Building leadership capability through ‘routines’ at a global mining company

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Building leadership capability through ‘routines’ at a global mining company

Nous Group partnered with a global mining and resources company to shape a new approach to front-line leadership development designed to unlock productivity.


The organisation had a deep and sophisticated understanding of leadership development

Nous was engaged to help extend the organisation’s leadership approach to better enable its front-line middle managers to drive productivity and build strong and committed teams. This was part of a broader agenda to shift leadership culture at all levels, targeting soft (pull) leadership skills, recognising that the workforce was already delivering against hard (push) capabilities.

We focused on existing routines to create a distinctive approach

Internal analysis had identified six ‘routines’ – or typical workplace tasks – that distinguished effective front-line managers. Nous drew from design thinking methodologies and extensive stakeholder engagement to create a program that builds leadership capability through these routines.


Our approach was multifaceted and comprehensive, involving:

  • interviews with front-line leaders from around the world
  • development of personas to represent the target audience
  • workshops to collate a daily timeline of activities, to bring meaning to the capability development
  • robust testing with stakeholders at all levels on a weekly basis
  • development of narratives, media and case boards to communicate ideas in an engaging way
  • engaging and equipping senior leaders across the world to deliver the program.

A robust, tailored design with flex for local deployment and rigour for global consistency

The organisation deployed the program in to over 6,500 employees globally. It was subsequently awarded the prestigious 'Award for Learning and Development’ at the Australian Psychological Society's Workplace Excellence Awards.

The award celebrates achievements and innovation in the application of psychological principles to enhance workplace learning and recognises best practice in organisational psychology.

What other organisations can learn:

  • Context is key to meaningful learning.
  • Using routines to build capability allows people to learn in context – you are not asking them to do anything new, simply to get better at what they are already doing.
  • Leader-led delivery helps drive a cultural shift.

Key people in this project

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