Hotel Chocolat and Clarity4D
Hotel Chocolat - the original, authentic and ethical chocolate company
We are not an ‘off-the-shelf’ kind of business here at Hotel Chocolat. So when it comes to leadership development, why would we offer an off-the-shelf kind of development programme?
Hotel Chocolat’s Authentic Leadership Programme encourages leaders to identify their natural style of leadership, and understand the benefits of adapting their style to what a team member or colleague needs. It also introduces the skills of a ‘situational’ leader to develop competence and commitment, both on a team and a personal level.
In effect, we want our leaders to stay true to themselves and keep their individuality; we know that’s when they perform at their best. Authenticity is one of our 3 core values that we live and breathe as a business (along with originality and ethics), so we also want our leaders to be authentic in their approach!
Once we had identified the core skills that our managers needed to be great in their roles and to develop the business in the future, we designed a 5-module programme that would support them in these areas.
We needed a programme that would encourage leaders to be themselves and maximise their strengths, but at the same time understand that different styles and personalities in the business would therefore be more visible.
We designed the first workshop of our Authentic Leadership Programme to concentrate on self-awareness. We asked our leaders to complete the online Clarity4D profile in advance of the session, and then completed a series of Clarity4D activities to help them understand each of the ‘colour styles’, and get a feel for what their preferences could be.
Early on, our leaders recognised that there is no good or bad colour, not one that is better or worse, but just differences in style. Immediately, this helped with some conversations around conflict and why, in some scenarios, things don’t always turn out as they were expected to!
Once people were talking 'in colour' it very quickly became the common language in the business. It also formed a golden thread that linked the other 4 authentic leadership workshops together. We used it to talk about situational leadership and when you might need to pull on a colour preference that may not come as naturally as others, how we can delegate more effectively, how we coach and mentor our team members, and also the impact it has on decision making.
Over the last year, 100 of our Store Managers and mid-level managers have been through the Authentic Leadership Programme. It seems however, that is just the start. Our Head Office teams are starting to talk in colour too, so we are now delivering Clarity4D team workshops across the business, including Marketing, Design, Brand Centre and Operations teams. It’s also being used at Area and Senior Manager Level to help with developing our team diversity and making sure that we get the right people on the right projects.
What do the leaders say?
"The Clarity4D profiling led me to look at how I assess the team, particularly when it comes to tasking and giving feedback. I have always tailored my approach to the personality of the person (big Yellow team player that I am!) but I’ve now started to appreciate more the intricacies of a person’s ‘work personality’ and how my approach can better develop them."
Store Manager - Gateshead
"There’s a positive influence on all the team, and the 4 colours from the profile are now used in everyday language in store after I shared some of the tools and activities that we used on the workshops. The whole team have embraced what colour they are and how to use different communication techniques with guests and other members of the team."
Store Manager - Lakeside