s succession plan, and build better leaders faster.
- Put the organization in a position to achieve the goal of leading the industry in sustainability.
- Remove gaps in leadership development.
- Strengthen leadership talent below the executive level, and develop a portfolio of top talent ready to propel the organization forward.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen wanted to find an external organization to bring its vision to life and develop a program that answered its unique challenges. The company chose to partner with Bluepoint because of its ability to design and deliver a leadership experience focused on helping its leaders tap into their natural talents, increase self-awareness, and become their best selves. Bluepoint created a custom leadership development program (LDP) for Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s top performers, with the overall goal of walking away with a better understanding of how to anticipate and drive change, collaborate as one, and lead and grow others, as well as themselves. This program was intentionally designed to strengthen the organization’s global portfolio of leadership talent. The organization isn’t steering its high performers toward specific roles; rather it’s focused on developing leaders who could step into several different roles in the future, as well as diversify the source of talent for those roles.
The LDP program was also designed to support the end-to-end supply chain strategy by breaking down siloes within the organization. Through an integrated approach of cross-functional, global cohorts, leaders are able to align their leadership approaches and philosophies. It also serves as a powerful tool to strengthen and build relationships that might not have been established without the program’s existence.
We were looking for an extraordinary special development program for our leaders to help to carry this organization forward into the future,” – said Jill
Personalized branding and design
To achieve Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s specific program goals, Bluepoint not only designed a program that weaved organizational values and strategic learning objectives into the content but also customized it with branded colors and imagery aligned with the industry.
The custom blended learning program commenced with a virtual kick-off session to build excitement, set expectations, and equip managers with appropriate details. Bluepoint then used a 360 assessment to obtain feedback from multiple individuals who work with the participants. The goal of the 360 was to determine areas for improvement and create a baseline to measure growth while providing a valuable source of self-awareness.
From there, Bluepoint delivered a mix of in-person and virtual workshops over the course of the program. Participants gathered for two 3-day, in person workshops. The first group of in-person sessions focused on helping participants lead and grow themselves more effectively, and the second group was centered on preparing participants to lead and grow others successfully. In between sessions, participants gathered virtually for three separate workshops. Topics were chosen based on current business challenges and leadership growth opportunities.
Additionally, the LDP incorporated learning application trios. These interactive, small-group sessions are designed to help participants engage in coach-like conversations and challenge each other to keep their development commitments. The cohort was divided into diverse groups to encourage the formation of new relationships and share a wide range of personal experiences.
To further support participants on their development journey, each participant also worked with a Bluepoint leadership coach for four coaching sessions. They were encouraged to take full advantage of this opportunity to explore how best to apply the most critical learnings from each workshop. To further reinforce learning, micro-eLearning programs were offered following both in-person workshops. Participants received a series of short, strategically designed lessons to deepen their understanding of the concepts and practices covered during the workshops, reflect on their current leadership practices, and implement new behaviors at work.
We really valued how responsive and flexible Bluepoint was, as well as the breadth of content that could be customized to our organizational
needs,” said Helen
Impact and adoption
The feedback from participants of the LDP was overwhelmingly positive. Even before the program was completed, leaders communicated they were shocked by how inspirational the program was. Rather than being the traditional, straight-out-of-a-textbook experience they assumed it would be, they were surprised at how unique and transformational the experience was in building their self awareness and personal leadership capabilities.
The enthusiasm for the program was so strong that Wallenius Wilhelmsen and Bluepoint even needed to increase the cohort group size going forward to accommodate more employees and the growing interest in the program. Senior leaders and the top executive team at Wallenius Wilhelmsen also continue to proudly endorse the program by welcoming new participants to the LDP. The CEO and CFO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen have also personally addressed the group and offered their support for the program.
In tracking the careers of the LDP graduates, Wallenius Wilhelmsen has promoted or expanded the role of:
- 70% of the participants in the 2018–2019 cohort
- 41% of the participants in the 2020–2021 cohort
In addition to substantial quantitative results, the connections and relationships that were built cross functionally and globally have been priceless to Wallenius Wilhelmsen. Leaders established cohesive long-lasting relationships with their colleagues due to their shared transformational experience, from which they can continually lean on throughout their careers for support and advice. Wallenius Wilhelmsen and Bluepoint continue to work together to update the program for future cohorts, with the continuous goal of creating a dynamic program to develop well-equipped and agile leaders.
I love that the program is flexible enough to change focus and be on point with what’s happening now. Looking forward we want to include themes of inclusive leadership, leading in a virtual or hybrid environment, and on DEI,” said Helen