Client Stories

Danone's mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible.




Harthill's mission is to support Danone through the Transformational Leadership Program

“The Transformational Leadership program brings fresh perspective and depth to the complex issues of leadership and organisational change. It has enriched my capabilities as a senior leader through developing my inquiry skills and ability to step back, gain a wider perspective and cast my area of influence much wider. I actively encourage my reports to attend.”  ‚ÄčSusanne Luick-Nijboer. Vice President France, Africa, Central Europe & Near East

How can leaders and their organisation transform to meet the challenges of rapidly emerging markets and stable mature markets?  

This question led Danone executives to search for a development programme to support them with the multiple and contrasting challenges facing their leaders worldwide.  In close collaboration with Harthill, Danone’s Transformational Leadership Program was born in 2013.  Transformational intelligence lies at the heart of this program. The participants inquire into six capabilities that underpin transformational intelligence.  The program is a deep exploration of these capabilities – enabling leaders to extend current strengths and develop rare ‘post-conventional’ capabilities.  The Six Transformational Intelligence Capabilities:  

* Inquiry based experimentation * Dancing between vision and detail
* Courageous use of power * Positive use of language
* Passionate detachment * Complex systems leadership


Thierry Bonetto (Group Learning and Development Director) comments:  “Transformational intelligence is key to enabling Danone’s leaders to take themselves and the organisation into an unknown future. This program is uniquely powerful in the way it supports leaders to develop these transformational capabilities”.  

The Transformational Leadership program starts with each leader receiving a Leadership Development Profile and coaching debrief – giving them insight into their leadership ‘centre of gravity’ with its strengths and constraints.  A three day workshop follows which explores and develops the key Six Transformational Capabilities. The workshop is delivered through a partnership of Harthill consultants and Danone change agents.  The program continues after the workshop with Action Inquiry groups supporting each individual’s own exploration of the Transformational Intelligences that are relevant to them.  This phase, in which active experimentation occurs, is critical to learning and sustained change. 

Strategic Leadership in Finance

Due to a major period of transformation for Finance, the Finance Board decided to develop a specific training program for Finance Leaders: Strategic Leadership in Finance, which is dedicated to enable leadership capabilities for leaders facing changes.  This program was designed and piloted in partnership and builds on the positively evaluated Transformational Leadership program.

The program is designed to:
•    Enable finance leaders to lead effectively in the new Danone organisation in an increasingly complex and turbulent environment.
•    Support finance leaders to provide increased strategic leadership to the business and to contribute effectively to a ‘business influenced by finance’.
•    Increase self-awareness of what finance leaders can change and develop in themselves and demonstrate strategic leadership on an everyday basis.
•    Enhance the way finance personnel lead, using new skills and practices.

The program commences with participants being profiled using the Leadership Development Framework Profile and consists of two workshops and team work between the workshops to allow for application of learning in the workplace.


Fujitsu Global Organisation Leadership Development programme

Aptly named The GOLD programme, is now in its 7th year with more than 350 graduates from over 20 countries. The programme has been designed and delivered through a close collaboration of Fujitsu Learning and Development and Harthill.

Japanese IT services and manufacturing company Fujitsu employs 170,000 staff worldwide. In 2007 Harthill was invited to design and deliver a global leadership development programme for identified talent in Fujitsu’s International Business. 

Fujitsu have been bold in resourcing this programme – recognising that profound change does not occur overnight or without opportunities to implement new practices. Over a period of ten months participants engage in four modules, each of three days, in different Fujitsu locations across the world. In between modules each participant pursues a personal leadership challenge designed to stretch their leadership capabilities and deliver value to the company.


“The oppotunity to take a step back from personal and professional life, to reset and reassess your goals, perceptions, habits, values,  horizons, skills, experiences and the circumstances you've become conditioned to working within.  The programme drives you to  challenge all these points and create a new paradigm.” David White, Head of Portfolio Marketing, Fujitsu GOLD 2015 Participant

Inquiry Into Leadership

GOLD is unique. It equips leaders with Action Inquiry skills which will enable ongoing learning and development throughout the rest of their professional lives. Harthill does not teach leadership – participants inquire rigorously into leadership and develop capabilities in response to their particular challenges. The core concepts are:

  • Action inquiry  – moving between personal inquiry ('about me'), relational inquiry ('about us') and system inquiry ('about leading the system')
  • Tools which enable the development of deep personal and inter-personal competencies
  • Reflection and mindfulness
  • Insight into power and courage in leadership
  • An understanding of systems dynamics and increased abilities to intervene to lead complex systems

“The impact on Fujitsu is that we now have a global community of leaders within Fujitsu who are empowered to tackle complex business problems and drive change using the tools and techniques that are offered through the GOLD programme."  Kevin Maslin

Benefits for the Organisation

  • Senior participants from around the world work together to explore issues at the heart of operating a complex multi-national, multi-product business
  • Participants learn to become ‘systems leaders’, willing and able to challenge assumptions and behaviours which constrain progress
  • Leadership Challenges lead to projects of direct value to the organisation. At the end of the 2010 Gold programme a defensible value of £18m was attributed to cost saving or revenue earning initiatives that would not have happened without GOLD

“Fantastic course that has changed the way I feel and work significantly already. Amazing in fact. Thank you. Looking forward to more."  Sarah Niblock, Participant