David Jones case study

Since 2009, David Jones has partnered with Melbourne Business School-Mt Eliza Executive Education to design and deliver the Senior Executive Leadership Development Program.

The challenge

In 2009, David Jones undertook significant work in developing a succession management plan for the executive group.  As part of this process, they identified a need to develop the leadership skills and capabilities of the next level of leaders, to prepare them to take the organisation forward.

In an increasingly difficult economic climate, it was of particular importance to equip them with the capability to improve organisational results.

The program

MBS-Mt Eliza firstly worked with David Jones to articulate a set of organisation-specific leadership competencies.  These underpinned the creation of a practical program, designed to equip participants with the competencies and behaviours they would need to successfully ‘step up’ into an executive role.

Innovative delivery methods enabled participants to develop new perspectives.  ‘On Trial’ is a simulation designed to get participants to expand their thinking—to look across the whole organisation.  During this simulation, participants took the roles of prosecution, defence and judiciary as the organisation was put on trial on the (deliberately provocative) charge ‘that David Jones will be unable to succeed in the future trading environment’.

The impact

Impact measurement identified the following key program outcomes for participants:
  • Increased confidence in themselves, each other, and David Jones to succeed into the future
  • Development of more sophisticated, adaptive and flexible leadership approaches (which in turn foster increased innovation across the company)
  • Improved whole-company awareness and thinking in decision-making and action

The Leadership Competency framework has also supported validating successor potential and readiness, creating individual development plans, and monitoring development progress on an ongoing basis.