The challenge

A senior diversified resource company was in the midst of a long term growth strategy. Having rebounded after the global financial collapse of 2008, the company enjoyed renewed opportunities to expand. Capitalizing on this opportunity meant building, not just its resource assets but also the capacity of its people. The company’s executives believed that in order to fully take advantage of what lay ahead; it would need their people to lead this growth. There was an eagerness to collectively raise the leadership bar within the company.

In addition to a strong desire to further develop the leaders at the company, there was a need to unify a company culture under a single mindset. Over the past decade, the company had grown through strategic mergers and acquisitions to be a collection of resource firms. Any leadership development effort needed to align the corporate culture. The long term success of these efforts would hinge on a united culture moving forward.

Who will step up?
To address the strategic need to build leadership capacity, the company engaged The Refinery to build learning and development programs for leaders at the organization, spanning a critical band of the company’s leadership, from supervisors through to directors. This meant the solution would need to be centred on four key objectives to establish long-term excellence.

Taking action through partnership
The first objective was to ensure current leaders developed the requisite leadership skills to be successful leaders. Identifying that there was a significant number of older managers on route to retire, a skills gap was recognized.

The company also needed to raise the quality of leadership throughout the entire organization by challenging all levels of leaders to step up and increase their skills and competencies. This was to build bench strength and raise the bar on leadership.

The third focus was on providing newly minted future leaders the skills they needed to lead the organization today and into the future.

Bringing the three objectives together, the fourth objective was to create a unified culture and align its operations under one common mindset and set of leadership traits.


How we helped

The Refinery, working closely with the company, designed two programs to address the four objectives.

The first program is designed for supervisors leading frontline staff. In their workshops, cohorts come together to participate in simulations, performance exercises, and guided workshops to develop their business acumen and interpersonal leadership skills. Between workshops, cohorts will participate in individual development exercise, feedback sessions and 1-on-1 coaching with to help put the learning into practice.

I feel I am much more confident in making decisions and dealing with difficult situations. Much time is gained by being able to make these decisions without second guessing – Participant

The second program is geared towards ‘managers of managers’ and meant to occur concurrently with the first program. Sharing many common elements, the content of this ‘managers of managers’ program has been augmented to support the different needs of this management level, while being entirely complimentary to the learning in the first program for supervisors.

Since beginning the programs, the company has seen both measurable and personal accounts of business impact. Over 90% of participants have seen a marked improvement in their leadership as represented by themselves, their staff, peers and their manager. Individually, participants echoed the data in their own outlook and what they see as major improvements in the individuals around them who have completed the program.

Find out more from:



Sergio Montiel


Melody Taylor


April 12, 2016 • in Case Studies
  • At The Refinery, we accelerate development of the leadership you need to achieve your organization’s full potential in a rapidly changing business world.


    Leadership Starts with a Vision
    April 14, 2014 • by The Refinery Leadership Partners • in Strategy


    Our website is getting a major update in Fall 2018 with a fresh new look and exciting content.

    Thank you for your patience, and stay tuned!