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Nissan needs effective leaders in the emerging global markets it’s targeting for aggressive growth. And among the most critical of these are 60 high-potential operational leaders from around the world, including in Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Nissan needed to apply a common approach as these leaders figure to advance to roles where they will have greater spans of responsibility. Among the challenges to developing these leaders was that budgets for travel were frozen.


Nissan engaged DDI to help design a leadership development initiative, which Nissan named the Global Organizational Leadership Development or “GOLD” program, to target the 60 high-potential leaders.

The GOLD program was designed to enhance the Nissan Way leadership competencies and was built around a curriculum that would provide the skills Nissan’s high-potential leaders needed to be optimally effective and establish a common leadership language across locations. Nissan’s HR team and DDI worked to structure the program so it could be delivered virtually.

The program was built around a curriculum of courses from DDI’s award-winning Interaction Management®: Exceptional Leaders . . . Extraordinary Results® leadership development system.

Three of the courses were delivered as web-based courses supported by virtual practice labs, where participants could try out their new skills. The other four courses were delivered in real-time using DDI’s Virtual Classroom technology.

Virtual Classroom is a synchronous learning environment designed to mirror the live presentation and participant interaction of an actual classroom. Participants connect from their location via a web-conferencing platform, and experience the course as it is facilitated in real time by a DDI facilitator.

The 60 high-potential leaders were divided into three cohort groups of 20 that met virtually eight times over a six-to-seven-month period.


  • 31-point improvement in the percentage of participants who said they displayed the targeted leadership behaviors.
  • The percentage of leaders displaying the targeted behaviors jumped by 30 percentage points (57 percent to 87 percent) after the virtual classroom training.
  • Measured leader behavior change was comparable—even superior—to measured behavior change after classroom delivery of DDI courses.

Talk to an Expert: Nissan
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