Development program for middle managers to drive operational efficiency, innovation and performance

Development program for middle managers to drive operational efficiency, innovation and performance


Nous Group partnered with the Australian business of a leading international electronics and systems group serving the defence, aerospace, security and transport markets.

We were engaged to build middle management capability

The organisation engaged Nous to design and deliver a development program for middle managers who lead the technical operations of the business. The organisation needed to build leaders’ capability to drive operational efficiency, innovation and team performance in order to deliver on its global strategic objectives to increase growth and competitiveness.

We conducted a robust consultation and engagement process to understand the organisation’s requirements of operational effectiveness

Nous worked in close partnership with the organisation to co-design a multi-faceted program that emphasises the connection between business operations and people leadership, to deliver greater levels of operational effectiveness and improved business outcomes.

The program supports sustained immersion in capability development and on-the-job application to create lasting improvement in leadership and operational performance. It involves:

  • A diagnostic phase: To assess individual leadership capability using a customised 360° feedback assessment, and business performance using a customised balanced scorecard aligned to strategic priorities.
  • A building phase: A suite of workshops, micro-sessions and coaching to build practical management skills for operational effectiveness and foster a mindset shift to embed critical leadership thinking.
  • A consolidation phase: An immersive simulation consolidates learnings and participants review of individual and business performance against their balanced scorecard and set ongoing focus and metrics with their manager and coach.

The development program has led to a significant increase in operational effectiveness

A comprehensive impact evaluation conducted one year after completion of the program highlighted:

  • Measurable improvement in operational productivity and efficiency: One site increased customer on-time delivery by 15%
  • Greater stakeholder engagement and collaboration: 70% of participants reported increased and maintained skills and knowledge to better engage internal and external stakeholders
  • Improved customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction KPIs for one product increased from ‘Below Expectations’ to ‘Exceeding Expectations’
  • Improved team engagement and performance: 12 months later, over 60% of participants had sustained skills to more effectively and efficiently lead and manage their team

What other organisations can learn:

  • Full engagement of senior leaders and line managers drives accountability for learning application
  • Cross-business connectivity sparks innovation and lifts performance
  • Robust assessment of participant priorities and capabilities is a catalyst for individual action and a benchmark for improvement.