Solid support… when you’re drilling for new talent.


What was the brief from Van Oord?
‘We would like an internationally mixed, talented group of people to grow in leadership skills. Could you help us design an effective approach for our Junior Leadership Programme (JLP)?

What were the key features of the context?
Van Oord has a well-established reputation in the world of hydraulic engineering, dredging, port construction and land reclamation. Offshore Wind has become one of its new core activities. A good illustration is the construction of Gemini Offshore Wind Park, which plays a key role in achieving the environmental objectives set out in the Dutch government’s Energy Agreement. Van Oord employs many highly qualified professionals, especially engineers, from a range of different countries.

How did Innova achieve the desired change?

  • Leadership is something you learn by creating change in the workplace. That’s why Innova’s motto for the JLP was ‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating.’
  • Right at the start, every participant was asked to present a proposal for improving their organisation. It had to involve several business units or partnerships outside Van Oord. This guaranteed the social complexity necessary for putting leadership talent to the test.
  • Innova’s 9-month programme featured two sets of workshops. In between, the junior leaders received online peer supervision in small groups and individual coaching on business models and skills. We focused on developing the junior leaders and moving their projects ahead. So our input sessions also functioned as work in progress.
  • The junior leaders rounded off their programme with a ‘harvest meeting’ where all the participants from the market rounds presented their projects to the management and representatives of the board.

What has changed?

  • At the end of the programme, the junior leaders had gone up an average of one point on the 5-point leadership development scale.
  • In about 50% of the projects, it is possible to calculate the financial yield or savings in advance. Eve, our investment costs in the programme have been amply offset by the financial benefits.

‘Innova is an experienced and committed partner, strongly focused on our primary processes and committed to sound learning. Johan and Marret are enthusiastic and dedicated. Our participants experienced this through the personal support they received, which in our opinion boosts the quality and effectiveness of the programme for our young professionals. Every year the programme is strongly focused on our primary processes and committed to sound learning.’

Saskia van ’t Hof-LooijeLearning & Development Manager, Van Oord Marine Ingenuity