Al Jazeera Case Study: Human Capital Assessments Case Study

The goal to become the World’s Leading Media Organisation


Client Profile

Industry Sector: Broadcasting
Location: Qatar


The Al Jazeera Media Network has grown rapidly, doubling in size between 2003 and 2013. The Network has a workforce that encompasses a range of highly technical individuals from Broadcast Operations to Journalists, Project Management to IT Infrastructure, support functions and many more. Not uncommonly for any technical industry, many managers are technical experts that have been promoted into positions of leadership.

The Network recognised that organisational processes are essential to sustain effective, equitable momentum. This involves developing leaders to grow the business and the individuals within it, thus ensuring the organisation’s success in years to come. With such a diverse workforce from a variety of cultural and professional backgrounds, it was important to understand the Network’s human capital, including individuals’ and groups’ strengths and development needs.


The first step involved interviewing the Network’s senior stakeholders to better understand their mission and strategies. This identified behaviours that leaders must demonstrate for success. A review of the Network’s 18-behaviour framework was then undertaken to identify six competencies that would support the Network to achieve its objectives.

The analysis also revealed two critical competencies that are vital for all employees, and these would support the Network’s mission to become a world class network and ensure that the organisation would deliver dynamic and aggressive growth.

A bespoke development centre was designed to elicit and measure the core competencies, and to obtain feedback around the critical competencies. A Group Discussion, Analysis Exercise and Presentation and a Competency-Based Interview were included, with both development centre exercises being set in a fictitious broadcasting organisation. To create a holistic assessment, a technical component was also designed and included.

Leaders and potential leaders from across the Network were invited to participate in the development centre and to receive feedback to support their development. Centres took place in Arabic and English across Doha, Washington and London, supporting 249 participants over 25 assessment days.


  • The leader population was assessed and received individual feedback about their performance, which included exploring possible next actions to support their development.
  • At group level, the results mean that Learning and Talent Strategy can now be designed to focus specifically on the competencies that will have the biggest impact on the Network’s mission.
  • Strategies for succession management and development can now be created with a thorough understanding of their current human capital.

What the client says

a&dc partnered with Al Jazeera during a period of phenomenal change. The task was conducted in an environment when very little remained static; we basically asked them to measure a moving entity. This they approached with a calm, can-do attitude.

We relied upon their expertise to achieve a consistent, fair measure of our management competencies. a&dc applied their experience to help us conduct the assessment centres in a sensitive and professional manner; collaborating with us wholeheartedly to find a solution to each issue and deliver the project outcomes to meet expectations.” Elaine Hatzel, Head of Training and Development, Al Jazeera