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“Not all of the assessments were positive assessments – in my view, that has added to the credibility of the exercise. The face validity of the process was very high.”

International HR Director, Rolls-Royce


    Identifying the successors to Managing Director roles globally.

  • Client Needs

    Rolls-Royce’s CEO and HR Director wanted a rigorous independent assessment of potential successors to their top 40 MD roles globally. Kiddy was engaged because of the commercial and behavioural insights we could provide through using our bench-marked business simulations.

  • Our Approach

    We adapted our business simulation to ensure it captured key strategic and operational challenges facing Rolls-Royce, and aligned it to their High Potential Indicators. Executives on the succession plan were selected from across their Business Units and geographies.

    Each participant undertook a full-day assessment with Kiddy consultants, comprising:

    An in-depth interview focusing on major achievements in their current role

    The Business Simulation, which involved:

    – a strategic and operational review of a global business
    – a meeting with a senior government stakeholder about an acquisition
    – a meeting with a senior direct report to discuss key business issues

    A personality questionnaire and an advanced critical thinking test. The participant de-brief focused on providing insightful feedback using our observations of how the participant approached the various aspects of the simulation.

    These included:

    The extent to which they used the strategic, operational and financial data available and the quality of their strategic and operational decision-making.
    How effectively they communicated the outcomes of their review, ranging from the structure of their presentation to the way they had engaged their ‘boss’.
    The extent to which they adapted their style when meeting their direct report and the government stakeholder, together with other observations and insights.

    A development-planning meeting was held with their manager and HR partner to gain traction for the changes identified. The assessment of potential was used to inform the talent and succession planning reviews.


The specific and detailed feedback helped participants gain fresh insights into the changes required to perform effectively in both current and future roles. Succession moves became better managed, with people developed ahead of moves into MD roles.

Some ‘hidden talent’ was identified and these individuals moved more quickly through the organisation. Increased focus was also given to hiring external talent to improve Rolls-Royce’s overall bench strength at senior levels.

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