BHP Billiton

When you invest in your future leaders, the good you do comes back to you. In spades!


Inner strength

BHP Billiton was formerly the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited (BHP). Whatever the name, this firm has long recognised its graduates as future leaders.

Producing the world’s most coveted commodities across 100 locations requires leadership planning of the highest order. A graduate role is the first step on the exciting management path.

To thrive, graduates must combine thorough knowledge of technology in the workplace with strong communication, human relations and leadership skills.

They must achieve results not as isolated individuals, but through other people. This demands a grasp of (and desire for) growth through continual learning and new skills development.

Having successfully partnered with BHP since 1992, DeakinCo had a thorough understanding of the cultural and educational needs of its staff.

We thus recognised the importance of challenging graduates to reflect on themselves, their skills and their influence on others (rather than rely on academic knowledge of leadership principles). And so, the Graduate Advancement Program was born.

Highly resourceful

DeakinCo designed a highly interactive, individual-centred program of practical activities and self-understanding sessions to optimise personal development.

A hands-on framework let graduates test their leadership skills. Components included outdoor activities and an action-learning project to complete after the program.

The program provided expertise to help graduates work effectively in teams and recognise the skills, attitudes and behaviours of effective leadership.

Topics included:

  • corporate and personal goals
  • teamwork when your life depends on it
  • leadership in teams
  • an effective team
  • coaching and effective feedback
  • a situational approach to leadership
  • leadership styles analysis

Actions speak

Graduates were highly vocal in praise of the program, as these attendee samples attest:

‘The program has made me more aware of myself and my leadership qualities.’

‘It has given me the confidence to be a leader and to express my thoughts.’

‘I really enjoyed myself. The learning style was not like school, which was great. I liked the mix of theory and outside activities. It was also good to have presenters from outside the company. It made me feel safer about opening up.’

‘This program has made me more aware of myself and my leadership qualities. It has given me the confidence to be a leader, express my thoughts and realise that I can be listened to even though I’m “just” a graduate.’

In the years since this program began, the mining sector has endured volatility, uncertainty, increased regulation and change. BHP Billiton can be well pleased it invested in its people early – equipping them to meet these generational challenges.