Kao is a global consumer product business with segments catering to beauty-care, prestige cosmetics, and premium skin and hair care products. Kao also offers health care-related products, feminine and baby-care products, fabric and home products including laundry detergents and household cleaners, and chemical development. Its divisions span a wide range of functions, geography, and sectors.

Kao leaders who have been through leadership development programs with the Center for Creative Leadership offer glowing reviews of their experience.

Martin McCarthy, for example — Kao’s VP, REO for Human Capital Development, Americas said that he sees CCL as a valuable partner that understands what Kao needs and helps the company’s leaders figure out how to get there, all while offering a custom-made program “that works uniquely for us.”

“What I think CCL does better in the world than any leadership development organization we’ve worked with is really understand what the client is looking for,” McCarthy said.

It’s not just a general, warm-fuzzy feeling, though. McCarthy cited CCL’s coaching, assessments, confidentiality principles, and more that “give us a unique solution for where we’re trying to go.”

Rebecca Scheidler, Kao’s Senior Director for U.S. Skin Care Marketing, was particularly excited that CCL’s training equipped her with an action plan that she could take back and immediately implement at work.

“Everyone is here to help you to ensure that you have the tools that you need to improve you’re leadership skills,” Scheidler said of the program. “They’re going to be here to deliver feedback to you in a very kind and supportive way… You’re going to walk away with so much more self-awareness, but not just the awareness, but the tools to make you better.”

Scheidler and other leadership development program participants walked away with a deeper understanding of the fact that leadership is something that constantly evolves and adapts. It’s more of a journey than a destination, and the program helped them recognize that while also giving participants actionable items in the short-term.

There are several reasons that CCL’s partnership with Kao has been so successful, but one element is the company’s dedication to the process being a joint partnership, CCL Global Solutions Faculty Al Calarco said.

“The advantage of working with this client is that they’ve seen themselves jointly committed to what we’re trying to do,” he said. “So from the beginning, whether we were determining their business strategy with them, or the leadership interventions we were going to be doing with them, or even during the competency mapping, it really was a partnership from the beginning.”

That partnership offered the ability to customize a leadership solution to Kao’s needs and interests, which included a fitness component.

There are numerous benefits to the partnership between Kao and CCL, but one plus has been the fact that the program is the only place in the organization where leaders are brought together across geography, function, and sector, McCarthy said. That’s added tremendously to the company because people continue to engage across organizational boundaries after attending the program, giving Kao a higher return on the investment and putting the company closer to where it needs to be.

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