How do you ensure that talent is identified and developed to sustain your company in the future? This was the question young leaders sought to answer on the recent EIIL masterclass ‘Designing the Sustainable Organisation’. For some, the findings were a surprise.

‘I think I will think about my own individual development plan more carefully’ said Miroslav Munzar, Piping Engineer in the Brno, Czech Republic office of CB&I. ‘But the workshop has also helped me to understand my own role and responsibility in the company in relation to development and retention of other talents.’

‘It really is one of the fundamental parts of all senior managers’ responsibility’ said Peter Bathmaker, who with a 35 year career in Shell Chemicals UK, PWC and retail group Kingfisher provides the ‘subject matter expert’ role on the workshop. Now with organizational capability experts and long term EIIL Knowledge Partner BIOSS, Bathmaker explained ‘to most of the participants this is completely new, obviously important, and opens up new vistas in management.’

Till now, most EIIL participants, usually young engineers or natural scientists with five to ten years of experience in chemicals, plastics or engineering companies, have been on the receiving end of, usually HR-driven, annual appraisals and personal development plans. Most are on the EIIL programme to broaden their understanding of business issues in preparation for more senior roles. This workshop certainly helps them to appreciate that as managers they have an active role, not to mention a responsibility to the company, in these processes.

‘I found this a very interesting topic’ said Jeremy Leglise, Strategic Project Manager at Air Liquide, Benelux. ‘The coaches were experienced and very professional. The most useful aspect was to be able to interview four companies [about their approaches to talent management and succession planning]. I think both HR and line managers in my company would benefit from attending this workshop’.

‘We have been running this workshop since the start of EIIL over ten years ago’ said Bathmaker. ‘We always generate a lot of enthusiasm and good feedback (lots of 5/5 ratings!) The last session was no exception.’

As traditional industry struggles to attract young talent, these future leaders are now better equipped to play their part in processes which will help to retain them.