Developing Technical Experts to Transform Results
Wienerberger AG's Success Story
Wienerberger AG, headquartered in Vienna, Austria, is the world’s largest producer of bricks, clay roof tiles, and concrete pavers. With a workforce of over 19,000 employees across Europe, the company has established itself as a leader in the construction materials industry. However, it recognised a need to invest in management development to empower their technical experts and enhance their leadership capabilities.
The Business Challenge
The organisation recognised the significance of its Technical/Subject Matter Experts and acknowledged the need to harness their potential for continuous growth and innovation. The challenge was to design a comprehensive development experience that would give longer-serving experts new perspectives, stimulate their critical thinking, encourage collaboration across countries, and ultimately enable them to leverage their expertise to create a measurable impact.
In response to the challenge, we designed and delivered a bespoke management development programme, under the banner of “Ready4 Expertise”, which brought together technical experts from countries across America, Europe and Asia. The programme aimed to provide individuals with a set of proven, practical thinking frameworks and tools which they could apply to their existing projects.
The focus of the programme enabled participants to first assess the quality of their own thinking and challenge them to think Bigger, Better and Bolder about their personal and professional goals and projects. Central to this was introducing the ability to design ‘High Quality Questions’ which could then be applied to themselves (self-coaching) or with individuals and teams, in projects or meetings in order to enhance effectiveness.
Introduction of the 7 key principles of ‘solution focused thinking’ enabled individuals to diagnose reasons for previous successes and failures with practical tools to address their priority areas. Immediate practical application within the programme was achieved through peer coaching sessions which also strengthened relationships within the cohort.
Each participant was then empowered to create a personal ‘90-day Challenge’ in order to apply the frameworks and tools and ‘make a measurable difference’ in their own worlds.
Participants were invited to share their Challenges with their line managers and senior leaders. This review primarily aimed to educate leaders on the measurable differences made but also to educate leaders on the learning experience of the participants and other tangible benefits which had been realised.
Measurable differences demonstrated significant cost efficiency savings within Wienerberger factories, achieved through 90-day improvement challenges using the 7 proven Go M.A.D.® principles to problem solve, quickly diagnose areas of weakness in projects and get them back on track for greater product/project efficiency.
Team productivity was improved through the practice of asking better questions, which empowered teams to seek solutions, generate possibilities for improvement, and take personal responsibility for implementing these improvements. Ideas were also proposed and accepted which would generate future value, either for individual factories, projects or the company as a whole.
The realisation of cost savings and value ideas ensured that the programme achieved a significant return on investment after just one initial cohort and enabled Wienerberger to commission further programmes. This also enhanced the HR department’s reputation as a smart investor in people which could directly impact operational performance.
Find out more about Weinerberger's transformative journey with Go M.A.D. Thinking
Hear directly from Technical/Subject Matter Experts from across Weinerberger as they share their experience of being part of this transformative programme.