This Is London, Dublin. Organisation Development.

Case Study

DAA Director Development Programme



The demands on senior managers in airports have increased rapidly over recent years. As the sector has grown and become more complex, leadership roles in airports increasingly require not only technical and operational management capabilities, but leadership and business skills.


In DAA the pace of change was particularly rapid after 2006. Over this period, there was a massive €2b investment in new infrastructure, the organisation was restructured, costs taken out of the system and efforts made to promote a high performance ethos throughout the organisation. There were pressures on DAA senior people to demonstrate a more strategic and commercial focus, to manage stakeholders with very different perspectives and to lead and motivate their staff through challenging times.


Whilst many of the Directors had broad experience, very few of them had received formal management and leadership training.

What we did



The Director Development programme was therefore introduced in 2009 to provide structured and individualised support for development at this level.


The programme involved 25 Directors and senior managers with Director or Chief Executive potential. It was sponsored by the Chief Executive and designed and run by This Is... . Individuals attending the programme were selected by the Chief Executive.


Each participant undergoing the programme completed a battery of diagnostic tests including psychometrics and 360 assessments and received feedback on their strengths and weaknesses in terms of DAA leadership competencies.


An individual development plan was produced which outlined a customised and tailored package including on the job self development, coaching, project assignments, external courses and career development options. These plans were implemented and kept under review.


The Chief Executive maintained a comprehensive overview of individuals' progress and in many cases was involved in detailed 1:1 feedback with participants.



 The programme had considerable personal impact on the way people worked


  • All participants found the diagnostics very helpful in pinpointing areas of strengths and weaknesses and for the majority it provided invaluable insights into the way they worked
  • The vast majority of participants found the development very helpful
  • A number of participants advanced in their careers