• Organisation: New Zealand Post Group
  • Programme Participants: 470 Team Leaders
  • Location: Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch
  • Core Business: New Zealand Post Group consists of a range of businesses providing communication and business solutions. From the core mail business through to banking and digital solutions
  • Opportunity: To deliver a development programme for their frontline and mid-tier leaders to support them to lead their teams through huge organisational transformation

A bit of Background

To remain competitive in a rapidly changing industry where mail volumes were declining every year, New Zealand Post needed to focused on evolving its products and services while remaining true to its core business of helping its customers communicate and do business. This meant organisation-wide changes to how they operated and did business.

New Zealand Post recognised that leadership would be the critical success factor in leading the organisation through this transformation.

With over 470 frontline leaders who connected with 5,000 people around them, New Zealand Post identified this group as having a significant influence over their largest proportion of people. Focusing on developing these leaders presented their “biggest bang for buck”. New Zealand Post wanted a sustainable delivery model for such a large population so that it was affordable over a long period of time.

What did we do?

New Zealand Post partnered with Blacksmith to design and deliver Activate, an 11-month development programme for managers and frontline leaders. We recommended a Frontrunner model, similar to a train-the-trainer approach, to ensure the sustainability and cost effectiveness of the programme.

NZ Post ran a formal recruitment process to select high performing, high potential leaders from across the business to be Frontrunners. Forty Activate Frontrunners were certified through a five-day Frontrunner Development Programme to lead the delivery of Activate, including many identified while participating on the programme themselves.

Over the three years Activate ran, more than 400 leaders benefited from the programme. In cohorts of 14-18 leaders, participants took part in 10 workshops over 11 months, including a Foundation Day, eight half-day workshops covering a range of topics such as Self-Awareness, Courageous Conversations, Managing Change and Emotional Resilience, and finishing with a day of celebration to reflect on how far people had come and to create an action plan to maintain their momentum.

What were the results?

Throughout the programme Activate participants saw increases in their engagement scores as well as decreases in customer complaints and loss time injury rates – three of the biggest measures of return on investment for NZ Post.

Activate participants and their Leaders reported evidence of increased confidence, greater self awareness, more innovation and better relationships with their teams. Team Leaders also experienced:

  • More accountability for driving team engagement;
  • Teams working together better both in their own departments and across the entire group; and
  • In one team, performance increased from 68 – 71%, complaints reduced from 11 to 2 and lost time incidents from 5 to 1.

What clients say

Witnessing first-hand the transformations of my frontrunner buddies was the catharsis that was necessary to shine a spotlight on my misconceptions of the people around me. There is so much meta-learning embedded within the workshops that I was completely blind to before my participation

Frontrunner Programme Participant - New Zealand Post

The blend of technology, face to face workshops and coaching and support back in the workplace from their 1-up leaders is really effective

Peter Taylor - Head of Learning & Development - New Zealand Post

The business impact I've seen from the programme is a whole lot of people having a whole lot more confidence taking on the challenges of leadership, it's almost been a sea-change in some of the sites I've visited, it's like going from night to day, its been fantastic

Ashley Smout - Chief Operating Officer, Mail & Communications - New Zealand Post