Case Study: Developing a high-performance culture at Dudley Building Society

ByHanover Team
Posting date: 15 June 2022

Lumina Award Winners Case Study

Hanover has partnered with Dudley Building Society to assess and develop leaders and teams to increase engagement, create a robust succession plan, and develop a high-performance culture. We defined leadership behaviours, profiled the Board and Executive team using Lumina Spark and in-depth behavioural interviews, and delivered a bespoke leadership and team development programme with Lumina Spark at its core. The resulting quantitative and qualitative insights, including personalised development plans and an in-depth exploration of team dynamics, has enabled participants to demonstrate a measurable increase in their performance and impact.

The challenge

Hanover engaged with key stakeholders at Dudley Building Society who had identified that the next step in developing a high-performance culture was to focus on their leadership. The CEO and Chair of Dudley recognised the need for leadership development and a robust succession plan for Executive roles.

The Society’s goals were:

  • Benchmark leadership against a broader Financial Services standard
  • Create tailored development plans for each non-executives and executive
  • Produce a measurable output as a baseline for development
  • Strengthen self-awareness and impact
  • Engage and retain senior leaders

Our approach

Hanover and Dudley worked in partnership through a 7-stage process:

Stage 1 – Understand Dudley

We worked with the CEO, Chair and Head of HR to:

  • Agree objectives and scope
  • Understand the people and culture
  • Agree definitions for ‘talent’ and ‘potential’
  • Co-create participant communications


Stage 2 – Define leadership expectations

We brought context information from stakeholder interviews together and used our expertise to define the 7 most critical leadership behaviours for the Society. These were refined whilst ensuring the language reflected the brand.

Stage 3 – Participant Communications

Following a meeting with the Chair or CEO, participants received information about the purpose of the process and the steps. This also introduced Lumina Spark and the benefits.

Stage 4 – Benchmark leaders

Participants completed their Spark profile to provide insights into their values, behaviours and motivation. This was followed by a 3 hour behavioural leadership assessment with a Hanover consultant. Common feedback was that time went quickly and it felt enjoyable. Insights from each assessment were cross-referenced with Lumina Spark reports.

Stage 5 - Individual feedback & coaching

Each leader received Lumina Spark and leadership development reports before a 1:1 feedback session. The purpose was to:

  • share their Lumina personality feedback in the context of their role and ambitions
  • explore strengths and development priorities and agree an action plan
  • build rapport ahead of the first team workshop
  • listen to their views on what’s working and not working in the team

This process created clarity and further buy-in from participants whilst engaging them in the team’s individual and collective development.

Stage 6 – Composite Insights & stakeholder feedback

The Chair, CEO and Head of HR received comprehensive composite feedback, thereby:

  • translating something intangible – ‘leadership’ – into data
  • enabling individual and collective strengths and development priorities to be identified
  • mapping personality to give a view of diversity and collective strengths and gaps
  • informing targeted development
  • ensuring best use of the Society’s development budget
  • demonstrating rigour to the Regulator

We used these insights to design and deliver a development programme based on the Hanover Team Development Journey:

Stage 7 – Team workshops

Dudley wanted to capitalise on the individual development completed and bring it into a team context. Hanover was invited to design and facilitate a series of engaging team workshops for the Board and Executive team respectively. They explored team dynamics in detail using Lumina data in the context of real business challenges. This included more in-depth manual analysis by Hanover. Some of the workshops were adapted and delivered online. Quarterly workshops helped to ensure accountability and long-term progress.


Feedback has been hugely positive: “Many financial services businesses have struggled to properly assess objectively the breadth of their skills matrix at board level and our work has given us new insights at both an executive and non-executive level. This is enabling us to better seek out and fill skills gaps beyond the usual knowledge and competency-based approach and into one which includes behavioural skills.” – Chair 

“I am looking forward to working with Hanover again. I have referred to my previous assessment output constantly over the last year as I moved into my next role so am very keen on this next step to measure progress and refine ongoing focus” – Executive Leader 

We developed a strong partnership with Dudley and went on to deliver further work with them including:

  • Coaching multiple leaders
  • Delivering assessments for selection and onboarding
  • Providing assessments, advice and challenge to the Board whilst selecting a new CEO

Hanover recently reassessed Executive team members 18 months on from their original benchmarking. The purpose was to measure leadership development progress and behaviour change. Through new assessments, again cross-referenced with Lumina Spark profiles, new evidence was analysed and updated priorities identified.  

The results were extremely positive. Every participant increased their leadership ratings in at least one area.

If you want to learn more about how you can develop a high-performance culture at your company, don't hesitate to get in touch with our leadership development experts. 

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