This case study examines the journey of Ultraceuticals in Creating a Brain Friendly Culture with the i4 Methodology across the organisation to develop leaders and drive performance. Ultraceuticals is a privately owned, award winning Australian Company and leader in the Australian cosmeceuticals market.
Ultraceuticals has experienced significant growth in the past 3 years. Both revenue and headcount have doubled and the business is on a trajectory of continued rapid growth, including international expansions, in the next 5 years.
The CEO, Olivier Duvillard and founder Dr Geoffrey Heber, were aware that the growing executive team needed to examine and build their leadership capability to effectively plan for and achieve the growth and the accompanying challenges in managing their teams across functions and geographical areas.
In April 2015, the decision was made to embark on a leadership development program. Both the CEO and Founder had been exposed to the various common leadership models and tools in their careers.
Criteria & Decision Making Process
- Must be relevant to the 21st Century business climate and contemporary global/flexible/diverse and technological based business practices.
- Would provide content and outcomes that could be applied throughout the organisation to develop the personal leadership qualities within every employee, not just at the top layers.
- Was strengths focused.
- Offered a program that could be customised to the needs of individuals and teams.
- Had a robust method for embedding the desired outcomes and behaviours.
- Offered self-paced as well as group-learning opportunities.
- Could work within the training budget.
The Directors felt there was a strong synergy between the model’s core competencies of Performance, Collaboration, Innovation and Agility and the abilities, skills and traits required of all employees to take the organisation through this next growth phase. The decision was made to use the .
The CEO and Founder particularly liked that the model was based on solid neuroscience research and the linkages between the brain and leadership behaviour. It was proposed that the program would be rolled out in two phases with a keen awareness that the direction could pivot at any time based on organisational needs.
Between June and November 2015, Phase 1 of the program was rolled out across the organisation. The core participants for Phase 1 were the Executive Team and their direct reports who also managed teams. This phase involved a blend of group learning and autonomous learning activities.
Brain Friendly Commitments
The following ‘brain friendly’ commitments were created by the participants in the program in relation to the four competencies of the i4 Neuroleader Model.
The Significant Initiatives
Of the Brain Friendly Commitments listed above, two initiatives have had significant impact:
A mindfulness program was rolled out company wide
76% of the organisation are practicing mindfulness on a daily basis and reporting it helps regain a sense of calm during times of stress.
An innovative lighting solution for open plan workstations to minimise interruptions and encourage ‘flow state’ for increased productivity.
91% of employees who have the workstation initiative have reported that it has enhanced their productivity and collaboration.
our Next Steps
After reviewing the positive results and initiatives of Phase 1 with the Executive Teams, the CEO made the decision to move the core participants onto Phase 2 and to roll out the leadership program to the next level of the business.
Testimonials from the ultraceuticals staff
Our Performance & Brain Integration Workshop
I have chosen i4 for this journey because we are really looking for the competencies that are going to help us as a modern company and take us through the challenges of today and to improve our overall management & leadership in the organisation.
We have noticed a shift throughout the organisation since introducing the i4 Program. The levels of awareness amongst the members of the executive team have significantly improved the way we work and interact with each other. Understanding brain function is key to increasing engagement and productivity.OLIVIER DUVILLARD
CEO • Ultraceuticals
In a world that is so often hijacked by material gain, I applaud Ultraceuticals in their attention towards the personal growth of their staff and their commitment towards high standards through all layers of their organisation using the i4 Neuroleader Program.MONICA MOORE
Director • Moore Nourishing
Being part of the i4 Neuroleader Program has helped me to understand how critical it is to have the right tools to optimise my brain and my performance at work.SAMANTHA MICHAEL
Project Manager • Ultraceuticals
This program gives you practical ideas to implement at work. I now understand the importance of being more compassionate to connect with others more successfully.JACK DINH
Chief Financial Officer • Ultraceuticals
The workflow lights on my workstation have saved my sanity and made me far more productive!MATTHEW BOZINOVSKI
Procurement & Planning Manager • Ultraceuticals
In my 25 years of work experience I have never seen anything as progressive and innovative as the ‘Creating a Brain Friendly Culture’ program. I feel that this is such an important step in creating an innovative corporate cultural movement unlike the out-dated, hierarchical corporate culture that still exists in so many companies.
I believe this has the potential to put Ultraceuticals in front as one of the pioneers for vital, meaningful and productive change within the work force.HEATHER VONNOU
Training Innovation Manager • Ultraceuticals