Creating synergies across different levels of management and tapping into high potentials

Damen Shipyards | Client case | EN


"In 2010 Arnout Damen, a third generation leader of Damen Shipyardslaunched a focus on more synergy between the 32 shipyards that form thecompany. Up until a few years before that the shipyards have worked ontheir own and there were no tangible benefits to being such an internationalcompany. The new global HR director realised that the current leaders grewwithin one part of the company which made identifying the future leaderschallenging.The company had no leadership programme or infrastructure in place at thetime. In order to create and accelerate the synergy, the leaders needed tohave more exposure to the company’s international environment. Aframework needed to be developed, and a partner was needed that couldcome in and deliver fast results."


"The Global HR director had worked with Krauthammer before and knew how Krauthammer could help him achieve this objective.Together, the leadership development programme was designed. It provedto be a rolling target requiring a lot of flexibility and learning-on-the-go.High Potential candidates were identified from several shipyards in thecompany who were approximately 2-3 years with Damen. Not only thesefuture leaders were trained, their managers were also given attention inorder to coach them and accompany them through the process. The ideawas not only to raise the quality of the work and grow talent internally butalso for managers to identify, to know and meet that talent. At the beginningof the programme the managers and high potentials could informallyexchange on their idea of leadership. This has been a major change andwhen the leaders met for the first time they were addressed by ArnoutDamen who expressed his vision and everybody could feel the support ofthe senior management.The final programme for the high potentials was a programme of a year withfour topics and a strategic challenge. The topics were personal leadership,working in a (project) team, connective leadership, influencing and A very important element of the training was that it contained a strategicpart. The training participants had to develop innovative solutions forstrategic challenges the board had identified in the company. During theclosure of the programme the participants had to present their solutions tothe board members.negotiation."


"The voices about the programme have been very positive. This was the firsttime within Damen Shipyards that the board was involved with youngleaders. Also, the learning and development has gained traction in thecompany and it started right at the basis (young potentials) and could growthrough the company in the future.Bringing the strategic challenges to the programme has helped to findinnovative solutions. As the participants were trained in presenting theircase well and communities were created around various topics this createda large impact and awareness in the organisation.Many parts of the programme have been very new for Damen and a culturalshift, yet proven to be key for a successful continuation. For example, theinformal exchanges on leadership or the CEO of the company and the boardbeing actively involved in the programme. And it goes much further:Nowadays the alumni of the programme are in different positions around thecompany and are now identifying the future potentials too. “Working withKrauthammer and especially the account manager has been the key to thesuccess of the programme. There was a sharp head start due to theknowledge and experienceAt the moment the alumni group has approximately 70 young potentials,who moved to other positions or are asked to work on different strategicprojects happening in the company. They are also easily identified by themanagement. Damen Shipyards continued to develop its potential furtherthrough various programmes that build on this foundation."

Contact us

To find out how we can help create customised solutions for your team and organisation.