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Marshall Group Leadership Development Programme – “Change the gear hold the values”

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In 2017, we worked with the Marshall Group to design and deliver “Phase 3” of an existing Leadership Development Programme for 25 senior function leaders. This was on the back of a successful pilot leadership development programme we designed and delivered to the Marshall Group in 2016.  Phase 3 consisted of two modules, each lasting three days and with an interim period whereby participants undertook a business challenge – tailored to strategies relating to Marshall aerospace.


Founded in 1909, the Marshall Group is a unique private company which operates worldwide in the fields of Aerospace and Defence; Property; and Ventures. The company’s first involvement in aviation dates back to 1912 when its mechanics helped repair the engine of a British Army airship,  which had made an emergency landing in Cambridge, just behind the Marshall garage. The Group, now headquartered on a 900-acre site, has a turnover of £2.6bn and over 6,300 employees.


A successful consultation session, amongst previous collaboration with Marshall, catered for a precise understanding of the business and their concrete needs, wants and expectations.

Our aim was to adjust a highly-skilled leadership development programme to address some of the new key challenges that Marshall were facing in the business in order to equip leaders with the appropriate toolkit to drive real and measurable transformation towards a winning culture of innovation, collaboration, diversity and mentorship.

The programme focused on:

  • SELF – awareness and development
  • OTHERS – developing high performance teams
  • CONTEXT – culture, change and diversity


Following an application process, 25 successful Marshall Leaders completed short readings prior to the programme to be made conscious of their leadership style and encourage reflection. Each delivered module comprised of a mix of case studies, group discussions, team exercises and mini lectures to deliver the content. This format allowed participants to learn and apply relevant knowledge, skills and tools in a ‘real world’ setting.

Frameworks, such as culture webs, diagnosed the current mindsets at Marshall to unlock and further study how to ingrain a companywide culture of innovation in order for new transformational leadership behaviours to become an instinctive part of Marshall’s DNA. Participants increased their self-awareness through strength and weaknesses analysis by completing a daily personal leadership action plan for growth. This ensured time was allocated for individuals to explore how to apply what they have learnt into their business, teams and everyday life.

Key areas:

  • understand and apply the Design Thinking methodology
  • understand the Change Management model and how to lead change and alignment in their own business
  • understand how to engage people to think independently and be curious
  • create a high performance culture and effectively manage team performance
  • understand effective collaboration to achieve shared goals


7 months on, we conducted a focus group feedback session with the senior leadership team at Marshall which looked at the overall individual experience as a delegate and post programme development.

Participant feedback

What had the most impact on you?

  • Des’ case study and change management were great with practical learning
  • Design Thinking was great and should be mandatory for everyone
  • Moller Online, having all material in one place