Equipping senior leaders to create a growth culture through leading innovation and collaborating across this global B2B business.

Client · SABMiller is a multi-billion dollar global beverages company, ranked 5th on the FTSE 100. OneLeap partnered with SABMiller as part of their flagship leadership development programme, working with for 42 of the company’s global country MDs.

Challenge · Creating a growth culture for SABMiller

SABMiller wanted its leaders to create a growth culture through innovation, and to innovate more strategically. This meant focusing on the whole business model, including new situations and ways in which people might buy and experience beer. These models could then be shared, and with appropriate adaptations, tailored to new markets, enabling the organisation to innovate at speed across multiple markets and geographies.  

To do this, MDs needed to think beyond executing the plans of a single market. They needed to value the experience of their peers. MDs were increasingly being asked to act more collaboratively, as a way to bring in resources, partners, and to share in the risk of experiments. 

What we did · OneLeap created an experiential programme to enable MDs to collaborate and lead experiments within their own markets.  This equipped leaders with the capability and tools to innovate instrategic areas of SABMiller, and lifted thinking beyond products to the business-model.

How we got there: 

Diagnostic interviews: We began with diagnostic interviews with the MDs, to co-design the programme and ensure its commercial relevance

Live experiment programme on site in Central London: Led by our experts and coached by successful entrepreneurs with experience relevant to SABMiller market challenges, teams of MDs learned how to create rapid consumer experiments by building and testing the basis of a new business - in just one day. This included:

  • using practical ideation processes to identify overlooked opportunities;
  • direct interactions with customers on the street to better understand their needs;
  • validation with partners and suppliers;
  • prototyping a solution; and
  • crafting and delivering compelling pitches for the new business opportunity.

Facilitated reflection points throughout the day made the MDs aware of the challenges they were experiencing, and the behaviours they responded with.  After the final pitches, we systematically identified the skills, mindsets, and cultural conditions that supported or detracted from rapid innovation. The MDs then reviewed their role as leaders in providing the norms, direction, and environment to support experimentation in their daily life. 


  • Establishment of in-country experiment programmes. These took the form of 21 individual experiments led by the MDs in their own markets. Applying the process and principles they used in London, MDs began with the needs of consumers and business partners in their local markets. Their work was supported by 3 monthly coaching calls for each of the 3 sub-teams of 7 MDs, during which they helped each other through the challenges they faced. 
  • Experiment impact. Many of the experiments were implemented, either as direct innovations or as new processes to accelerate innovation, and the programme was renewed following strong feedback on its leadership and innovation lessons:

'Working with OneLeap provided the energy and momentum for our senior leaders to really explore what is meant by innovation. By partnering with dynamic entrepreneurs, our MDs were able to experiment with in market innovations that delivered value to the business. The magic of OneLeap is the ability to show how easy innovation is if you are prepared to lean into the experience, to practice new ways of doing things and to grow from mistakes made.' -  Samantha Rockey, Global Head of Leadership Development