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Innovation that excites

Nissan logoNissan Sunderland Plant is one of the U.K.’s largest car manufacturing plants. The company’s focus on ‘innovation that excites’ cannot be missed through its well publicised marketing campaigns, most recently its sponsorship of the Rio Olympics and Paralympics and SKY Sports’ Premier League coverage. With the launch of the multi-award winning Nissan Qashqai, and the recent development of the Infiniti range, Nissan are certainly progressive both in their design and quality, and as a result are growing market share.

Employing over 6,800 staff at its plant, Nissan’s focus is not just on the development of its vehicles, but crucially also the development of its people.

Nissan’s desire to be innovative in talent management has led them to partner with Wickland Westcott.

Wickland Westcott had previously worked with global manufacturer Nestle One of the programme participants recommended Nissan to speak to Wickland Westcott about the ‘Development For All’ initiative they were scoping. After a competitive tender process, Wickland Westcott was selected to work in partnership with Nissan HR to deliver a large scale, but highly personalised development programme.

Participants self-nominate for the programme by completing an application form, and are then invited to a carefully designed one-day development centre. Centre activities include a mix of group and individual exercises built around highly relevant work situations. The ethos of the day is fun, innovative, challenging, thought-provoking and strongly aligned to Nissan’s behavioural expectations and strategic plans.

Following the development day, each participant receives 1-2-1 feedback supplemented by a written report, along with a personal development planning session within a couple of weeks of the event. With HR and line manager support, action plans are then linked back to the their personal development plans, with participants offered access to a range of professional development initiatives through Nissan HR’s leading-edge learning and development team.

Feedback from both participants and line managers has been fantastic. 85% of participants rate the event as ‘Excellent’, with 88% rating the Wickland Westcott team as ‘Excellent’. More broadly the programme has supported Nissan with its leadership succession planning and onward development programmes.

Lorna Truby, HR Senior Controller commented: “The programme delivered by Wickland Westcott has been excellent. The Wickland Westcott team worked really hard to understand our business and the strategic drivers behind this initiative. This collaborative approach resulted in a bespoke programme which combined the benefits of an external provider with a real ‘Nissan feel’. It’s been really well received by both employees and management. The professionalism and commitment of the consultants was second to none.”

For a conversation regarding leadership development please call Laura Phelps-Naqvi (Head of Practice, Leadership Development), on 01625 508100 or email

Wickland Westcott has been providing a fully integrated leadership service for nearly 40 years. In-house occupational psychologists work alongside market-focused Search professionals to deliver exceptional client service and satisfaction. With extensive experience at ‘C Suite’ level, and half of our top 20 client list featuring in the FTSE 250/NYSE, Wickland Westcott has a clear picture of what makes for leadership success.