Preparing leaders to meet future challenges

The Brief

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Australia and Maximus have worked together for three years. In a sector that is high on disruption and low on talent availability, J&J is taking a holistic, future-focused approach to building its talent pipeline. Maximus has delivered a series of customised talent management and leadership development solutions across the J&J Family of Companies: J&J Medical Devices, J&J Pacific, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. These have included talent assessments, management team building, competency framework development, and psychometric assessments.
We have also delivered a core Talent Excellence Program three times from 2014-15 across the Family, and were asked to redesign and deliver it again in 2016. The program accelerates the development of high-potential individuals by providing the tools, mindset, energy, and environment they need to flourish as leaders at J&J.

“The program was extremely challenging but I gained amazing insights into my leadership ability.”


The J&J Talent Excellence Program confirms participants have the desire to succeed in management and assesses their leadership potential. By the end, they understand the type of leader they want to be, their personal and career goals, and the experience they need to succeed.

The key focus areas are leadership, self-awareness, business acumen, and cultural alignment, with the personal as important as the professional. The program’s activities connect participants with their passion and purpose, so they know what drives them and can shift their mindset from being a contributor to being an authentic leader who leads with purpose.
We designed the program to deliver a connected, immersive experience. At its core is a learning centre that stretches and challenges people individually and collectively, using a combination of experiential learning, psychometric analysis, coaching, and development projects.

To embed learning and keep participants engaged, J&J invests in a personalised post-program development program and encourages the cohort to stay connected.


The J&J Talent Excellence Program is creating a pipeline of emerging leaders who are ready to live the J&J purpose and deliver the 2020 vision. Following the 2014/2015 programs, 65 percent of participants were promoted or changed roles, leading to J&J requesting a further program in 2016.

J&J now has clear insight into the capabilities of the next generation of leaders; well-defined career and succession plans; and a framework that supports the appointment, transition, and development of the right kind of leaders. There has been a dramatic improvement in the retention of high-potential employees, who now feel valued and supported, and can see progression at J&J.

J&J has also benefited from the program’s action learning projects, where participants workshop solutions to real-life business challenges. To date, many projects have progressed to scoping and pilot phase. One recent project is progressing to piloting a new key account approach for public and private hospitals that will deliver better service and patient outcomes.