Accelerating Leadership for an Accelerated World


In an increasingly complicated world, how can large organizations ensure their leaders have the support they need to meet new and complex challenges? As part of their CEO’s 2017 strategic review, Lloyds Banking Group was tasked with building a solution for just that. Lloyds has long had a strong learning and development culture that promoted building skillsets for the future. Still, as the financial landscape rapidly evolved, they needed to accelerate the development of their leaders.

With approximately 70,000 employees and an organizational charter to help Britain prosper, this was no small challenge. Sharon Hutchinson, a senior HR manager, was part of a team that built and executed an internal research project, called “Leading and Managing People.” Its charter was to understand the line-manager journey, as it stands today and what it would need to look like in the future. After speaking with over 300 managers via surveys, diary studies, focus groups, and in–depth interviews as well as reviewing learning from external organizations (Netflix, Standard Charter Bank, Accenture and others), Hutchinson and team identified the key factors needed to make this successful.

Though it can sometimes be tough to face the truth when it isn’t all positive, Lloyds embraced the research with an open mind. They quickly realized that too many of their managers felt unsupported by the organization and overwhelmed by the multitude of processes. In short, they learned that the role of a manager in the year 2020 is increasingly complex; the pace is accelerated, the challenges are robust and the responsibility is great. Without an overhaul of the leadership development program, managers wouldn’t have the time to engage in important developmental conversations or give the proper attention to coaching and up-skilling their teams.

With a clear charter ahead of them, Hutchinson created a team of diverse stakeholders to storyboard the ideal leadership development platform and got to work. They mapped out the key elements needed to up-skill new managers and re-skill experienced ones, all with a keen eye toward the user experience. Many meetings, workshops, recordings, editing sessions, and more editing sessions later, the team built their Leadership and Management Accelerator (LaMa). The Accelerator is an online learning program that builds foundational level leadership skills, across ten interactive modules that cover topics from “emotionally intelligent leadership” to “leading with an agile and digital mindset” and everything in between. Leaders complete a skills assessment at the start and the end of the program so that they can track their progress and understand areas for further development. Once leaders complete the curriculum, they join a virtual classroom where the learning is consolidated and they connect with other leaders in the organization. They are then signposted to the leadership hub so they can continue learning.

Though the LaMa just launched in March of 2020, the Learning & Development team is already seeing signs of an impactful solution. Early data shows leaders are reporting a 30% skills uplift. Over 5000 modules have already been accessed and 83% of modules started were completed. The team has received numerous notes of positive feedback on the engaging content, the pacing of the program and the thought-provoking nature of the modules.

In an accelerated world, Lloyds has been able to stand out by accelerating their leadership development.

“The most important impact of the Leadership and Management Accelerator will be a more engaged workforce. We will become an even more human-centered, inclusive culture.”

Sharon Hutchinson

Senior HR Manager,
Management & Leadership Development,
Lloyds Banking Group.