An ambitious, four-year future leaders programme that attracts the very best global talent.

It was a great event: very well organised and very inspirational. The attention to detail, the planning, the thought that had gone into speakers and activities were all superlatively good. The planning was outstanding. The bar has been set very high, and it will be hard enough to equal it.

FLP attendee, BP

The challenge

After thorough analysis of its leadership programmes and transition planning, BP realised that while its graduate scheme was working well, the business wasn't doing enough to bring in high-calibre people from outside BP - that vital infusion of fresh talent and ideas that every world-class organisation needs.

BP gave us a blank piece of paper to start designing its Future Leaders Programme (FLP). We started by creating a profile of who they wanted to hire. What did the perfect candidate look like? What were the minimum entry criteria for these high-achievers? The bar was set high: he or she would need at least five years' experience, have an MBA and be multilingual.

We also helped them be clear on what the FLP structure should look like. Where would these people fit in the business? What would the programme look like which would develop and challenge them, and help BP get the best out of them?

BP then took a road show for the FLP to the best business schools, where it was met with overwhelming demand from the target audience. Offering just 40 places on its first wave of the programme, BP received over 5,000 applications from 30 countries.

Our approach

In practice

Working with BP from the inception of the FLP meant that when those hand-picked 40 people joined the business, we already had their first four years of development mapped out.

The initial approach focused on their personal development, creating bespoke training for each individual, expanding their skillsets and making sure they had the technology they needed to connect with people in the business. We also helped BP design the best ways to bring the whole FLP team together from around the world, virtually and in person.

Everything was planned down to the smallest detail. We kicked everything off in July 2012 with a four-day induction programme for all 40 of the team, along with senior leaders from around the world, which we designed and facilitated to create maximum impact.

First off we helped them to orient themselves in the business they had joined, looking at how BP is structured globally, its strategy and operations. We also helped the team start to think about itself as a real community - and how together they could become a sum greater than their parts.

They met key leaders in the business, not only so they could get to know them, but also learn about how to develop themselves practically in the business. We also helped them develop their personal influencing skills and challenged them to think about the impact they could have as leaders in the business.

Our client was delighted with the launch event and our average feedback from it was over 90% (with 100% being 'far exceeded objectives and expectations'). The programme is still in its infancy but has already created a great internal profile in the business and we're looking forward to seeing the results in BP's business - and its people.

The results

This is a really ambitious and successful world class programme. Being involved in the benchmarking, design and execution has been a real privilege and the '000's of applications from all over the world and high calibre recruits are testament to quality of the programme. We'll read about this in
Harvard Business Review one day.

About BP

BP is one of the world's leading international oil and gas companies, providing its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services and petrochemicals products for everyday items.  View website