Virtual explorations of the latest thinking in key areas of leadership


Improving the performance of leaders in a globally recognized brand

The Issue

Our customer, a top global player in its market sector with over 100,000 employees, identified a significant gap in the professional development program for senior managers in its sales and revenue management team. Between a broad basic program of management training, and a small number of sponsored ‘mini-MBA’ places, a need was identified for a practical program of strategic innovation and the development of leadership skills. The goal was to provide managers with access to breakthrough thinking and to provide an environment in which they could develop and implement new ideas in their own business areas. A more agile response was needed to a highly competitive and fast-changing marketplace. Managers were to become more empowered to think creatively and challenge established thinking.

The Challenge

The company’s senior managers were spread over five continents. Although the need to work together closely, sharing knowledge and experience, was recognized as central to the success of the program, the logistics and cost were prohibitive. It was recognized from the beginning that the program would need to run over a period of several months in order to provide a realistic timeframe to develop and road-test ideas. Managers were already extremely busy, and an extended training program which took them from their workplace was out of the question. Training budgets were tightening.

The Solution

Illustra designed and delivered a program of four two-hour virtual online coaching sessions. In each, participants worked together in small groups. Coached by our team of leading thinkers, each group was exposed to a curriculum of challenges and thought experiments, with a final goal of designing individual Action Plans that would be peer-reviewed and honed to the needs of the business to innovate. Focusing initially on the area of Strategic Leadership, each participant’s Action Plan – an online interactive document – was available within and outside each coaching session. Participants were encouraged to work on their Plans, and bring them back to the group to share and develop. The best Action Plans would be kept and implemented.


The Illustra Coaching Team, led by Dr. Valerio Pascotto, includes over 40 renowned business and academic leaders, whose role is to engage, inform and challenge. Our leadership coaches include:

  • Professor Jules Goddard and Professor Tony Eccles (Strategic Innovation) – authors of ‘Uncommon Sense and Common Nonsense
  • Professor Nick Obolensky (Leadership) – author of ‘Complex Adaptive Leadership
  • David Hutchens (Organizational Learning) – author of ‘Learning Fables
  • Dr. Felice Tilin (Organizational Behavior and Development) – author of ‘The Interprofessional Health Care Team: Leadership and Development
  • Tim Galwey (Coaching for Excellence) – author of ‘The Inner Game’ series
  • Dr. Rebecca Homkes (Business Strategy) – author of ‘Strategy Execution in the Real World
  • Ray Wang (Mindset and Behavior Change)
  • John Blakey and Ian Day (Leadership) – authors of ‘Challenging Coaching

The Result – 100%!

To date Illustra has delivered four ‘streams’ of the program, and feedback from participants has rated the program at an unprecedented 100% on all measures – program quality, delivery and logistics. Managers from around the world have been able to pool their resources, with live face-to-face access to top business coaches, while working from their own offices or homes. Our customer has access to fully-worked ideas for leadership innovation, developed and supported by its own senior managers. The company is now assessing the feasibility of extending the program to other areas of the company’s management team, and covering other areas of strategic innovation.

What Participants Say

  • “This was an amazing session … good to engage other people in conversation and a very practical way to learn”
  • “This is the best virtual program I have ever attended”
  • “Fantastic course, would highly recommend”
  • “Great experience, very satisfied and looking forward to testing out what I learned in the field – Thank you”
  • “Makes you think and re-think many approaches”