Leadership development program in Kalundborg Municipality

By: By: Claus Elmholdt and Kristian Dahl (2020)
A clear message from Kalundborg Municipality: With the desire for an ambitious leadership development program that was based on operations and at the same time strengthened the collective leadership power in the municipality. In this context, LEAD collaborated with Absalon to provide a strong team with profiles that are among Denmark's leading researchers, consultants and practitioners. This resulted in a leadership development program with the focal point of creating a common language around leadership and management. 

Kalundborg Municipality achieved


Stability and structure


Vision poster: "Common direction"

The leadership development course created a common language around leadership and management, which was based on the vision poster "Common direction" and the management and governance foundation in Kalundborg Municipality. At the same time, the process created a framework for sharing knowledge and experience across the organization and across management levels. Cohesiveness was strengthened and contributed to the understanding that everyone is part of the municipality and that we are mutually dependent on each other. 

Centralizing that managers have the right tools to bring the culture and new thinking from the leadership and governance foundation to the employees. The employees and managers' day-to-day operations were the focal point of the program. The development process embraced theory and practice in a Kalundborg Municipality context and with the aim of being practical and as close to operations as possible. 

Leading together and together with citizens

LEAD and Absalon have collaborated to develop and implement a 3-year long development program for all 200 managers in Kalundborg Municipality. The course was launched with the purpose of building future leadership competencies in Kalundborg Municipality, which are described in the organization's new leadership and management foundation, which LEAD has assisted in the preparation of. The management and governance framework includes four guiding principles for management and governance that lead to a strengthened common direction and better results for the benefit of the citizens of the municipality.

For more information, please contact LEAD, Partner Nicole Baandrup Nielsen:

Leadership development programs

Through the leadership development programme, Kalundborg Municipality achieved development at three levels: individual, team and organizational level. This meant that through the activities of the leadership development program, work was done to develop the individual leader's competencies based on leadership and management of operations. At the same time, work was done at team level to solve specific strategic projects across Kalundborg Municipality. Last but not least, the development programme contributed to development at the organizational level, strengthening the management community and the overall management power in the municipality. 

The five building blocks of the leadership development program

#1 "common direction"

The leadership development program and its activities are based on Kalundborg Municipality's vision poster "Common direction". In practice, this means that the leadership development programme helped to prepare leaders to contribute even more to the realization of the vision that Kalundborg is a great place to live, work and do business. Therefore, the leadership development course placed the greatest emphasis on cross-disciplinary collaboration between professional groups, units, areas, citizens, businesses and volunteers. The goal was to establish a basic knowledge and trust across the board, which is considered a prerequisite for engaging in collaborations - both when they are straightforward, but also when they become challenging.

#2 The Leadership and Governance Foundation (LSG)

The foundation described how to create shared direction and collaboration for better results by clarifying expectations on how managers should balance management and leadership in their daily management practice. This gave the manager a prerequisite for working in a balanced way with all the fields and benchmarks of the model, gathered in a toolbox with tools for all four fields that can be used depending on the situation and context. 

#3 The New Synthesis for Public Value Creation

LEAD has extensive knowledge of and experience with the application of the New Synthesis in a Danish context and, with the book "The New Synthesis for Public Value Creation", is Denmark's leader in research on the New Synthesis and how it is translated into practice and changed behavior. The leadership and management foundation in Kalundborg Municipality was built on the thinking of the New Synthesis and in this context, the managers worked systematically with all the fields through the modules of the leadership development program. 

#4 The Leadership Commission's recommendations

The Management Commission's recommendations supported the entire process and the managers worked on how the recommendations could be linked to their own operations and management practices. The Management Commission's recommendations were incorporated into the learning support activities and brought international experiences as well as experiences from other public organizations into play.

#5 Involving FIKS

To achieve an effective development process, we combined the network, forums and relevant competencies that already existed in the organization in a meaningful way. Therefore, FIKS was incorporated into the design of the development program as a resource and competence that managers could draw on on an ongoing basis. The purpose of this was to strengthen the managers' knowledge of the FIKS employees' competencies and thus strengthen the focus on and utilization of the FIKS employees' competencies that already existed in the organization.

Contact us to learn more about what we can do for your business

Are you facing an organizational change? Do you need strategic advice or a leadership development program?

Contact us and together we will tailor a process that develops the exact competencies and structures that strengthen and future-proof your organization.

Nicole Baandrup Nielsen,


Phone: +45 20 89 39 08

Email: nbn@lead.eu

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