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Transformational Leadership at BASF

Coniferous forest by the water
Sustainable Innovation
Transformational Leadership


BASF wanted to strengthen their Asia Pacific leadership pipeline in support of their strategic plans. They needed to prepare future leaders in 17 countries for critical leadership roles amidst changing business requirements and a competitive market landscape.

In particular, BASF future leaders are expected to have a strategic perspective, be agile, embrace change, foster innovation and coach teams to achieve high performance.


The APPLE development programme was revamped in 2015 to enhance the development of high potentials in the Asia Pacific region.

The programme aims to enhance participants' leadership capabilities and capacities, equipping them with the self-confidence and capability to lead in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) environment.

The programme enables participants to:

  • Reflect on how to manage complexity, both internally and externally
  • Understand BASF challenges, their market and competitors
  • Explore strategic approaches to managing change
  • Develop the capacity to demonstrate leadership behavior in challenging situations

The three-module leadership programme incorporates innovative and challenging projects, along with in the moment coaching to provide 1:1 feedback and reflective follow-up based on the participants’ behavior.

Key elements in overview:

VUCA Q® is a ‘situational diagnostic’. It zooms in on the current context facing organisations and leaders and provides the vital perspectives that are then converted into an action plan. It's an action-orientated tool, designed to inform, equip and guide leadership action.

War Games is a competitive strategy workshop where participants analyse BASF from the perspective of their competitors, identifying key strategic opportunities and threats. 

Immersive Leadership Challenges uses a combination of real-life and fictional issues to create high-pressure, complex simulations in which participants have to show leadership in the moment whilst preparing a face-to-face proposal.

The overall APPLE Development programme was recognised at the 2016 HR Excellence Awards, with a Silver award for Excellence in Leadership Development.

From a client perspective, the leadership programme designed by Impact has met all expectations against the intended programme objectives. It continues to have a large uptake and receives an average rating of 4.71(/5) for all the programmes conducted so far.

According to the programme feedback:

  • 100% would recommend this programme to others
  • 86% agreed that the programme objectives were achieved
  • 100% agreed the level of instruction is just right
  • 100% agreed instruction methods are very effective
  • Overall programme rating: 4.71 of a 5 point scale


“Expectations on competencies and capabilities are clear. My development is more targeted and well planned.” “Very practical takeaways I can implement right away” - Participant

“Development support is more comprehensive and I can see examples of changed behaviors from my APPLE candidates” – line manager

See what our customers say about us
Ian Robb
"Today’s session was absolutely fantastic and I got a lot out of it. It was a great group of people in one room, talking about issues that affect all of us, and connecting people... I feel a lot more inspired by the work that I’m involved in. I believe we can get to net-zero together."
Jaap de Vries
Vice President of Human Resources
“To develop senior middle managers into real leaders requires a journey which takes them out of their personal comfort zone to unleash their potential. At Borealis we are convinced that the return on this investment is contributing to our successful achievement of strategy.”
Mads Ingholt
Manager, Group Leadership Development
“We believe that to take on leadership is as much to embark upon a challenging personal development journey as it is a formal career step; a sine qua non in the development of leadership capabilities is therefore the individual’s hunger for personal challenge and development.”