Creating global excellence by making people and opportunities visible
CREATING KNOWLEDGE GROWTH THROUGHOUT THE ORGANISATION
The first group have completed Stena’s leadership program. “It is extremely inspiring when so many people participate in the program at the same time and this will quite clearly result in higher quality”, says Johan Edelman, Route Onboard Service Manager Germany.
EVA HANSDOTTER, HR DIRECTOR, STENA, who developed and is responsible for the leadership program, is very satisfied with the outcome so far. A total of 120 managers and specialists at Stena AB will attend the leadership program and the first group of 20 participants has now completed the program. A further two groups have completed the first module, the others will begin in August and September and in November, all the participants will have completed the module. Parallel with this, an additional leadership program, planned to be introduced in 2016, is under development. This program will reach more groups and is based on the same principles.
“The leadership program is pretty tough and is based on “learning by doing”, but all the participants have tackled the challenge with great energy and creativity and have not backed off from anything, and as a result they have achieved impressive results. This combined with the fact that the participants have such widely differing expertise, experience and mindsets, means that no program is the same and that a great dynamic is created”, says Eva Hansdotter.
One of the participants in the first leadership program was Johan Edelman, who is responsible for onboard service on the five ships sailing between Sweden and Germany. He joined Stena Line at the end of the 1980s and worked first in the restaurants on board. At the end of the 1990s, he attended an executive development program after which he worked as a restaurant manager. This was followed by four years at Stena IT, a period spent as a OBS Manager on Scandline’s Trelleborg and then as onboard service manager for the Skåne and the Trelleborg.
“When the Stena Germanica was new, I was asked if I wanted to be the OBS manager here. The Stena Scandinavica arrived a year later and I was made manager of both ships. And in March last year I was made responsible for onboard service for all the ships sailing to and from Germany”, says Johan Edelman.
He had previously attended several other management training programs, but he thinks that the recently completed leadership program stands out in a positive way.
“I had high expectations before the course, not least because it involved so many people in the group. And these expectations have indeed been satisfied – something that was surprising and very refreshing was that the program was so business oriented”, says Johan.
The fact that leadership is linked to business benefits is something he mentions several times.
“When one talks about leadership, there’s always a bit of a risk of platitudes, but not so here. Together, we were given well-defined business cases to work on, but outside our own field of activity. At the same time as this forced us out of our own comfort zones, it also became clear that there are many universal aspects of leadership that are important”, Johan points out.
The second module focused more on individual leadership, with self-reflection as a particularly important ingredient.
“To be successful as a manager and leader, you have to be able to reflect on yourself critically. Even if I think that many people already do this, it’s useful to be reminded about how important it is to analyse both mistakes and success in order to learn lessons from them. This is also something I’ll be passing on to my co-workers to an even greater degree”, says Johan.
He thinks that the leadership program will have many positive effects. Partly, it is a question of overall knowledge growth that will have a large impact when so many people participate and are provided with a common platform to start from. Additionally a larger overall picture and network are created that stretch beyond one’s own field of activity.
“Networking during the program was extremely important. Even if you know how large Stena is, you’re still surprised at the breadth existing in the company and it has been very rewarding to meet and talk with colleagues in other business activities”, says Johan.
Personally, he thinks that the program has already resulted in him altering certain parts of his leadership, among other things, when it comes to responsibility and authority for the people under him.
“I think I’ve become more aware of how important it is to show where we are going, but also to let them choose their own path to get there. My role has both operational and strategic aspects, but the program has resulted in me shifting my focus towards the strategic aspect”, says Johan.
SIX IMPORTANT ASPECTS TO EMPHASISE AS REGARDS THE LEADERSHIP PROGRAM
- The program represents knowledge growth both for the individuals participating and for Stena
- Credit to a fantastically well-designed program, which has been completely tailor-made for Stena’s business activities and needs
- An important success factor is that so many people can participate in the program – this will have a major impact throughout the organisation
- Self-reflection is an important ingredient of success as a leader
- Leadership is not an end in itself, it must always be placed in a commercial context
- Networking in and between different business activities at Stena is very important
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