Case Study: Personal Leadership Evolution at BASF

The challenge

BASF was looking to organize a leadership training for the senior managers in their organization that would elevate their leadership skills while at the same time uncover points of stress within individuals and how to best deal with them. They were also interested in a way to improve communication at various levels in the organization.

The solution

BASF engaged the Hercules Academy at first for the senior leadership training. Hercules Academy designed a Personal Evolution Program for the leadership team, which involved evaluating everyone’s personality type and whether they were on a path of positive or negative evolution to their best natural personal leadership style. To make this learning more experiential, Hercules Academy took them offsite for a “perfect team” day experiment. Through a variety of teambuilding exercises, the management team discovered a new way of looking at their own leadership style and learned more about the diverse personality types of their peers, which fostered better understanding of why people behaved in a certain way.

BASF teambuilding

BASF acknowledged the value of this program and asked Hercules Academy to continue working with this group. In a second phase, Hercules Academy used a Core Talents assessment to reveal people’s natural talents and working with individual coaching sessions to discover elements of resistance or stress and how to deal with these in a positive way.

This was so successful that the top management decided to repeat a similar exercise for other teams in the organization, this time with a focus on optimizing team communication. Hercules Academy organized a “perfect team” day using a City game where people were grouped in various teams according to their personality types. They completed a number of practical exercises around communication, whereby they discovered their typical communication channel (mind, heart or body) and how they can tap into the other channels to reach an overall more effective communication effect. This made them tune in much more on non-verbal communication and tap into their emotional intelligence.

The results

The discovery of their best personal evolution towards leadership and their natural core talents equipped the leadership team to make better decisions and deal with stress situations in their daily work life. Through the perfect team day, the teams gained a better understanding of the differences in personality types and used this to bring their teamwork and communication to the next level. They especially learned to pay more attention to non-verbal communication and resolve conflicts in a positive way.

Based on the BASF internal satisfaction survey, the events of the Hercules Academy scored 30% higher than all other inspirational team events BASF had ever done.

“ The Hercules Academy organized the most inspiring, fun and helpful team event ever.” – Dirk Tack, senior HR leader BASF

Video BASF Perfect Team day

About BASF

BASF is the largest chemical producer in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The BASF Group comprises subsidiaries and joint ventures in more than 80 countries and operates six integrated production sites and 390 other production sites in Europe, Asia, Australia, Americas and Africa. Its headquarters is located in Ludwigshafen am Rhein (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany). At the end of 2015, the company employed more than 112,000 people, with over 52,800 in Germany alone. In 2015, BASF posted sales of €70.4 billion and income from operations before special items of about €6.7 billion.

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