Case Study - Creating a Department Development Centre

A leading professional services firm approached us with a big question: “How do we test whether our Directors are ready to be made a Partner?”  Our client had recognised that their existing interview and assessment process sometimes saw candidates promoted too soon. The result was Partners feeling out of their depth and, on occasion, this had inadvertently caused reputational damage.

RPfT recognised that the Partners of the future needed to be adept at dealing with multiple challenging situations simultaneously. Together with another external consultancy, we worked to develop an experience that put candidates through their paces in a safe, measurable, observable, and consistent way. The result was a highly experiential development centre heavily reliant on highly skilled business actors portraying very senior clients and leaders.

The training hinged on bringing a complex case-study to life with various internal and external obstacles to negotiate. These included:

  • An under-performing technical expert
  • A demanding client apportioning blame
  • A disgruntled manager
  • A board member requesting an ‘off the record’ chat

Our job was to make the experience authentic, credible, and consistent – thus providing the key evidence required for the observing professionals to make their recommendations for development and/or promotion.

RPfT invests in a core team to play these very senior client characters at C-level with authority and credibility. The return on this investment for our client is demonstrated by the fact that this long term recurring programme, each year evolving further to keep it up-to-date and relevant.