CASE STUDY: Building Capable Leaders at Alinta Energy

The need

Prior to March 2011, Alinta Energy was a distressed asset on the verge of administration. With two different owners since that point, and a prolonged period with little development, Alinta needed highly capable leaders who could reshape the culture leading into a period of significant growth.

They called on Modus to help them obtain top quartile engagement results and a vibrant leadership DNA that would be understood & lived by leaders across the business.

The Discovery phase highlighted several key challenges being faced by the leaders:

  • How to lead in a company during a period of significant change and growth 
  • How to break-down organisational silos and enhance collaboration
  • How to manage the performance of others and coach for results

The solution

In year one, a three-tiered leadership solution was developed to meet the specific needs of Alinta Energy People Leaders, Senior Managers and Executive team. Off the back of a Discovery phase, a bespoke program was designed for each to build leadership capability in line with the new Alinta Energy leadership DNA.

Over 12 months 142 People Leaders, 30 Senior Leaders and all 5 Executive Team members participated in a leadership development experience customised to their development needs.

The three programs were Engage, Elevate and Enterprise. Each contained core experiences including off-site training days, pre-work activities, psychometric assessments with take-away frameworks and toolkits. Within each program short hits of training (SHOTs) were delivered to deepen the learning and embed the experience offering an additional point of engagement for the participants.

The multi-tiered solution included frameworks targeting the following areas:

Engage: People Leaders

The first module covered the differences between managing and leading, how to better connect with others using DiSC profiling, and how to create a successful operating rhythm as a leader. During this module, participants signed up for cross-functional business projects to enhance networking and increase the transfer of learning back to their roles.

Module focused on how to lead teams. Foundational areas such as coaching, providing timely feedback and leading others through change were covered. To set participants up for success, we also covered how to form new leadership habits.

Elevate: Senior Leaders

In a similar 2-module format, the Elevate program began with a module on leading self. The focus was on how to create additional value as a General Manager and to build their self-awareness through a 360 diagnostic tool provided by The Leadership Circle. With change leadership being so important in the business, ample time was allocated to refresh on coaching and change leadership principles. 

The second module was more commercial in nature, starting with strategic analysis & option generation. That afternoon, participants moved on to structured thinking & decision making which is so essential for effective senior leadership. The last day of the program centered around how information and important decisions are communicated through the business.

Enterprise: Executive Team

This learning experience for the Executive Team focused on building deep personal insight, executive team building and commercial leadership in VUCA environments. The Executives were invited to complete the Leadership Circle 360 assessment and debrief with Psychologist and course facilitator Ant Williams.

The experience for the Executive team in module one centered around connecting with courage & vulnerability, building an Executive Team charter, organisational design for sustainable growth, and included panel interview with external C-Suite executives. 

In the second module, we focused on commercial topics such as adaptive leadership in a VUCA environment, how to manage complexity through a business simulation, and on defining future ways of working for the business.

Participants described the experiences as highly relevant, valuable, and motivating.

“This is the best course that I have ever done”
“The tasks and lessons learnt will be extremely useful for any manager at any level”
“Some of the best facilitators that I have worked with in my career”


To support the learning outside of the program modules, we offered a series of 6 microlearning SHOTs to all People Leader and General Manager participants. Those attending a program were able to select SHOTs that address their individual development areas. Each SHOT (Short Hit of Training) lasted 90mins and had the following elements:

  • Application activities to encourage deliberate practice in each session
  • Toolkit for the Managers so they could coach the attendees afterwards
  • Online self-paced development tools, templates, frameworks, models, activity guides, video content links & action plan suggestions

The result

“This was the most valuable training session attended to date”
“I feel motivated to make immediate changes”
“How lucky am I to work for an organisation that wants great leaders!”

We look forward to reporting on what return on investment the Alinta Energy business received from this investment in multi-tiered leadership development with us. What we know already is that engagement scores have lifted significantly across the business now that every leader has now gone through a contemporary learning experience. Across the 200 Alinta Energy leaders who attended a program with us, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) was 83 representing a world class score.

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