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The EFMD Business Magazine | Iss3 Vol.14 | www.efmdglobal.org

Recognising outstanding Learning and Development partnerships

Excellence in Practice 2020 Caring closure Responsible factory relocation in Brazil

‘Gotong Royong’ Indonesian talent development

Post-it passion Untapping African leadership

Global to local Learning to remove the language barrier

Growing culture A new entrepreneurial ecosystem in Russia

EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

Contents Global Focus The EFMD Business Magazine Iss.3 Vol.14 | 2020

1 Excellence in Practice 2020

41 Avolon / INSEAD

5 Unilever Brasil Industrial / Fundação Dom Cabral (FDC)

45 Intouch Group / Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester

9 Pertamina / INSEAD / Deloitte / Tjitra and Associates Consulting / Bob Aubrey Associates

49 Russian Railways Infrastructure Business Unit / Corporate University of Russian Railways

13 Standard Bank / Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) / Henley Business School

53 Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation / Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) / University 2035

17 ArcelorMittal / EF Education First 21 Association of Entrepreneurship Development “SKOLKOVO Community” / Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO 25 daa / Trinity College Dublin 29 Elevate RAP Working Group / AGSM @ UNSW Business School 33 Coromandel International Limited / Murugappa Group – Management Development Centre 37 Enterprise Ireland / ESMT Berlin / IMS Marketing


57 LafargeHolcim / The Ivey Academy 61 Cognizant / Cognizant Academy 65 Vladimir Potanin Foundation / Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

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Excellence in Practice 2020 | Introduction

impact beyond the individual participants. Interestingly, some include societal impact of the projects in their purpose as well as measurements, be they the nature of the project (a relocation of a factory for example) or intentionally added to enrich the learning experience. A growing number of projects focus on cultural change, intended to create a favourable context such as innovation, entrepreneurialism and so on. These may be complemented by indicators and measurements (engagement surveys of both employees and external stakeholders, innovation readiness assessments). On a personal level, there are still developments towards a pre-defined set of competencies and profiles but in a number of cases there is an open growth ambition: “tapping into each leader’s innate potential” as one case labels it.


Excellence in Practice Award (EiP) initiative received over 40 submissions, an all-time record


his year’s Excellence in Practice Award (EiP) initiative received over 40 submissions, an all-time record, demonstrating great diversity and showcasing extremely interesting projects. Do no be too surprised when reading the cases; they will take you back at least one year ago into totally different pre-covid-19 times. They will probably be a base for reflection on our future practices, as in the scenario-planning exercise planned during EFMD’s Executive Development Conference at end of October, where we will also co-create a trends summary with all delegates, based on these cases and the field experiences of the practitioners present. In preparation to that exchange, this article highlights five clusters of observations. Please join the debate and share your opinions. Purpose and impact Consistent with the award’s long standing criteria, all cases as much as possible indicate

Digital and participative While last year the word “digital” was all over the projects, this is less the case this time. Sure there are digital transformation projects, data and analytic techniques, digital support tools and so on mentioned. But it seems that digital has become an embedded part in an organisation’s strategy, processes and learning toolkit and is no longer that exceptional. The spread of digital tools is also leading to an interesting dynamic; delegation and alignment lie at our fingertips. Horizontal alignment, within transversal functions in distributed organisations, has been growing throughout the years. But some cases show how this is also affecting leadership, hierarchical relationships, and command and control cultures. Local empowerment and accountability, “unbossing” and distance competencies assessment, are just some of the labels and practices mentioned. It will be interesting to look for the impact of the current corona crisis on these developments. 2

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Excellence in Practice 2020

Excellence in Practice 2020 Introduction Reach and scaling The populations in reach of the cases submitted vary from existing small teams to thousands of people. But interestingly, quite a number of them go all-in aiming for the full target population (“100% coverage of target population”, “participation rate of 90% of leaders”, “80% of the total number”). To do so, interesting scaling mechanisms are used, where technology is only one of the solutions. Some work with franchised delivery, train-the-trainer formats and mentoring. But also multiple parallel tracks of different cohorts or layers in the organisation, which interact at certain stages, are used in a number of designs. Projects and communities One of the most striking aspects in the 2020 batch of cases is the use of projects in “start-up innovative projects”, “game changer projects”, “passion projects”, “on-the-job action learning”, “experiential facilitated immersion”, “work-based strategic challenge”, “solve live business problem” and the like. It seems this has become a key approach to guaranteeing learning transfer and implementation, as well as providing an immediate return for the development initiative. Likewise, (learning) communities and alumni networks are being created and actively mobilised to support the further roll-out of initiatives. Quantitative and qualitative measures Some cases show interesting quantitative measures of impact, though less surprising than previous years. Quite a number base their impact claim on qualitative measures, in most cases self-reported by participants (Net Promotor Score being a persistent trend). The latter, of course has a less solid claim in the evaluation of impact then those who can link quantitative indicators to the organisational and business claims made in the initial commitment.


One of the most striking aspects in the 2020 batch of cases is the use of projects in “start-up innovative projects”, “game changer projects”, “passion projects”, “on-the-job action learning”, “experiential facilitated immersion”, “work-based strategic challenge”, “solve live business problem” and the like. Seems this has become a key approach to guaranteeing learning transfer and implementation as well as immediate return for development initiative

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Introduction

2020 Winners Category: Organisational Development

Category: Professional Development



Unilever Brasil Industrial & Fundação Dom Cabral (FDC)

ArcelorMittal & EF Education First

“Responsible factory closing and relocation at a global

“Unlocking human potential through English language learning”

sustainability leader”



Coromandel International Limited & Murugappa Group -

daa & Trinity College Dublin “A journey from a to what can be - The future factory programme” OTHER FINALIST: Avolon & INSEAD “Rising to the challenges of rapid growth” Category: Talent Development

Management Development Centre “VidhyaOnline: A digital learning platform for enhancing salesforce capabilities at Coromandel” OTHER FINALIST: Cognizant & Cognizant Academy “Techno masters blended learning programme” Special Category: Ecosystem Development



Pertamina & INSEAD & Deloitte & Tjitra and Associates

Association of Entrepreneurship Development “SKOLKOVO

Consulting & Bob Aubrey Associates “Catalyser: Massive leadership acceleration in an Indonesian state-owned company” SILVER Elevate RAP Working Group & AGSM @ UNSW Business School “Emerging Indigenous executive leaders programme” OTHER FINALISTS: Intouch Group & Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester “Gold leaders programme - Developing the innovative strategic

Community” & Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO “Developing entrepreneurship in Russia” SILVER Enterprise Ireland & ESMT Berlin & IMS Marketing “Focusing the response of Irish business to Brexit – Enter the Eurozone programme” OTHER FINALIST: Vladimir Potanin Foundation & Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO “Museum – The power of place”

capabilities of Intouch Group’s leadership population” Russian Railways Infrastructure Business Unit & Corporate University of Russian Railways “Maintaining and developing company brand values through generations dialogue” Category: Executive Development GOLD Standard Bank & Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) & Henley Business School “Authentic African leadership requires ‘more than a programme’” OTHER FINALISTS: Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation & Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) & University 2035 “Digital mindset: Transforming the way Russia is governed” LafargeHolcim & The Ivey Academy “Strategic alignment at LafargeHolcim: Building a performance culture”


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Excellence in Practice 2020

Unilever Brasil Industrial / Fundação Dom Cabral (FDC)

How to close a factory, responsibly?


n times of increased competition and logistical challenges, factory consolidation becomes a more frequent phenomenon. Closing and transferring production lines is not only an engineering challenge, but also a leadership challenge. The right way to close an operation by Kenneth W Freeman, an article published in the HBR 2009 issue1, is one of the few references regarding responsible factory closings. Freeman observes: “Many managers never had to shrink their operations of workforce drastically, and as a result (...) they assume they have to be the tough guys who make the decisions and that afterward they can delegate the implementation to others with one marching order: go fast.” In 2018 Unilever decided to consolidate operations in Brazil and transfer production from Goiânia to Pouso Alegre, closing the Goiânia site by March 2020. For the Operations Director in Goiânia this created first a relocation challenge: maintaining production and product quality until the last production line is transferred. His second challenge was: how to do this responsibly, living up to the values of Unilever, which had turned into a global sustainability icon especially after announcing its ambitious Sustainable Living Plan – doubling growth, reducing environmental impacts and creating positive social impact. How can you close an operation and create positive impact? Oscar Ramirez was responsible for the Goiânia production site and resumes the main challenge


as “not only maintaining, but continue to improve results in the moment of transferring operations while keeping alive the sense of developing a better organisation and better people”. He realised that beyond the engineering and logistical challenge, the main issue was of human nature. First, the relocation causes employees of the site to worry about their future once the decision to transfer operations had been made public. Second, the leadership needed to be prepared for a caring, humane and responsible way of managing the transfer, to keep the motivation of the team until the last day of operation and living up to Unilever ́s values and reputation. Third, Unilever wanted to leave a legacy behind in Goiânia that would extend well beyond the last day of operations. With these objectives in mind Ramirez was looking for suitable partners. Potential candidates needed to have the trust of employees and experience of providing executive education in challenging environments. Fundação Dom Cabral (FDC) had the advantage of having acquired a profound knowledge of Unilever Goiânia ś business challenges, next to its people management priorities. Additionally, being considered the best business school in Latin America for more than 10 years by the Financial Times was also an asset. In the words of Ramirez: “To initiate this journey it was necessary to find an experienced partner. Luckily, we found, an organisation which has helped us to train leaders in the past”.

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Unilever Brasil Industrial / Fundação Dom Cabral (FDC)


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Excellence in Practice 2020

Unilever Brasil Industrial / Fundação Dom Cabral (FDC)

Developing leaders – creating shared value The leadership and development initiative FDC designed in collaboration with Unilever focused on preparing the senior leadership team for the upcoming challenge, emphasising resilience, building a relationship based on trust and inspiration. This relatively small team of eight was getting together in leadership sessions and applied the “coaching ourselves” methodology developed by Henry Mintzberg discussing and providing guidance on the day-to-day challenges each participant was experiencing. The tactical leadership group consisted of 60 participants which were engaged in “Game Changer Projects” aiming to create shared value and a legacy in Goiânia. The projects had the following objectives: 1. Employees – help employees to find new jobs 2. Suppliers – transfer Unilever ́s management technology to improve the supplier ́s management 3. Clients – transfer Unilever ́s competency in logistics and security to a client 4. Community – help graduates of a public school situated in a low-income community find their first employment 5. Competitors – define shared value projects that leverage synergies, help reduce costs and create positive impact in Goiânia A mentoring process helped the teams to set up and meet deadlines, submit key deliverables and track results. All mentors were experienced in creating shared value and made sure that projects created results for Unilever Goiânia as well as stakeholders. “This programme has shown that people are capable of incredible things when they pursue a purpose. A courageous leader, a responsible organisation and a qualified team are capable of dealing with any scenario. Certainly, the professionals who were involved in this programme developed competencies which help them in future challenges. And all of them became multipliers – they turned into ’Game Changers’”. Michelle Demori, FDC Programme Director 7

Impact beyond the numbers As operations are closing, the results become visible. Unilever Goiânia was able to meet 100% of production targets with no workplace accidents, quality or production issues; 25% of employees and more than 50% of local leadership could be transferred to other operations. By engaging in shared value projects, Unilever was able to save costs, improve turn-over and absenteeism and deliver value to stakeholders as the table on page 8 demonstrates. Let us add some stakeholder voices to the numbers: Employee Abel Amaral, Machine Operator at the Unilever Goiânia site: “The courses helped me to envision my future. I discovered that I want to open my own business and I know which steps I need to take to get there.” Community “The Unilever team offered training in how to prepare for the first employment, how to work with Excel and financial education. This will definitely help me in my first interviews.” Client “The exchange of practices as well as the technical visits helped us to identify opportunities to improve our business.” Competitor “Even being competitors in some local markets it makes total sense to collaborate in projects which benefit the community.” These shared value projects clearly contribute to some of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations.

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Unilever Brasil Industrial / Fundação Dom Cabral (FDC)


Project Name




Career Academy

Trainings which help employees to relocate themselves

9.304 hours of training provided in a total of 11 courses 229 employees participated Turn-Over down by 0,94% points Absenteeism down by 1,04% points


School for the Common Good

Trainings aiming to prepare students for their first employments

A total of 64 students trained 296 hours of training provided


Conscious Management Seeds

Sharing Unilever´s management technology to improve suppliers management

A total of 60 people trained and 7 management tools shared


Intelligent Bridges

Sharing Unilever´s knowledge about logistics and security with a client to improve its management

Turnover down from 6.75% to 3%

Bringing the industry together to address common environmental challenges collaboratively

Reduction of waste led to savings of R$ 850,000 at Unilever, R$ 420.000 andR$ 401.000 at competitors


Joint Sustainability Projects

Beyond the numbers, statements like the following posted on her last day at work by Fabiany Gonçalves, a quality management analyst participating in the programme give a glimpse on what we were able to achieve: Life is made of cycles. Cycles start and end along a journey. Today, I close one of the most beautiful cycles of my life. I had the opportunity to work in the best factory producing Mayonnaise and Ketchup in the world. I learnt, developed and grew as a professional as well as a human being. I ’́ ve travelled unimaginable pathways and obtained results that fill my heart with pride. Unilever plants in our hearts a feeling of pride and love. Pride to be part of the team and love for the culture and work. Today I am leaving Unilever with an aching heart and a feeling of mission accomplished. I am grateful to Unilever, to my team. You guys are the best! #Unilover

83% of staff trained in logistical analysis tools at the client organisation

4 tonnes of waste collected at a joint volunteer day engaging 120 participants from various companies


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Excellence in Practice 2020

Pertamina / INSEAD / Deloitte / Tjitra and Associates Consulting / Bob Aubrey Associates

Pertamina’s Catalyser W

inning the EFMD 2020 Gold Award for talent development was an honour for all the partners, especially as this is the first time an Indonesian company has won such an award. This article will not cover the same ground as the published case study: it is intended as a reflection on the experience of building a world-class leadership programme in an Indonesian context. Let me begin by describing the experience of the collaboration of four external partners with a leading Indonesians state-owned company. Gotong Royong Gotong royong is an Indonesian concept that means “mutual cooperation” (gotong) and “working together” (royong). It is an important characteristic of Indonesian management. Professor Thomas Mannarelli, one of the INSEAD directors of the Catalyser programme, ran an exercise on team collaboration with Pertamina participants. They did better on this exercise than any participant team that Professor Mannarelli had seen before. “I was really taken aback at how well and how quickly they collaborated, he says. “There is always a tension between co-operation and competition in the exercise where the disposition to compete usually dominates until they realise they have no chance of success without co-operating with other teams. But in this group their choice to co-operate was clearly dominant from the outset.” The gotong royong spirit is what made our complex collaboration possible, especially in the co-creation stage when we built the components of the Catalyser learning experience. The partners The first partner in co-creation is the Pertamina team itself, represented by its Talent Management department and Pertamina Corporate University working together. These teams showed courage and commitment whenever there was a new


challenge or a problem to resolve -- of which there were many. Next are INSEAD and Deloitte, which were outstanding partners in designing and delivering the leadership Accelerators, the learning programmes that took the participants to China, India and Abu Dhabi for immersion. INSEAD and Deloitte created a measurable mindset change for Pertamina’s future leaders as well as developing leadership capabilities. Here is what Professor Mannarelli said about INSEAD’s role in Catalyser: “The partnership that has been established with PERTAMINA for the Catalyser programme is precisely the ideal collaboration that INSEAD seeks – one that does not simply tick boxes, but creates collective transformation of mindset, of culture, and most importantly, of leadership behaviour and action. Through a collaboratively developed, and constantly evolving journey, Catalyser participants receive hands-on experiential learning, supplemented by rigorous research-based pedagogy and field exposure to individuals and organizations at the forefront of disruption inside and outside the energy industry.“ Deloitte’s perspective on collaboration was described by Rukhsana Pervez: “Catalyser is a true testament of commitment to building leaders of the future – for company and country. Our focus and intention for Catalyser Participants was simple – to build a new DNA for leaders in PERTAMINA, one that enables them to THRIVE, not just SURVIVE in the rapidly changing, disruptive times we all live in. Our approach was predicated on a “show don’t tell” approach. Taking participants on a journey of provocation and personal realizations, while constantly exploring new opportunities, ideas and innovation at an individual and organisational level.” Finally, the Senior Advisors, Hora Tjitra and Bob Aubrey, were appointed as architects and co-ordinators of Catalyser. Aubrey was the

Right: Pertamina talent and corporate university team

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Pertamina / INSEAD / Deloitte / Tjitra and Associates Consulting / Bob Aubrey Associates


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Pertamina / INSEAD / Deloitte / Tjitra and Associates Consulting / Bob Aubrey Associates

architect of the overall learning design and worked with Tjitra on the mentoring, career development and action learning components of Catalyser. Although Hora did his cross-cultural doctoral studies in Germany and lived in China, his deep understanding of Indonesian culture and management was vital when it came to mutual understanding and problem-solving. Catalyser’s co-creation process In the beginning, the Senior Advisors asked the Pertamina team how we should work to create an innovative leadership programme. Using the Rindfleisch and O’Hern typology for new product development, we agreed to the first type, which matched our commitment to gotong royong. 1. Collaborating: open contribution, customer-led selection 2.Tinkering: open contribution, firm-led selection 3. Co-designing: fixed contribution, customer-led selection 4  . Submitting: fixed contribution, firm-led selection The first phase of co-creation started with benchmarking research on leadership, followed by focus groups with Pertamina senior leaders to define the needed capabilities and learning experiences. At this point several innovations were discussed and adopted. These fed into the concept design. We decided to develop and assess leadership aspiration as well as capabilities. We agreed on a massive demand on the time (3,400 hours) for over 100 senior managers to serve as mentors for the first cohort of participants. We agreed to base the second year of the programme on a requirement for all participants to define and implement a mobility opportunity, which is very difficult to do for 120 participants a year. Finally we agreed to create a measurement system based on individual interviews with each participant by a panel, to take place at the end of year 1 and 2. 11

Co-creation 2


Leadership research

Rigorous RFP Learning partner selection

Strategic focus groups


Co-creation 1

PEP with mentoring Accelerators

Concept design

Action learniing

Innovation Validation

Figure 1: First phase of co-creation

Figure 2: Second phase of co-creation

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Pertamina / INSEAD / Deloitte / Tjitra and Associates Consulting / Bob Aubrey Associates

The second phase of co-creation started with selection of the learning partners. We elaborated a complete Request for Proposals and many of the world’s top business schools and leadership consulting firms sent proposals. Deloitte’s and INSEAD’s proposals were outstanding and their presentations confirmed their creativity and commitment. This led to the first pilot of four Accelerator programmes (Enterprise and Energy for INSEAD, Global and Innovation for Deloitte). A detailed measurement system was created linking the company’s strategy to the career strategy of each participant. A key commitment agreed by all the partners was to make the Catalyser programme a truly Indonesian leadership programme, demonstrating how Asian leadership is different, complex and yet world-class. Above: Hora Tjitra and Bob Aubrey, Senior Advisors

The Indonesian context “Catalyser is not just another leadership programme. Our investment is a bet – we are betting the future of our company on the leaders we promote into key positions. Failing to make Catalyser successful is not an option, given the energy needs of Indonesia. Catalyser is not only for promoting our high potentials, it is also an opportunity for our senior managers to take a transformative role by matching the next generation of leaders with our strategy”, said Nicke Widyawati, CEO of Pertamina The Catalyser programme is the biggest leadership accelerator currently running in Southeast Asia. It represents the growing readiness of Southeast Asian companies to develop worldclass leaders. The origin of such a large acceleration programme at Pertamina was born from the need to face a strategic talent gap – the imminent departure for retirement of nearly all senior leaders by 2023. At the end of the Suharto era, for a period of 10 years, Indonesian State Owned Companies had frozen hiring. The gap was of national concern given the importance of SOEs to Indonesia’s development.

Within this Indonesian context, Nicke Widyawati was appointed as Director of Human Capital by the Indonesian Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises in 2018. She immediately asked Ihsanuddin Usman, then Senior Vice-President of Human Capital Development, to make leadership development a priority. She herself would become Pertamina’s CEO a year later. Her role as Human Capital Director was filled by Koeshartanto, who was appointed HR Director by the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises and implemented the Catalyser Programme. The promotion of a younger generation with 10 to 15 years less experience was in fact an opportunity to create a more entrepreneurial mindset and ensure new strategic capabilities for Pertamina’s leaders. Catalyser’s multiplier effect Pertamina’s award in 2020 follows on the heels of the 2019 Gold Award for Thailand’s oldest bank working with IMD. These EFMD Gold Awards have encouraged other companies in the ASEAN region to take initiatives to build their own world-class leadership programmes rather than copying best practices and buying off-the-shelf leadership “solutions”. Within Indonesia, sharing of Pertamina’s experience has generated online conferences with hundreds of participants connecting to find out how to build world-class leadership using their own culture and capabilities. In Singapore, as I wrote this article, the European Chamber of Commerce hosted a conference on the Pertamina experience with the theme “the New Normal in Leadership.” Singaporean and international leadership schools and companies as well as many international leadership providers who have already won awards underlined the need for Singapore to go for their own international Gold Award for leadership development. So it seems that a multiplier effect in the region can be attributed to Pertamina’s Catalyser thanks to EFMD’s recognition that partnership is the way forward in the leadership ecosystem.


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Excellence in Practice 2020

Standard Bank / Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) / Henley Business School

Authentic African leadership requires ‘more than a programme’ T

he brief was as brave as it was wide: take 328 bankers of varying seniority from 20 African countries and help them unlock their untapped potential – as individuals not financiers – through a programme co-designed by two ostensibly rival business schools. As Standard Bank head of leadership effectiveness Shayne Weideman explains: “We were undergoing tremendous change as an organisation throughout Africa at the time we conceptualised the project in 2017. Our solution was to put the individual first so that they could be a better version of themselves and in turn for their families, for their communities and indeed for the bank itself.” It was a challenging brief, says Gill Cross, the head of learning innovation at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg, not least because of the highly qualified executives who would be coming to the project. “We started by trying to capture the spirit of the time, designing an opt-in programme specifically to empower their agency and choice. The original intention, which guided us throughout, was how do we do something that prepares high-potential leaders for a future that doesn’t look like what we’ve learned from before.” The strategic leadership programme, dubbed #UnTAP as a homage to that original vision, was an agile and iterative programme that evolved as the different cohorts went through the seminars and the attendees were pushed to their limits in ways they had never experienced, including a novel “army to ashram” component that literally began under the gaze of former special forces instructors. Linda Buckley, the director of executive education at Henley Africa, which co-designed and co-presented the strategic leadership programme with GIBS, agrees. “The classes were deliberately


diverse, a melting pot of culture, creed, race and gender. A lot of the learning shifts actually came from within the groups themselves, we were the alchemy in the process.” But both business schools learned a lot about themselves too. Buckley thinks Standard Bank’s challenge was an experiment to see if two competing business schools could rise to the challenge and collaborate and in the process give the bank the very best of what each had to offer. Weideman says that’s precisely what the bank intended. “We wanted the entrepreneurial and innovative ‘zaniness’ of Henley and the academic rigour and strong geographical footprint of GIBS to create something that explored areas where none of us had gone before to create something that had never existed.” Cross played a major role in leading the programme design. It was premised on extremely tight and honest collaboration, initially brutally so, led by graphic harvester Lita Currie. “We would all get together with the client in the room in a number of design sprints and then break away for kitchen sessions to further process what we were hearing, then we would get together as the business schools, bringing the faculty in, before looping it all back.” The whole process was then graphically harvested and rendered by Currie on a giant sheet of paper which provided both the literal map and the lodestar for the entire project in the bank’s Global Leadership Centre in Johannesburg. This rendering was further festooned, literally, with Post-It notes as discussions ensued and flowed. “We went through the whole stormin’, normin’, and performin’, phases,” explains Buckley. “The beginning was quite robust, but very quickly we

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Standard Bank / Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) / Henley Business School


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Excellence in Practice 2020

Standard Bank / Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) / Henley Business School

realised that this project was bigger than all three organisations and we segued from being competitive to co-operative and collaborative. “Each time we felt ourselves wandering off track we would remember why we were there and what the bigger purpose was by looking at the wall.” Each school ran its own 30-strong cohort of bankers but to ensure uniformity and cohesion the faculty for both streams was exactly the same, with each school taking responsibility for a different backroom function throughout the three-year set of programmes. All the sessions were run at Standard Bank’s Global Leadership Centre, where the delegates were accommodated, when they weren’t doing immersion days in Johannesburg’s inner-city, at a stable and at the special forces’ base in the countryside. “We were quite intentional about giving each other feedback. There was a constant sharing of ideas and implementation of best practice and in the end, there was an absolute feeling of abundance,” says Buckley. One of the key lessons of the programme for Weideman was the actualisation of the African expression of Ubuntu or interconnectedness. “We are definitely better together; the power of partnership was amplified hugely and the richness of thinking was exponential,” he says. He was particularly impressed by the calibre of the people on the course. “Every time we had a cohort come through, I was worried that it wouldn’t be as good as the last time, but every time it was better. That resilience and hunger to do something different and really contribute through the passion projects that each one had to do; we saw every time. We really are a human bank. “We thought it would take time for the hierarchies and rivalries to break down and for connections to be forged but literally on the first day they formed bonds that would last them for life. We had junior executives, new executives and senior executives all coming in on this programme together – and we made them sleep in an army 15

dormitory. The next morning there was no moaning when the hot water ran out in the showers.” For Cross, one of the biggest lessons personally came from the collaboration of two rival business schools. “A project like this holds up a mirror for you to realise you can’t do everything yourself, but it also distilled each institution’s DNA,” and in the process, she says, each was able to complement the other in eradicating the urge for competition. “When you strip away the ego and the posturing,” says Buckley, “that’s when you see the magic emerge.” And there was magic. “This was the most asked for programme in the bank’s history, just showing how word of mouth from an authentic and honest initiative like this [can help] the internal marketing,” says Cross. “This was a process driven initiative,” says Weideman, “the bank has access to incredible content, drawn from some of the [best] business schools in the world. The only way we could get the delegates to shift behaviour and learn was to provide them with experiences they simply could not get anywhere else.” He, Cross and Buckley believe that the “passion projects”, where delegates devised projects close to their hearts, that were not necessarily banking related but very much grounded in who they were and the societies they came from, were a key part of the success.


The statistics speak for themselves: 82% of all the attendees have subsequently been recognised as high performers with the bank, with a significant percentage being promoted afterwards

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Standard Bank / Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) / Henley Business School

Every time we had a cohort come through, I was worried that it wouldn’t be as good as the last time, but every time it was better. That resilience and hunger to do something different and really contribute through the passion projects that each one had to do; we saw every time. We really are a human bank

“The passion project brought the whole person into the room,” says Buckley, “it brought absolute shared value to the table and a real understanding of what this was all about.” More than the unique aspect of rival business schools overcoming traditional rivalries, the project’s African roots and its focus on the individual are the reasons why the trio believe it won the EFMD Excellence in Practice Gold Award for Executive Development focus. “We wanted to make people the best version of themselves,” explains Weideman, “and that personal transformation has impacted business.” The statistics speak for themselves: 99% of attendees say the programme had been applicable to their work, 98% to their personal lives and 69% to their role in the community. 82% of all the attendees have subsequently been recognised as high performers with the bank, with a significant percentage being promoted afterwards. None of this would have happened without the buy-in of the business schools and the bank to each other. “Shayne was an incredible advocate for this process,” says Cross, “he trusted us, he allowed us to take risks.” Buckley agrees: “there was a lot of courage involved”.


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Excellence in Practice 2020

ArcelorMittal / EF Education First

Unlocking human potential through learning English


hose of us in the anglophone business world often take for granted the ability to easily express ourselves and instantly understand everything around us at work. As English has become the undisputed language of commerce and academia, professionals across much of the planet must contend with language and communication obstacles daily on top of maintaining every other facet of their effectiveness at work. For international companies, effective crossborder collaboration is critical to their success. To survive and thrive in a global, digital economy, they must overcome language barriers to maximise the potential of all their people. From 2015 to the present day, ArcelorMittal alongside EF Education First has sought to break down these barriers of understanding to unlock human potential and business growth. Defining the challenge When Arcelor and Mittal merged in 2007 and later acquired 35 foreign companies, disparate levels of English meant that the full potential of using a common language was untapped. In some areas, language was a barrier to development for both individuals and the business. Employees were not maximizing communication across all geographies equally, which impacted job satisfaction, knowledge transfer, engagement and productivity. Like most companies, ArcelorMittal has a minimum English requirement to access further development, particularly in leadership, meaning that those who did not meet the standard struggled to realise their full potential. The talent pool was being narrowed unnecessarily and biased towards


those who had been brought up in an Englishspeaking environment. The growth of tens of thousands of employees and the entire organisation was being held back, something which needed addressing urgently in order to embrace inclusivity. After a few false starts with other providers, ArcelorMittal began working in partnership with EF Education First and rolled out an ambitious English language programme to staff in 53 countries, with over 12,000 courses delivered in total to date. The result has been the development of a common language around topics that affect us all, including sustainability, diversity, the environment and the cyclical nature of business. “Our business is global and we want to boost performance through facilitating communication across geographically diverse functions. English is an enabler of that,” says Brian Callaghan, Vice President Resourcing, Leadership Development and Learning Senior commitment as a catalyst Senior stakeholder commitment from ArcelorMittal at group level was crucial to the success of the global project. The CEO Lakshmi Mittal observed after a gathering of top leaders which included numerous translators that this was becoming a real barrier to future success and that English needed to move from being the “unofficial” to “official” language of the company. To add even greater weight to the situation, there were clear messages being received at senior levels that it was becoming increasingly difficult to recruit the right talent with all boxes ticked, including language proficiency.

Excellence in Practice 2020 | ArcelorMittal / EF Education First


When Arcelor and Mittal merged in 2007 and later acquired 35 foreign companies, disparate levels of English meant that the full potential of using a common language was untapped


ArcelorMittal began working in partnership with EF Education First and rolled out an ambitious English language programme to staff in 53 countries, with over 12,000 courses delivered in total to date


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

ArcelorMittal / EF Education First

“As the labour market keeps getting tighter, we need to ensure that we capitalise on the talent that we already have internally. We cannot afford to have English as a barrier to advancement into leadership roles. Supporting English language learning allows us to be fully inclusive in resourcing from all areas of our global reach,“ says Sergey Ippolitov, Head of Resourcing. The way forward As part of the development of this global learning initiative ArcelorMittal and EF codesigned outcomes that could be accurately measured and easily understood by a global audience. They established an ArcelorMittal English Proficiency scale against which employees could be measured and individualised support put in place. Following this, they carefully assessed large cohorts of employees (over 11,000 to date), mapping and analysing their needs to ensure the correct programme design for them. The programme was deployed with specific attention paid to particular sets of talent: identified talent already on a path to leadership, targeted local initiatives (for example, following an acquisition), and needs analysed through large-scale assessments of the employee population as mentioned above. Accessibility was key to making this complex L&D initiative sustainable. At the core of this learning and development project is a solution based on 100% digital training delivery available to all, from anywhere, at any time. Unlimited study and assessment are available in the EF English Live virtual school, housed within the ArcelorMittal Online Campus. This includes live trainer access on demand, over 2,000 hours of engaging content, and full functionality on any device. Interactive lessons provide a variety of task types covering listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, plus specially created Steel & Mining industryspecific material so learners could practice highly targeted industry scenarios and vocabulary. 19

Excellence in Practice 2020 | ArcelorMittal / EF Education First

From global to local Translating this global mission into local action was seen as key to the success of the project. Experience on both sides of the relationship had taught the partners how important local knowledge, ownership, and accountability are in order to get the required results and maximum uptake. A global agreement between EF and ArcelorMittal was developed collaboratively, allowing local units to take advantage of economies of scale and ensuring consistency in the programme. The programme has provided support for learners in all time zones, across 16 languages, through a dedicated EF central team, working alongside local teams in 20 strategic locations who liaise with ArcelorMittal contacts on the ground. This support takes many forms including robust reporting and analysis of KPIs, custom communications to engage learners, and annual learner evaluations translated into seven languages. “EF has a global reach and is one of the few players on the market who can consistently support our local units. They often travel to meet with key local HR people in our major plants. It feels like a local, tailor-made approach but one that also benefits from having a global contract and resources,” according to Christian Standaert, General Manager of the ArcelorMittal University. A confident, engaged and productive global workforce The project has succeeded in reaching thousands of ArcelorMittal employees. It has led to measurable competence improvements for them. In many cases, too, their families have also benefited as the programme has been offered to family members. So far, the programme has delivered wide-reaching impact and multiple interconnected changes, by creating an environment where employees feel that ArcelorMittal is truly investing in their future. For ArcelorMittal employees involved in this programme, the average proficiency level has increased from A2 (elementary) to B1 (intermediate) on the standard Common European Framework for

Removing language as a barrier for ArcelorMittal employees has enabled them to be more impactful in their current roles. Of those surveyed, 93% report that they feel more productive at work and 95% have saved time at work since taking part. They have been able to collaborate and transfer knowledge more effectively and build stronger relationships with international customers

Reference scale. This means that thousands more employees have become eligible for further development into future leadership or management pathways. To illustrate this, the most recent cohort in one of ArcelorMittal’s flagship Leadership Development Programmes was more international than ever before, with only 6% coming from a native English language background. Removing language as a barrier for ArcelorMittal employees has enabled them to be more impactful in their current roles as well, with 93% of those surveyed reporting that they feel more productive at work and 95% of learners reporting that they have saved time at work since taking part. Employees have been able to collaborate and transfer knowledge more effectively, and build stronger relationships with international customers. This large-scale global language programme is a building block for ArcelorMittal’s global Learning and Development programmes and a key part of their future international success. The ongoing partnership with EF will continue to develop English language learning towards facilitating communication and performance across geographically diverse functions and business endeavours for the world’s largest steel company.


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

Association of Entrepreneurship Development “SKOLKOVO Community” / Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

Developing entrepreneurship in Russia T

he “PRACTICUM Programme” was inaugurated in 2012’ the year Vitaly Polekhin, Head of the Investor’s Club of the newly founded Association of Entrepreneurship Development “SKOLKOVO Community”, came to the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO with the idea for a new educational programme for the founders and CEOs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Here it is necessary to clarify what “SKOLKOVO” is and why it is found in the names of both organisations. Skolkovo is a village near Moscow that, in 2006, was chosen as the site for the construction of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO and in 2010 also for the Innovation Center, a place where Russian entrepreneurial activity is now concentrated —the Russian equivalent of Silicon Valley in the US. By 2012 the village had become a magnet for those engaged in the development of entrepreneurship and who dreamt of becoming key players in the global innovation process. The Association was created as a platform for communication between existing entrepreneurs and investors who shared the common belief that it was necessary to speed up the natural development of entrepreneurial practice. However, in their daily work the participants in the Association were faced with a difficult environment: it was hard to find the right projects for investment and a struggle to identify partners able to implement complex innovative projects. A significant number of Russian entrepreneurs were reaching the point of exhausting the resources that they had set out in their entrepreneurial frameworks and had either withdrawn from the market or moved on to something new in another industry, using business models already proven in the market. It was challenging to find entrepreneurs consistently developing their businesses and creating new solutions for their markets. 21

As a result, Vitaly approached the team at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO on behalf of the Association with a proposition: “We’d like you to be our educational partner. Can you do something with SME companies to make them more attractive to investors? It is impossible to invest in companies and teams who are not going to develop”. The context and the problem The history of entrepreneurship in Russia is quite short. In the Soviet period entrepreneurial activity was almost completely prohibited. However, the last 25 years of economic freedom in Russia has triggered much entrepreneurial activity. As of 2019, more than 250,000 companies that can be classified as SMEs were operating in the country. Despite this, the contribution of SMEs to the country’s GDP has not yet exceeded 20%, falling far behind the same metric in all developed and many developing countries. In addition, in Russia many micro and small companies fail to scale their development and grow into medium-sized enterprises (there are three times as many “small” companies in Russia than there are “medium-sized“ enterprises and this proportion is being stubbornly maintained). While studying these statistics, the working group created to develop the programme, quickly came to the conclusion that the problem with the poor investment attractiveness of companies is related to the fact that the entrepreneurial culture in the country is still being formed and developed. An innovative approach to entrepreneurship has not yet become a mass model. The main question of the shared framework developed by both partners to address this challenge was: “What can we do to increase the number of entrepreneurs who are consistently able to develop their small businesses into larger concerns?”

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Association of Entrepreneurship Development “SKOLKOVO Community” / Moscow School of Management SKOLKOV

The dilemma was to decide whether it was better to contemplate accelerating the natural course of historical entrepreneurial development in Russia or to wait until the situation in the country began to change under the influence of global processes. It was jointly decided that there should be an attempt to intervene in the historical process to fast-track innovative entrepreneurship. For this, it was clear that it would be necessary not only to design an appropriate educational programme but also to start building an entire entrepreneurial ecosystem around it. The Association could engage the emerging

investor community in the effort; alumni of other programmes at SKOLKOVO could act as educators and experts for the programme, helping and contributing to its design. The next problem to address was scale. SKOLKOVO could not work with tens of thousands of entrepreneurs simultaneously. So, how could we make a programme that would have a real impact on the SME sector, given the school’s capabilities? It was decided that we should rely on the competitive nature of entrepreneurs. Every new profitable product and successful business model created by one entrepreneur is quickly copied by his or her competitors.


...of participants are referrals of graduates


From 20% to 60%, turnover growth rate before and after the programme


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

Association of Entrepreneurship Development “SKOLKOVO Community” / Moscow School of Management SKOLKOV

We concluded that we should bet on trendsetters. While developing their own businesses and working within their industries and territories, such outliers become role models for other entrepreneurs and trigger the development of business ecosystems. The development and delivery of the programme Even though there was an opportunity to do so, we abandoned the idea of financing the programme through grants and government schemes. Thus, we put ourselves in a situation of entrepreneurial risk: creating and trusting in the value of an educational product to attract talented entrepreneurs. As we set out on this course, the working group for the programme set out not only educational goals but also several other practical targets. And since that time we have continued to evaluate the results of the programme according to the following criteria: • The number of participating companies that have crossed the threshold separating small and medium-sized business (based on revenue and profit/the number of new jobs created) • The number of entrepreneurs involved with the programme who have acquired the experience of implementing growth projects for their businesses • The number of innovations created by the programme’s entrepreneurs (new products, new services and new business models) It has been a long and exciting journey to create and manage a programme with such a wide and ambitious set of goals. We have had to learn to how to manage the product life cycle of the programme, look for and combine innovative educational technologies (now we use six different approaches) and develop the programme in constant communication with the participants, alumni and partners from the Association. The current iteration of the programme lasts for two years. We supplemented the basic PRACTICUM programme with a pre-event (admission), three meetings at the end and 23

a set of additional programmes for alumni. We started the first PRACTICUM programme on June 19, 2013. Over the last seven years we have conducted 20 programmes with 693 participants (SME business owners and CEOs). Still, the first enrollments onto the programme were not easy. What was created was a completely new type of business educational programme with some key characteristics that set it apart from other offerings on the Russian market: • A strict admission process, which refused applicants for ethical reasons such as the use of toxic business models, tax evasion or malpractice in their dealings with partners, customers or clients • A core educational technology based on the action learning method (most of the other competing programmes were based on traditional lectures) • A unique target audience—successful entrepreneurs willing to explore scaling up their businesses and realising their own value through their products and services. As time passed it became clear that more and more of our participants were coming into the programme as a result of recommendations from their friends and business partners. We became interested in the nature of this word of mouth phenomenon and found that most entrepreneurs belong to informal communities (on a territorial or sectoral basis). If someone from one of these communities came to the programme and afterwards is seen by their peers as having a “different” approach and performing in a new and more effective way, then other community members will gradually reach out to us. It would be premature to say that during the seven years of the programme’s existence, it has managed to completely solve the Russian problem of how to transform a small business into a medium-sized one. However, some of the data we have gathered from the graduates of the programme show very positive trends:

Medium-sized enterprises share

20% Russia

53% Germany

60% Israel

58% World

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Association of Entrepreneurship Development “SKOLKOVO Community” / Moscow School of Management SKOLKOV


2 weeks – 5 months before programme starts

Practicum Programme

Gate 1 (after 2 months)

5 modules of on-site studies / 5 days each 3-week intermodular periods

Gate 2 (after 6 months)

Gate 3 (a year after)

Project Implemented

1-day meeting after the end of the programme Programmes for Practicum alumni ReUnion – a 3-day programme for graduates held twice a year and aimed at enriching graduates’ entrepreneurial schemes with new contexts Programmes providing specific tools: Financial tracking, Building efficient teams Leadership UpGrade Programme Programme “Headquarter” – graduates with their teams build a new management system for the new new entrepreneurial project implementation

Start of a new business


Start of a new business direction


Increase in business efficiency


Finding new business partners


Finding new business investors


Partnership in another business


Business shutdown


No changes


Impact on business / entrepreneurship

Lessons learned Programmes for training entrepreneurs should be designed jointly with entrepreneur; this breaks down the barriers between education and performance. The programme team becomes a key partner in the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, not simply a service provider. This viable and developing educational programme for entrepreneurs is the result of combining these main elements: • Participants who are motivated to learn (they have their own goals for personal and business development and use the education tools provided to achieve them) • Carefully designed and compelling content • An interesting social environment (people learn from each other, they find both friends and future business partners);

• A committed and enthusiastic programme team with a real passion for entrepreneurship • The livelier the educational space and the more diverse the resources that are available within it, the stronger the entrepreneurial educational ecosystem • Entrepreneurship thrives in networks and communities • Old formats should be reinvented: homework should be undertaken collaboratively within teams to keep it vital and interesting • Evaluations should not be based on a defence of academic work but on the willingness of the entrepreneur and his or her team and partners to implement new business models and new ways of performing. 24

EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

daa / Trinity College Dublin

A journey from A to what can Be – The Future Factory Programme


ounded in 1937, daa Group is a leading airports management and travel retail organisation with operations across 16 countries in areas as diverse as airport management, international airport consulting and travel retail. With its headquarters in Ireland, the Group manages airports in Cork and Dublin as well as airport operations in Germany, Cyprus and Saudi Arabia. The Group was the first to introduce the concept of duty-free shopping in 1947 and its retail arm, ARI, now manages airport retail operations in 17 airports in 12 countries. The Group’s consulting arm, daa International, works with partners in areas such as growing airport traffic, facilities management, commercial management, stakeholder management and airport operations management. Ireland is focused on keeping its connections with Europe and the rest of the world open for the flow of capital, business and, most importantly, people. Sometimes described as the “Singapore of Europe”, the country serves as a hub for many multinational organisations in the management of their European operations and is also home to many Irish companies who are “born global” with an extensive international footprint. As a small open economy on the periphery of Europe, Dublin Airport and its commercial ecosystem is central to the success of the country’s strategy to engage as a global hub for business and people. daa, therefore, has an important role in keeping the airport at peak productivity and efficiency. As an island nation, the airport, quite literally, is a strategic asset for the country’s economic wellbeing and connectivity with the rest of the world.


In order to maintain its role as an essential gateway Dublin Airport must constantly face into the challenges of the rapidly changing and evolving aviation sector. To this end, the airport identified innovation as a key component in their role of managing and developing the airport of the future. As the fourteenth busiest airport in Europe, a number of key challenges faced the airport including rapidly increasing passenger numbers, increasing environmental concerns, changes in aviation technology, increased pressure for high levels of customer service and even more efficiency. daa rightly identified the airport not as a facility but rather an ecosystem employing over 20,000 people who work for more than 100 companies. The Group understands that innovation within this ecosystem, not just within daa itself is central to the future success of the airport. In response to this need, Dublin Airport established a centre for excellence in innovation – the daa Future Factory with responsibility for embedding innovation across the airport ecosystem. The Future Factory team approached Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin (TBS) to work together in creating a professional development journey for selected people across the airport who would become evangelists for innovation, intrapreneurship and change. An innovation leadership programme, The Future Factory Trinity Innovation Programme, was designed as a vehicle for embedding innovation into the operations and people of the airport and a catalyst for people, organisational and even ecosystem transformation.

Excellence in Practice 2020 | daa / Trinity College Dublin

daa rightly identified the airport not as a facility but rather an eco-system employing over 20,000 people who work for more than 100 companies. The Group understands that innovation within this eco-system, not just within daa itself is central to the future success of the airport


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

daa / Trinity College Dublin

The desired impact of the programme was to support the development of an airport innovation hub through the development of leaders who would drive innovation across the airport ecosystem with a focus on innovation decreasing costs and / or increasing revenue streams. It was crucial that the initiative would result in actual projects that would serve as exemplars for innovation as they were developed and implemented. The Future Factory and TBS merged into a single team for the purpose of understanding what kind of L&D initiative would best serve the strategic interests of the client in achieving its people and organisational development objectives around innovation leadership and systemisation of innovation within the processes and culture of the organisation. TBS, in partnership with daa, designed an experiential and action-learning innovation programme with around 20 participants each year. Participants come from functional areas across Dublin Airport, bringing insights from across many diverse areas of the business. Although most have little or no previous experience of innovation they have been selected for the programme because they exude a creative spirt and a passion to learn. Trinity aim to bring out the best in these novice innovators, immersing them in a professional development environment where they are encouraged to be creative and not to fear failure. Both daa and Trinity recognise that a key tenet of developing a culture of innovation is that an idea can come from anywhere. We encourage all innovators to be ambassadors for change in their organisation and to encourage others to follow them, enabling Dublin Airport to showcase innovative intent and talent across the organisation. As a bespoke innovation programme for Dublin Airport it facilitates the combination of learning with experiential and real-world projects that stimulate and support the delivery of new value for Dublin Airport. 27

Excellence in Practice 2020 | daa / Trinity College Dublin


In the first iteration of the programme, alumni have become innovation leaders and mentors for the next cohort of participants. Over 40% of programme alumni have gained promotions or new roles within the organisation internationally

The programme is delivered over six two-day modules, with an embedded hackathon that enables innovators to work directly with the Trinity student body at the ideation stage. Each module is designed to leverage the learning of the previous module – allowing innovators to work towards a final presentation where the fruits of their labour are showcased with senior executives from daa. Dublin and Trinity recognised from the start that any innovation projects developed as part of this programme would need to be managed through a clearly defined gating process – ensuring that the innovation would either drive revenue or reduce cost for Dublin Airport. Trinity fully supported the Future Factory in developing its innovation process – with each of the Trinity academic team contributing enhancements and revisions to the process as we worked through the programme. In collaboration with daa, Trinity identified the following key programme objectives : • To develop innovation ambassadors who have a passion for innovation in the organisation, who share key learnings with others and who support innovation and Future Factory endeavours throughout daa – helping The Future Factory to embed an understanding of innovation across the organisation • Supporting the Future Factory team to develop a culture of innovation by empowering participants to develop an “Innovators DNA” – supporting them to create “big bet” projects that reduce cost and/or increase revenue for the business • Enabling the Future Factory team to develop and continually refine an innovation framework and strategy using best-in-class tools, techniques and processes • Supporting the alignment of people and culture with the needs daa’s competitive strategy • Enabling participants to develop norms around team interactions and helping them to understand the part they play in team development

• Supporting participants to communicate and collaborate with others in the organisation – generating greater flexibility and diversity in style to reach and influence more people • Empowering people to seek to develop an entrepreneurial and innovative approach in the business using a design thinking approach to problem solving • Integrating business mentoring to enable participants to take ownership of their innovation projects and drive them forward The Future Factory Programme combines professional development in areas such as “deation,” financial project analysis, high performing team development, stakeholder management, lean business modelling and presentation skills with practical real-world innovation application of projects that are selectively rolled-out across the organisation. In the first iteration of the programme, three “Big Bet” projects with a potential combined EBIDTA value of over €1.2m were identified. Programme alumni have become innovation leaders and mentors for the next cohort of participants. Over 40% of programme alumni have gained promotions or new roles within the organisation internationally. The programme, fuelled by an ambition to identify potential leaders who can act as innovation champions has now been rolled out to include participants from other key organisations within the airport ecosystem, accelerating its potential to act as a catalyst for change and transformation. Trinity Business School and daa’s Future Factory team are now engaging in an innovative process themselves that will expand the programme’s footprint internationally and bring much needed innovative leadership to airports around the world.


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

Elevate RAP Working Group / AGSM @ UNSW Business School

Emerging Indigenous executive leaders programme T

he AGSM Emerging Indigenous Executive Leadership Programme was launched in 2017 and this year welcomes its fourth cohort. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people comprise 3% of Australia’s population and continue to experience high levels of disadvantage. Indigenous men die on average eight years younger than non-Indigenous men. Youth suicide rates are four times higher than in non-Indigenous communities, and employment and literacy rates continue to remain lower than those of non-Indigenous Australians. The annual Closing the Gap Report, tracks targets set in 2008 that are aimed at reducing inequality. With only three of seven key areas meeting last year, there continues to be a need for a different approach to address disadvantage and breach the disparity. Establishing the programme In 2016, nine organisations that had been recognised by Reconciliation Australia with Elevate RAP status for progress on their reconciliation plans, met to identify how their respective organisations could work together to progress outcomes for their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees. The consensus among the group was that while organisations were achieving employment targets set out in their Reconciliation Action Plans, their Indigenous employees were not progressing through management levels; an important factor to achieve greater self-determination and equality. A Working Group was formed with all agreeing that collaboration was necessary to achieve a breakthrough outcome and approval to develop a pilot leadership programme involving the Elevate RAP members was given. The concept of the Emerging Indigenous Executive Leaders Programme (EIELP) was then developed.


The agreed programme goal established by the Elevate RAP Working Group was: • To cultivate the next generation of Indigenous leaders with a strong focus on developing them to become Executive Level ready in the future. The agreed learning objectives were to be: • To support the advancement of high-potential Indigenous leaders from all sectors and industries • To develop and deepen the key strategic and interpersonal skills required of Indigenous executive leaders in the workplace and community • To create powerful role models for future Indigenous leaders • To further develop executive mentors’ Indigenous cultural awareness and understanding to support them to become role models of change. Karen Mundine, CEO of Reconciliation Australia, said, “we are proud that the RAP Program has initiated organisations to drive and deliver important projects such as the Emerging Indigenous Executive Leaders Programme. Ensuring that First Australians have the opportunity to engage in career development opportunities is critical and an important step in empowering our people.” Programme Design EIELP would be designed to provide executivelevel leadership development to high performing Indigenous managers with participants typically in established management roles and identified for senior level advancement. “Importantly, we believed that First Australian voices will be amplified around decision-making tables as a result of the programme, which ultimately will strengthen business performance.” Michael Lacy, Head of Community, Richmond Football Club & Chair of the Elevate RAP Working Group

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Elevate RAP Working Group / AGSM @ UNSW Business School


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

Elevate RAP Working Group / AGSM @ UNSW Business School

The Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at the UNSW Business School was selected by the Elevate RAP Working Group as a partner who would design and deliver a programme that would facilitate career and leadership development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees aspiring to executive leadership roles. It was agreed EIELP would be a nine-month programme and include four face-to-face modules and a blended learning module Cultural protocols Consideration was immediately given to how the programme would be delivered in a culturally appropriate way that would resonate for participants. “The EIELP program is unique in Australia in a multiplicity of ways” says Professor Mark Rose, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous Strategy and Innovation, Deakin University and EIELP Academic Director. “We have endeavored to deliver with equal probity the best of both western and the best of Indigenous knowledge, never compromising on either. The EIELP has been fashioned in adherence to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educational philosophy. The power of the programme lies in the intersection and recognition of the integrity of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Western knowledge systems and is an extreme example of co-design,” The “Walking in Two Worlds” concept would underpin the programme and be used in tandem with classic Indigenous approaches such as “both ways” and the ground-breaking Coolangatta Statement. Professor Mark Rose also works with each participant to strengthen the connection to their “Ancestral Mandate” and make the classroom a culturally safe environment for the free and frank exchange of traditional and contemporary knowledge. “We have designed a programme that is delivered in a way that is aligned to the learning 31

styles of participants particularly through the use of stories, catering for visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles and with a heavy emphasis on social learning.” Feedback from the pilot programme, told us that the most successful learning module was at Uluru and as we became more effective at using the “Aboriginal Ways of Learning” frameworks, increasing the experiential learning became an obvious part of the pedagogy. New learning design components included embedding part of Module 1 in Fitzroy, which historically has been a focal point of Indigenous Melbourne. Another new component that produced deep learning was working with a local ranger and an Elder at the module in Uluru. We particularly had success with insights that were drawn from the land, local flora and fauna with Indigenous Leadership which had one participant commenting that “I finally understood leadership”. At the conclusion of the pilot programme, we established a documented set of Cultural Protocols that would underpin the programme being delivered in a culturally safe and appropriate way. The Cultural Protocols were reinforced by establishing mechanisms for providing regular feedback, co-design and input. We also formalized and integrated into the programme design: • Yarning Circles, a traditional way of learning and knowledge exchange through story telling • Indigenous role models, symbols and artwork used throughout the programme • Delivering the programme in both metropolitan and remote regions of Australia. Said one participant about the cultural underpinning of the programme: “I have gained a greater level of confidence, realised my leadership capabilities and expanded my network to realise that I add significant value to my organisation. My ancestral mandate is about helping others to embrace their own vulnerability and to really step outside your comfort zone – because this is where I realized my own value and just what can be possible when you truly believe in yourself”. Natalee George (EIELP 2018)


The EIELP has continued to grow. In 2017, we delivered to a cohort of 16 and this year our fourth cohort is our largest ever with 30 participants

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Elevate RAP Working Group / AGSM @ UNSW Business School

moving memorial to the Stolen Generation (children taken away from their families) at the main Sydney train station and other stations around the State. Another participant has recently been appointed a Director of Diversity a significant promotion at one of Australia’s largest organisations. She is now leveraging her EIELP Strategic Challenge Report to reset the organisation’s diversity agenda.

Creating systemic change for career advancement A key way of integrating learning across the programme, is through the participants working on a workplace strategic challenge. Eva Freedman, EIELP Program Director said, “what we had originally envisioned as part of the learning architecture for applying and demonstrating individual learning,has now become the key tool that supports required the systemic shifts for moving through leadership levels”. The strategic challenge introduces key senior stakeholders to participants. Along the way, these stakeholders learn about Culture, begin to understand and know the participant and more often than not become advocates of the participant’s career progression. Says one participant: “My workplace is more culturally aware than it used to be. Staff have a better understanding of local Indigenous culture and history. I see the seed of respect and reconciliation growing”. One participant, with support on his Strategic Challenge project, was able to influence significant internal and external stakeholders to erect a very

Programme impact Since concluding the program, 78% of participants have made a significant career move, 87% have increased their capabilities and 83% have improved their well-being. There are four participants undertaking their PhDs and five participants undertaking MBAs. Steve Munns (EIELP 2018), 2019 recipient of a Sir Ronald Wilson Pat Turner PhD Scholarship at the Australian National University and now AGSM Adjunct Faculty, says the EIELP shined a light on his ancestors’ achievements. “It awakened me in a way in which I can infuse my Aboriginal learnings and westernised leadership qualities together,” he said. “It has given me a platform where I can mentor and influence up-and-coming Indigenous Leaders both within my community and organisations I work for in the future.” Conclusion The EIELP has continued to grow. In 2017, we delivered to a cohort of 16 and this year our fourth cohort is our largest ever with 30 participants. Three participants have been appointed as Adjunct Faculty at AGSM and a number of others are teaching on AGSM courses. An alumni programme has been developed to further embed participant learnings and provide support in building their leadership careers. Early in 2020, an energetic Alumni Conference was held to support this lifelong learning commitment. We will continue to support these talented alumni as they progress to the highest levels of leadership across Australia.


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

Coromandel International Limited / Murugappa Group – Management Development Centre

A digital learning platform for enhancing salesforce capabilities at Coromandel


Excellence in Practice 2020 | Coromandel International Limited / Murugappa Group – Management Development Centre

Coromandel’s desire to offer better solutions to farmers has led to adding more Agricultural Graduates addressing two key field functions, namely Agronomists and Marketing Officers


oromandel International Limited, an Indian corporation founded in the early 1960s, is among India’s pioneers and leading agricultural solutions provider, offering diverse products and services across the agricultural inputs value chain. Coromandel International Limited has the largest network (for coverage across India) in the country to deliver sustainable farming solutions encompassing soil health improvement, nutrition balancing and providing responsible crop protection and care through a series of interventions. Coromandel’s desire to offer better solutions to farmers has led to adding more Agricultural Graduates addressing two key field functions, namely Agronomists and Marketing Officers. Coromandel has partnered with Murugappa Group’s MDC (Management Development Center), since MDC’s consistent emphasis has been to capture, compile, communicate and disseminate knowledge to all stakeholders. This includes newcomers and those who have been transferred or part of job rotation, job enrichment, crossfunctional teams and so on. One of the challenges here was to train and keep these associates up to date with the latest products and agricultural practices. The Indian farming community is not well-versed with latest farming techniques and technologies and most Indian farmers operate in small land holdings. As a solution, MDC developed e-learning modules through which the knowledge would be disseminated to various learners, empowering them to learn at their pace from their place. Challenges pertaining to the time and space constraints were successfully overcome by VidhyaOnline e-learning initiative as it enables learners to learn and relearn before disseminating

the knowledge to the farming ecosystem. Learners were given access to the modules relating to not only the products, technical features and consultative contents, but also to the modules on behavioral and sales, which translated into better business results. Costs and challenges in disseminating knowledge One of the prime responsibilities of agronomists is to help farmers understand more about the soils properties and the crops they grow. Based on that, they provide advice on the required nutrition to the plants at different stages, strategies to handle pests and weeds, solutions to challenges that they may face, such as floods and droughts. Marketing officers focus on identifying the needs and challenges to provide the solutions by selling the right products to the farmers at the right time and place. They are also responsible for increasing the market coverage by appointing more channel network for servicing more farmers. Freshly hired executives (both students and executives with minimal experience) are expected to gain a great deal of practical knowledge in a very short span of time and be able to operate independently and deliver results in a shorter cycle time. Apart from huge investments towards classroom training, the logistics of getting all the participants for training was becoming a challenge. Traditionally, successful SMEs in Coromandel are taken on as faculty for the newcomers so that the productivity of SMEs is reduced due to their focus on training. Learners operate in remotest of locations and are under constant pressure to cover widely scattered farmers. 34

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Excellence in Practice 2020

Coromandel International Limited / Murugappa Group – Management Development Centre

New-age learning ecosystem for new-age learners! Coromandel L&D (learning and development) Teams and MDC E-learning teams jointly identified the key stakeholders and set up kickstart meetings with them. This was to ensure that the digital lessons were built properly, with the help of Coromandel’s subject matter experts from each of the business units. MDC was involved in the knowledge sharing meetings to learn about the intricacies of the educational contents, so that the contents don’t just deliver “what”, “how” and “when” but the most critical “why” part of it. All the three stakeholders (Coromandel SMEs, Coromandel L&D and MDC) worked closely through the different stages of e-learning production. The approved e-learning module with the necessary assessments is uploaded on to the homegrown cloud-based LMS (Learning Management System), where the modules are assigned to the learners under the VidhyaOnline digital initiative. The learners can access the contents from any of their smart devices (smartphones, tabs, office laptops, home PCs, etc.) Coromandel L&D also conducts contests and schemes to encourage competitive learning. Apart from this, user-based or module-based completion reports are generated by both Coromandel L&D directly and MDC. Rewards and gifts are awarded by Coromandel L&D for contest winners on a periodical basis. Pilot study to improve digital adoption Instead of going for a large-scale launch directly for hundreds of users, Coromandel L&D did a pilot study in the first year (2016-17) when two modules were launched. Pilot phase included playing the e-learning module on the screen in the classroom, followed by encouraging the users to login into the LMS portal and taking up the digital assessments. Receiving feedback from the learners on the 35

Division/Co Year




Revenues over 4 Financial Years CAGR 12.2% over 4 years

2018-19 CPC

Revenues 53% growth over last year (as projected at end of Dec-2019)

SND 2019-20

Revenues 46% growth over last year (as projected at end of Dec-2019)

2018-19 SSP

Revenues 12% Growth (as projected at end of Dec-2019) (industry growth: 3%)

Coromandel 2016-19

L&D Savings over 4 Financial Years


Rs. 14.5 crores (Rs. 145 million / USD 1.9 Mn)

Table 1: Business Impact and Cost Savings



















Sales (volume in tonnes)



Sales (value in Rs. Crores)

2019/20 (as of end of Jan)

Projected sales value (value in Rs. Crores)

Figure 1: Fertiliser Business Growth in the last 4 years

I can see the difference of the crop from my regular usage of DAP & Urea. I am very happy with the additional yield and earnings. Mr. Khasim (agronomist) is my favorite and I will use only Coromandel products V. Kulayappa Farmer, Andhra Pradesh, India.


Excellence in Practice 2020 | Coromandel International Limited / Murugappa Group – Management Development Centre

contents ensured timely enrichments. In the next session, users are asked to study from the e-learning module directly and ask questions, if any, to the facilitator, followed by the online assessment. Once they have enjoyed their power and freedom of learning, the executives showed greater interest to learn other modules from the digital platform smoothly. Owing to the success of the pilot study with two modules, MDC and Coromandel L&D teams have co-created 60 modules in the last four years catering to learners at different levels and touchpoints under the umbrella of VidhyaOnline.

Digital breakthrough evolved into long-term benefits Freshers and experienced executives earned consistent knowledge through the digital medium “at their pace, from their place�. They also gained insights about various product offerings and were able to expand their knowledge base beyond their area of expertise. Agronomists were able to guide the farmers better with necessary knowhow. They were able to refer to the knowledge management system at any time for any queries. There is huge amount of buy-in from learners. The knowledge transfer to the farming ecosystem was agile, smooth and effective, leading to stronger relationships. The gained knowledge has encouraged farmers to reap results by using appropriate solutions. Solutions to various problems at different stages of crop growth are educated to them hence helping in increasing their yield. Influencers in the farming ecosystem, such as village leaders, families and local shops are also educated simultaneously. Coromandel has become the first choice for the farmers. The farmers place huge trust in the Coromandel agronomists and marketing officers as consultants and partners, which eventually brought in more business, as shown in the table. With many key learnings over these years of implementing digital learning across the company and Murugappa Group, Coromandel has already begun to scale up e-learning initiative by including many other stakeholders as learners, such as the farmers, their families, village community leaders, executives in corporate head office, etc., while MDC continues to create and deliver e-learning modules to other functions and companies of the group to disseminate knowledge digitally.


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

Enterprise Ireland / ESMT Berlin / IMS Marketing

Enter the Eurozone programme T

he Eurozone is one of the world’s most dynamic, prosperous, and stable markets. Given that it is on the doorstep of the Republic of Ireland, the Eurozone is also a fountain of untapped opportunities for Irish companies – valued at €38bn. For Irish companies, the Eurozone boasts several important advantages, including shared currency, no customs, no tariffs, regulatory alignment, proximity, and ease of access. Moreover, Brexit underscored the importance of accelerating ongoing diversification efforts into Eurozone markets. However, despite the benefits, there was a perception among Irish SMEs of the Eurozone as a difficult market, acting as a barrier to engagement. The Eurozone has five times the population of the UK yet receives less than two thirds of its exports from Irish companies, even though reliance on the UK market was already down from 97 % in the 1920s to 18 % in 2012. Enterprise Ireland is the Irish government agency responsible for promoting export sales and jobs for Irish business globally. It is the largest VC in Europe and the second worldwide (by deal flow). It is responsible for €4.8bn in exports. To continue the strategic shift in the export footprint from a UK focus to a Eurozone one, Enterprise Ireland crafted its Eurozone Strategy 2020 to achieve specific successes in working with Irish companies. These were: 300 new exporters to the Eurozone, 200 clients growing exports from €200k to more than €500k, and a 50 % increase in annual exports to the Eurozone (€6.15bn) as well as three €1bn markets and two €0.5 markets. To accomplish this, Enterprise Ireland identified a need to increase supports for client Irish companies entering and scaling in the Eurozone. This would draw on the success of other Enterprise Ireland clients that had already


achieved significant export success in the core Eurozone markets of the Netherlands, Germany, France and Belgium as well as Spain and Italy. A new four-month intensive programme would thus seek to inspire the target group to do the same. The “Enter the Eurozone” initiative was born The programme targeted approximately 600 to 700 Irish companies with an established market offering but not yet exporting to the rest of the Eurozone. The companies in this group have a minimum annual turnover of €500,000 (established business model), are exporting a minimum of €25,000 annually to the UK or a market outside the Eurozone, and are not significantly (under €25,000) exporting to the Eurozone. A core aim of the “Enter the Eurozone” programme would be thus to give Irish companies the sales and marketing skills, confidence, and motivation to win their first significant contract in a core Eurozone market. This aim underpinned the entire design, development and delivery of the programme. Strength in collaboration Enterprise Ireland sought partners with specific market entry knowledge to design and deliver a unified programme that could build on existing sales and marketing frameworks and give due consideration to the culture of the Irish SME. Via a competitive procurement process, the international business school ESMT Berlin was selected for its experience in training delivery for executives, and Galway-based IMS Marketing was selected for its expertise in one-to-one business advising, especially on international market entry planning and implementation. The programme successfully blended Eurozone locations (Berlin and Paris for the first cohort)


The programme targeted approximately 600 to 700 Irish companies with an established market offering but not yet exporting to the rest of the Eurozone

€38bn The Eurozone is also a fountain of untapped opportunities for Irish companies – valued at €38bn

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Enterprise Ireland / ESMT Berlin / IMS Marketing


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

Enterprise Ireland / ESMT Berlin / IMS Marketing


for inspiration, Irish locations (Dublin) for convenience, and “eiLearn,” Enterprise Ireland’s online learning support platform (which was supported by IMS business advisors) for effectiveness. As a team, the partners had three months – in tight, near-seamless collaboration – to design, recruit, and deliver an effective learning and mentoring programme for Irish SMEs before the original Brexit date of October 31, 2019. The expertise of all three parties, the experience and support of internal Enterprise Ireland divisions, the collaborative process and the adaptation to the culture of the Irish SME were key factors in the success of the entire program, resulting in tailored learning content as well as practical templates for participants along their market entry journey. The progress that clients made between Day 1 and the finale – with a specific, budgeted MEP (Market Entry Plan) with clear targets and next steps – was dramatic.

learning and development at Enterprise Ireland. With the one-to-one guidance of Enterprise Ireland’s business advisors and built in peer-to-peer support, clients completed each phase with the knowledge and skills specific to their stage in the MEP journey. The module-based approach ensured that all companies made progress towards developing a MEP for their chosen Eurozone market.

Modular and tailored learning with results Let’s look for a moment at the case of Campion Connect. For 30 years, Campion employees in Tipperary and Dublin have sold, installed, and serviced pumps in Ireland. In response to the global digital transformation, Campion developed its own software platform and a smartphone app, with which the company has successfully served Irish clients that include Three Arena, Irish Water, Dublin Airport, and The Convention Centre. But the company had no clear idea about how to expand its market to other EU countries or how to identify and price its software for those potential customers. Like Campion, each company started the Enter the Eurozone programme with varying degrees of management skills and experience. But the five-phase, four-month programme developed by Enterprise Ireland, ESMT Berlin, and IMS was designed for impact. “The Enter the Eurozone programme provided clients with a clear goal of winning their first Eurozone contract,” said Keelin Fagan, head of client

Phase 2: Market intelligence During this phase, clients took initial steps in researching their target Eurozone market. This process, which included practical templates and was supported by individual mentoring, ensured that many companies were following a marketdata-led approach (in many cases for the first time). The companies had to answer key questions: • Why is this market attractive? • What makes it attractive? • How do we believe we can be successful in this target market? The process also brought client realisation that market intelligence was a continuous process. (A key programme impact: many of the companies continued their market research and validation efforts after the programme’s conclusion).

Phase 1: Starting the journey A typical failing is that companies often approach the market using a shotgun approach, trying to enter too many markets with too few resources. The key element of this phase was the selection of the target Eurozone market as a “working assumption” (i.e., clients could change their selection later). The client companies made this choice following one-to-one meetings with Enterprise Ireland and IMS Marketing personnel. Making a market choice brought a strategic focus to each client’s journey into the Eurozone.

Phase 3: Berlin module Two senior representatives from each client company traveled to Berlin for campus-based workshops delivered by ESMT. In some cases, this was the first time they had invested significantly in

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Enterprise Ireland / ESMT Berlin / IMS Marketing

Phase 4: Paris module The business advisors also prepared the clients for their visit to Paris. There, strategic workshops were delivered by ESMT in areas such as sales strategy, route-to-market options, and business negotiations. The impacts from this phase were demonstrated by the “before” and “after” comparison of each client’s MEP, which were shared with IMS Marketing, ESMT, and Enterprise Ireland.

Scan the QR code or visit the website to watch the programme video: https://execed.esmt.berlin/ customized-solutions/impact -story-enterprise-ireland

this type of executive training and development. The work from previous phases gave clients the foundation to use what they would learn in the strategic workshops delivered by ESMT. Specifically: • The “Business Model and Value Proposition Canvas” workshop and peer-to-peer learning opportunities helped the companies formulate their market entry strategy. • “Organisational Decision Making” made companies realise why and how to engage the whole organisation in the market entry project. After Berlin, the client representatives returned to Ireland where, over the four weeks that followed, Enterprise Ireland business advisors helped each company integrate these lessons into their market entry strategy. These interventions focused on fine-tuning the value proposition and revisiting some of their market research gaps.

Phase 5: Market entry plan The end goal of the journey was a completed and tested MEP by each participant company, as well as equipping them with the practical items they needed to know in the next six to nine months as they executed their MEP and sought to gain their first significant contract. In the case of Campion, the five-phase Enter the Eurozone programme increased its potential for success in the Eurozone market. The programme helped Campion identify its target potential in entering a new market, in terms of both short and long-term revenues, and the value of using partners to grow its presence in the EU. The company now has a business development manager for export sales, is attending an international market expo for its industry, and is in discussions with real customers in its new Eurozone market. Market entry is a multifaceted challenge. Irish companies must learn the skills for market entry, not just have the information handed to them. Given the scale of the challenge and the Eurozone targets of Enterprise Ireland, the Enter the Eurozone initiative demanded an ambitious response – one that would unify previous one-to-one support with a learning and development (L&D) approach towards an end goal of market entry. And in the end the Enter the Eurozone initiative achieved for Irish clients what it intended – namely the knowledge and skills to build and execute their MEP and gain their first significant contract in a thriving Eurozone marketplace.


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

Avolon / INSEAD

Rising to the challenges of rapid growth


Excellence in Practice 2020 | Avolon / INSEAD


y any measure, Avolon’s story of meteoric growth is unusual. INSEAD strategy professor, Daniel Simonovich, describes the Irish aircraft leasing company’s trajectory as ‘astonishing’ In 2017, less than a decade after start-up, Avolon had an annual turnover of over $2.3 billion and assets of over $27 billion. Much of the growth was organic but in 2017 the company successfully completed a merger with the aircraft-leasing arm of American bank, CIT. All integration goals were met well ahead of schedule – and Avolon’s numbers of aircraft and people doubled overnight. Fortunately, all the members of the Executive Team had worked together before. One colleague called them the FC Barcelona of aircraft leasing: “They could pass the ball without looking because they knew the other player was going to be there.” Yet they now had a 250-strong global workforce, half of whom had been with the company for under two years. Success – especially in the form of rapid growth – can be hard to manage. And so Avolon’s leaders approached global business school, INSEAD. Before: the challenge In 2017 Avolon was still operating like a start-up. There were too many Excel spreadsheets and ad hoc email attachments and too few systems and processes. Although many procedures were highly effective they were not necessarily written down. The founding “FC Barcelona” team was used to passing the ball without looking, let alone documenting its path. Moreover, Avolon was a deal culture – reflecting a high-adrenaline, high-stakes industry where a single transaction can run to hundreds of millions of dollars. All the company’s key performance indicators were financial, which failed to capture the complexity of the business. Senior executives were so wrapped up in day-to-day transactions that they had little time to think strategically.

Meanwhile, junior managers were so busy rushing around, making their larger-than-life bosses’ deals happen, that they had little time to lead their own teams or to use their own insights. In the initial high-level meetings between the Avolon Executive Committee and the INSEAD team (which included Deputy Dean, Peter Zemsky) two overarching objectives for the partnership were defined. First, leadership and strategy. Senior staff had to stop being doers and become thinkers, while junior staff had to stop being followers and become leaders – with no fear of speaking up or sometimes failing.” Second, processes and strategy execution: Avolon had to move from small-company to big-company systems. According to Avolon HR Director, Susan Rafferty, “A spark was lit from the very first meeting.” Creation and delivery of the programme INSEAD’s initial analysis identified “4 + 2” critical areas, the “4” being strategy, structure, culture and execution and the “2” being talent management and leadership. Avolon immediately embraced the analysis and asked them to translate it into an educational programme. After much iteration, the partners agreed on three modules delivered over 8–12 months: Strategic Leadership for more senior managers (around 50 people in two cohorts) and Accelerated Leadership for junior managers (150 in five cohorts). Each would cover similar ground, so that everyone in the company was aligned around the same “4 + 2” learning. This represented a two to three year commitment and a significant investment by Avolon. By the time the first module ran at INSEAD Fontainebleau in March 2018, it was clear that the objectives were as much about cascading a learning culture throughout Avolon as about strategy, execution and leadership. 42

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Excellence in Practice 2020

Avolon / INSEAD

Since then over 65% of Avolon employees have attended INSEAD. The learning is carefully adapted to career levels. For example, the junior programme focuses more on business basics than strategy (project management, negotiation, communication, team dynamics and cross-cultural interaction). Similarly, where senior colleagues learn about leading change, juniors focus on experiencing and influencing change. Avolon requested an entirely face-to-face rather than online programme in order to strengthen bonds between employees from different functional teams and hierarchical levels. However, delivery methods are highly innovative, most notably in the “business in action” simulation. Participants are taken completely outside their comfort zones for two whole days in a kind of ‘reality-TV’ experience”, as they deal with surprise challenges, delivered as text messages, calls or emails in real time. 43

After: the impact Since 2018, Avolon has undergone an unlikely process revolution thanks to INSEAD’s application of Kaizen principles to a non-manufacturing context. Despite initial scepticism, the sessions have spawned a whole new company structure, the Project Management Office (PMO). Built around an existing IT team, it not only ensures best practices in managing new projects across the company but is also mapping – and improving – all of Avolon’s day-to-day processes. By January 2019, the new team had its own space and dedicated “process mapping” area to apply the principles learned at INSEAD alongside colleagues from other departments. All staff can literally step outside their day-to-day routine into a creative “design” space where they can see their tasks with greater clarity and set their roles within a bigger picture. In year one, the team helped to optimise 33 distinct internal processes by cutting out

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Avolon / INSEAD

Participants are taken completely outside their comfort zones for two whole days in a kind of ‘reality-TV’ experience”, as they deal with surprise challenges, delivered as text messages, calls or emails in real time.


In year one, the team helped to optimise 33 distinct internal processes. The resulting improvements resulted in many quality enhancements and have saved an estimated 10% of the company’s time

unnecessary steps or finding technical solutions. The resulting improvements resulted in many quality enhancements and have saved an estimated 10% of the company’s time. The PMO has also led two major company-wide IT projects: a document-management system that enables files to be shared throughout the organisation; and a bespoke platform for managing transactions and operations, capturing all KPIs for the entire company to access on any device anywhere in the world. “It’s a game-changer that encompasses every deal we make and has transformed our working practices,” says COO Tom Ashe. The leadership impacts are inevitably less tangible but should not be underestimated. Ask any participant about the effect of the programme and they will cite changes in their own behaviour. HR Operations Manager, Claire Hudson, is typical. “Before, a lot of people found me intimidating,” she says. “Today I adopt a softer communication style for certain situations.” Simon Hanson, Head of Asia Pacific, already had an MBA and was sceptical about what he would learn at INSEAD. But he too has changed: “Today I think more like a football coach on the sidelines, rather than a star player.”

And After That On 6 January 2020 a major milestone was announced: Avolon had gained “investment-grade” status, enabling it to borrow at more favourable rates – and to grow yet further. Of course, INSEAD cannot claim the credit. However, better management and sleeker operations certainly helped. And, adds Hanson, “Thanks to INSEAD, the smell of learning is everywhere at Avolon.” Little did either organisation know about the turbulence ahead. The entire aviation industry was about to be buffeted by a pandemic storm that no one could have predicted. At the time of writing, planes are flying again but the long-term outcome is still unknowable. One fact is definite, though: the stronger, faster Avolon that emerged from the partnership with INSEAD weathered the first quarter of the crisis far better than expected. The company is already steering a steady, confident course into the uncertain future.


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

Intouch Group / Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester

Strategic digital leadership in a rapidly changing world


Excellence in Practice 2020 | Government Savings Bank / Intouch Group / Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester


igital disruption The increasing challenge of digital disruption demands faster business innovation. This makes capabilities in strategic insight and effective project implementation more important than ever. Digital technologies are disrupting value chains, organisational structures, operational processes and revenue models. Managing the digital transformation effectively will ensure whether a company succeeds or not. Most successful organisations in the future will be those with the capability to orchestrate knowledge in the digital economy: from designing products and user experiences to implementing data analytics, AI and machine learning methodologies/approaches. And these organisations are the ones likely to sustain competitive advantage in the longer term. This perspective places a premium on the role of organisational learning and the skills of rapid adaptation.

Co-creation the key to success Intouch Holdings PCL is a holding company focused on the telecommunications industry. It is the parent company of Advanced Info Service (AIS), the largest mobile phone operator in Thailand, and Thaicom. Intouch Group is a well-established and successful enterprise operating in a VUCA environment who understood that in an era of disruptive innovation the status quo is not an option. Of critical importance in addressing this challenge is people and future leadership populations who will face the continuous task of adapting to change, driving innovation and delivering sustainable long-term growth. A series of interventions and programmes were commissioned by the group, aiming to break down organisation silos, increase operational

To transform this challenge into a definitive, tangible programme, AMBS and Intouch Group followed two core principles. First, to be solution focussed. Second, to be collaborative

effectiveness and elicit innovative responses to new challenges in an era of disruptive innovation. Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) was commissioned to design a leadership programme for the pre C-level suite of 200 leaders. The intention was that this would not only be an individual leadership development opportunity but that it should assist Intouch Group identify which people were best placed to drive the company forward over the next 10 years. To transform this challenge into a definitive, tangible programme, AMBS and Intouch Group followed two core principles. First, to be solution focussed. We feel that customised corporate education is about delivering business benefit as well as individual outcomes and identifying this business rationale is critical to a programme’s success. Second, to be collaborative. Essentially, we believed that AMBS are leaders in customised education design and the latest thinking in management science; and Intouch Group are experts in the telecommunications sector, their business and their organisation culture. Combining these two areas of expertise was the only way to achieve programme success. Based on this philosophy, we worked closely together and adopted a co-creation approach to programme development. 46

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Excellence in Practice 2020

Intouch Group / Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester

Initially, AMBS undertook 10 in-depth, semistructured interviews with senior leaders across Intouch Group on site in Bangkok prior to the design stage. The aim was for AMBS to gain an in-depth understanding of the organisation to better align the programme structure, content and delivery to the specific needs of the business. The programme design continually evolved throughout the delivery journey. We held regular check-ins and formal meetings with the Intouch team to review project status and any issues arising. This fed into a continuous review process whereby each module was reviewed and, if necessary, amended prior to delivery in subsequent programme cycles. The programme This was a seven-month blended-learning programme that provided an opportunity for high potentials and performers to get away from day-to-day business and firefighting, focus on what is coming over the horizon, understand the today’s VUCA business world and develop appropriate capabilities to respond. 47

The “learning journey” consisted of intensive face-to-face interventions interspersed with supporting webinars, plus online resources via a virtual learning environment. The programme culminated in group projects which were pre-selected by Intouch Group’s senior team. As well as developing insights into leading digital businesses, the delegates explored change and innovation cultures, and were encouraged to challenge organisation status quos in a safe environment. Due to the success, AMBS agreed to take forward the partnership for year two. A further Gold Leaders Programme was commissioned for the same 200 participants, with the aim of creating a bridge between where Intouch Group were now and where the organisation needs to be in term of leadership skills The Year Two programme aimed to further develop the target Gold Leadership population’s strategic leadership capabilities to help shape and deliver long-term business improvement and sustainable growth. This was a more ambitious programme, which included significant use of innovative approaches


Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) was commissioned to design a leadership programme for the pre C-level suite of 200 leaders. The intention was that this would not only be an individual leadership development opportunity but that it should assist Intouch Group identify which people were best placed to drive the company forward over the next 10 years.

Excellence in Practice 2019 | Government Savings Bank / Thammasat Business School / Community Partnership Association

The participants have all reported that they feel more effective in their roles as managers, and the majority reported that the programme had absolutely or to a great extent helped them to make connections and better understand other areas of the organisation


By the end of 2019, over 160 community projects will have been completed all over Thailand, involving nearly 1,500 students, on multiple products, and numerous other stakeholders

to blended learning. It was a seven-month blended-learning programme consisting of intensive face-to-face interventions, supporting webinars, complementary online programmes plus online support material. Innovations in the 2019 programme design included: • A gamification approach to increase motivation through competition, track participation and also to aid the identification of top talent. This involved integrated digital badging • Two embedded edX online professional certificate courses to encourage selflearning, carefully selected to complement the AMBS programme content • A delegate-driven, project-based approach to increase learning impact. Projects were generated by the groups themselves, with the intention that some of these projects would drive the next few years of Intouch Group’s business • The use of our AMBS trio teaching model (three teachers in the room) to bring diversity of practice and expertise • A flipped classroom approach, with workshop time used for applied learning sessions as well as project work, with the aim of increasing engagement and deepening learning • A project-grouping app to increase group diversity and break down silos

The results The Year One programme had a significant impact on individual delegate leadership capability, demonstrated by improvements in leadership competency and effectiveness; strategic thinking capability demonstrated by development of cognitive capabilities around strategically aligned project briefs improved organisational leadership processes and practice; demonstrated by improved cross-functional working It also enabled business improvement objectives aligned to the Intouch Group sustainable growth priorities; demonstrated by the outputs of linked business improvement and associated strategic new product development projects Year One served as a strong launch pad in developing a community of practice across the entire Gold Leader population. It gave a real foundation for the delivery of the Year Two programme and the impact identified was: The participants have all reported that they feel more effective in their roles as managers, and the majority reported that the programme had absolutely or to a great extent helped them to make connections and better understand other areas of the organisation. The outputs of the group projects are now being implemented across the organisation and will help to drive the company forward. Kantima Lerlertyuttitham and Prong Tharawanich of Intouch are extremely proud of the Gold Leaders Programme. They state “together with Alliance MBS we have succeededin developing two truly innovative and unique programmes, which have proved to be genuinely transformational. The programmes have helped develop the foundations for continued innovation and the evolution of Intouch Group to drive future sustainable growth. They have created collaboration across the organisation, enhancing individuals’ leadership skills and fostering a spirit of independent, self-directed learning. The output from the group projects will help to drive the company forward and achieve our strategic objective to become the most-admired Digital Life Service Provider in Thailand”.


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

Russian Railways Infrastructure Business Unit / Corporate University of Russian Railways

Maintaining and Developing Company Brand Values through Generations Dialogue T

he largest functional branch of JSC Russian Railways – the Railway Infrastructure Business Unit – faced a challenge of ensuring the continuity of valuable working experience transferred from mentors in the workplace to students enrolled on employer-sponsored places in the railway transport universities, the future employees of Russian Railways. The roots of the problem lie both in the intergenerational gap between mentors and students, as well as the imperfection of the adaptation process passed by students. Demographic pitfalls caused by the violent economic downturn in 1990s Russia added to the tendency of young people to leave the small settlements where the Railway Infrastructure Business Unit operates. The question is how to embody the company brand values – expertise, integrity and renewal – through the improvement of mentoring process, students’ adaptation and co-operation with transport universities. And how to ensure continuing experience transfer in the context of impaired intergenerational communication? How to preserve human potential in the context of a demographic drop and the trend of youth outflow from towns? These were the challenges to overcome. To achieve the task JSC Russian Railways in partnership with the Corporate University of Russian Railways carried out a series of activities called “Generations Forums” involving the mentors from the Railway Infrastructure Business Unit and encouraging the participation of railway transport universities. 49

Generations Forum covered the whole network of Russian Railways in two months of 2019 and became the focus of a dialogue between 650 mentors of the Railway Infrastructure Business Unit and 1,700 students at nine railway universities of Russia – showing future employees of Russian Railways possible paths to successful career development and a system of support for young worker The L&D initiative Joint partnership led to the development of a comprehensive one-day programme for the Generation Forum consisting of a series of consecutive short-format events. The official Forum Opening concerned a joint appeal to students and mentors by representatives of the top RZD management and the Transport University. This established the importance of the Forums. The Information Fair for Students was held in the form of a panel discussion. This module aimed at establishing a direct dialogue between students, the employer company and representatives of the university. This allowed students to get acquainted with potential employer and to learn more about the structure and the opportunities that the company offers to young professionals. One of the expected effects of the Forum was to shift mentors’ focus from negativity towards the values and behaviour of modern young people to a conscious acceptance of these differences. The Corporate University of Russian Railways developed an education programme The Theory of Generations as a Reference System for Mentors.

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Russian Railways Infrastructure Business Unit / Corporate University of Russian Railways


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

Russian Railways Infrastructure Business Unit / Corporate University of Russian Railways

The programme conveys important value differences between representatives of different generations as well as special features of generational gaps. The module taught how to focus on the strengths of different generations and understand why and how they differ from each other. This understanding served as a starting point for generating and sharing ideas on how to communicate with young employees in a different way, as well as on which channels of communication to use, what needs to be changed internally and how. The training activities managed to clearly frame an important message to mentors: “you can spend time and energy trying to change an individual but you will never change the era that influenced them”. This workshop allowed mentors to develop another vector of thinking: if a mentor really wants to pass on experience to a young professional, he or she needs to learn to be flexible. The key aim of the Interactive Survey was to obtain feedback from students and mentors. Students assessed the efficiency of the communication with Russian Railways units; mentors – examined the current mentoring system of the Company. We made the survey anonymous and in real time to obtain the most reliable information and avoid socially desirable answers. The final event of the Forums was an Intellectual Game in teams. It engaged both mentors and students at the same time. This allowed participants to unite around common team goals and provided an opportunity to learn how to organise dialogues within teams. The Forum closed with the winning team being awarded valuable and memorable prizes from the company. The impact The impact of the Generation Forums can be compared to a butterfly effect. A series of shortterm events instigated a transformation within the most complex processes of all partnership sides. Any transformation is a progressive movement towards change. 51

4. Intellectual game 2. Mentor’s workshop on Generation Theory

3. Interactive survey

Student participation

1. Forum opening

2. Information Fair for students

Speaking langauages of different times Thinking that the best offer is the only we are interested in Decoding another person’s behaviour with your own values

1. For the Railway Infrastructure BusinessUnit the first course of Generations Forums served as a trigger to major personnel changes related to the transformation of mentoring and adaptation processes: • Increasing mentoring processes effectiveness. Since 2020 a project of a cross-functional mentoring system has been introduced: from the central management level to the level of all business divisions. Such approaches will establish transparent criteria, clear rules and common principles of organising and evaluation the mentoring process. The Unit has declared 2020 as the Year of Mentoring and Adaptation and that means serious transformation of these processes. Ninety-two mentors who took part in the Forums and appeared to be the most promising, passed a distances competencies SHLassessment. This enables creating a perfect profile of a mentor and a more efficient selection process of learning and development programmes. • A huge number of staff trained in a short time • Enhancing a positive image of the RZD holding among the students

Mentor participation Both Mentor and Student particpation

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Russian Railways Infrastructure Business Unit / Corporate University of Russian Railways

Railway infrastructure business-unit

Corporate university

Corporate university


200+ 1.7k

Railway transport universties

• Forums organising and carrying out

• Mentors selection

• Developing and delivering and education programme fo rmentoring

• Questionnaire form for Mentors and Students

• Materials for the training and game modules of the event

• Communication with railway transport universtties • Participation of top RZD managers

• Communivation with railway transport universities

• Prize pool for the winners of the interactive game

• Assessment of mentors and ranking creation

• Preparation activities in the region

Railway infrastructure business-unit

Regional branches Event particpants

• Online surveys

Generations Forum

Railway transport universities • Infrastructure provision

680 Structural divisions

Target audience – experts and workers Learning and game event formats

Students October – November The time after the summer RZD Internship and before the winter exams

• Material and technical basis for holding the forums • Student participation • Volunteer support

650 9.4/10 Mentors

2. For the Railway Infrastructure BusinessUnit Employees the project allowed the introduction of new, interesting knowledge: • Corporate competencies development • Mastering the tools to communicate with the youth and alternative mentoring role models • Colleagues experience accumulated • Creation of working network with colleagues from other regions and divisions • Increase of internal motivation of personnel 3. For students: • Formation of students’ expectations towards production work in the company • Representation of special aspects of working for Russian Railways and career growth prospects • Direct dialogue with the employer. 4. For the corporate university of Russian Railways: • An experience of providing new educational formats • Strengthening partnership with Russian Railways and Universities • A trigger to develop new educational products.

Feedback score

5. For railway transport universities: • Strengthening of the education market position • Strengthening partnership with Russian Railways and the Corporate University • Enhancing of the universities image of the guarantors of high-quality professional education with social responsibility • Ensuring demand for graduates in the labour market 6. For society: • Ensuring working places meet conditions causing human resources shortage • Influence on early career guidance of students helping decrease the gap between “expectations – reality” and the industry and to plan a career path at the stage of university education • Support of the universities orientation towards partnerships with employers.


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation / Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) / University 2035

Digital mindset: transforming the way Russia is governed P

reparing for the unforeseen challenges The COVID-19 pandemic has vividly demonstrated how important data and statistics are for decision making at all levels of government. In order to make accurate predictions and simply to keep the public informed, authorities should have proper tools and interfaces to collect, analyse and represent large amounts of digital data from figures that the health agencies report to the data streams sent out by the proximity apps now being rolled out by the smartphone manufacturers. The Learning and Development Initiative described in this article was conceived by the Russian Ministry for Economic Development and the University 2035 before the COVID-19 outbreak but it proved to be instrumental in implementing data-centric decision-making processes in the civil service. Bigger picture In 2019 Russia witnessed the launch of a nationwide “Digital Economy” programme, (DEP) one of the most ambitious endeavours of the government’s push to modernise the state. Estimated to cost more than $24 billion over the course of five years, the programme implies a digital transformation of public services, internet infrastructure development and the implementation of future-proof information security measures. The success or failure of the DEP ultimately depends on the competencies of federal and regional public servants, many of which are not ready to carry out such advanced projects. That is why the Agency for Strategic Initiatives and the University 2035 were tasked with transferring the knowledge on data-driven decision making to 30, 000 leaders of government entities, subordinate organisations and government-owned companies. This project was called the Data-



The initiative proved to be a great success, helping those enrolled to come up with nearly 400 practice-oriented projects, many of which are being implemented already

driven management: Chief Data Officers in Civil Service but let’s refer to it as the CDO project. The CDO project was broken down into five parts following the general five-year DEM timeline. In late 2019, University 2035 received a government subsidy of $6 million to launch the leadership training programme in data-driven management for the first 5,000 public servants. In spite of a large-project scale and very tight deadlines, the initiative proved to be a great success, helping those enrolled to overcome initial uncertainty and – what’s even more important – to assemble teams and come up with nearly 400 practice-oriented projects, many of which are being implemented already. “A modern economy is digital. The government is one of the main consumers and owners of big data. Chief data officers are responsible for the implementation of data-based decision-making principles defining how data is being collected, stored and analyzed on different levels of national administration. And it is vital for us to train such leaders.” Ilya Torosov Deputy Minister of Economic Development

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation / Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) / University 2035


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation / Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) / University 2035

Network approach University 2035 used a public procurement procedure to carefully select regional educational organisations that served as a basis for newly created CDO Centres – holders of key competencies in the field of data handling and data processing practices. Eleven academic institutions were chosen to implement the initiative. In order to deliver quality education, University 2035 created a Standard for CDO Centres (hereinafter – the Standard), that determined all the requirements needed to be met by an educational organisation to receive a CDO Centre license: an expected structure of the Centre, its tasks and goals, technical and organisational provisions needed to be put in place. “The CDO project, in addition to training students, has helped to solve other important tasks. It provided Russian universities with an additional development opportunity by implementing their own educational projects in the CDO Centers based on technologies and the University 2035 Standard. We also managed to arouse the interest of regional authorities in data-based management, and thanks to teamwork they managed to overcome their own hesitation and skepticism.” Vera Adaeva Head of the ASI Digital Development Center Personalised approach, consistent quality University 2035 is using digital competency profiles, data tracking technologies and AIpowered algorithms to create personal learning paths. This set of online tools is an integral part of the CDO project. Every student enrolled in the project was required to pass an initial set of tests and gamified tasks on Univetsity 2035’s online platform – we call them “diagnostics” – that include the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, a psychometric test, a test of knowledge of cross-cutting technologies and others. 55

University 2035 The first educational organisation in Russia to create individual educational trajectories based on digital skill profiles in order to offer new opportunities for professional development. The university is aimed at training business leaders, participants in the National Technology Initiative and professionals entering new global markets. Customised content is provided by our partners: universities, online educational platforms and other organisations make use of our digital framework to offer both offline and online courses.

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation / Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) / University 2035

Project examples: • an online cancer register to identify oncology patients requiring increased attention • a unified federal system for monitoring and control of inter-regional passenger traffic • services to facilitate the employment of physically challenged individuals • a model predicting medical personnel sufficiency based on morbidity rate • machine learning algorithms to identify financial pyramids and their potential participants.

Cultural impact Just over 5,000 retrained students, nearly 400 data-based socially oriented projects and a vast partner network are the ultimate results that University 2035 and the Ministry for Economic Development envisioned at the start of the programme. But the main goal that we are proud to declare accomplished is fostering a new culture of decision making -- precise, coherent and sustainable, epitomising a modern approach to addressing the ever-changing needs of Russian society. We have used digital footprints and diagnostics results to put together a list of the most distinguished leaders, whose data-based projects were highly appreciated. It has since become an invaluable resource for federal and regional government entities and corporations looking for chief data officers. Many of our students have already received job offers and promotion to positions where they can deliver on their potential and use their knowledge to address social issues.

Digital footprint: a modern measure of learning progress During the course, every student and teacher constantly interacted with an online-platform put in place by University 2035, an interface for creating events and schedules, submitting reviews and uploading media. The platform became an indispensable tool to closely follow the implementation of the L&D initiative and give timely feedback to the Centres as well as the students. University 2035 used digital footprints to compile a ranking of CDO Centers. As part of the L&D Initiative, the CDO Centers have formed competent teams including not only representatives of the academic community but also technical specialists, such as EDEs (Educational Data Engineers). This has opened new ways to automate the accumulation and analysis of digital footprints, to create digital competency profiles of students and to implement other data-driven educational management practices.

“To make further training more efficient for both students and teachers, we plan to implement new services and products - on team building and creating educational modules, for example. We will also continue to improve our diagnostic tools in order to understand which roles the trainees are most inclined to play in the CDO team.” Alexey Korobov CDO Project Manager In the coming years, University 2035 is planning to train another 25,000 civil servants in devising and implementing data-based projects based on data. We strive to make the course even more practiceoriented, and that’s where our partnership with the Agency for Strategic Initiatives really shines. ASI has the resources and expertise to fast-track the most promising projects that our students may come up with.


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

LafargeHolcim / The Ivey Academy

Strategic alignment at LafargeHolcim


Excellence in Practice 2020 | LafargeHolcim / The Ivey Academy


ow do you reinvigorate a multinational company facing several years of underperformance after a challenging merger? That was the dilemma facing Jan Jenisch in 2017. As incoming CEO of LafargeHolcim, he was tasked with positioning the organisation back on the path to growth. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, LafargeHolcim is the result of a 2015 merger between France’s Lafarge and Switzerland’s Holcim. As the industry leader in building materials and solutions, the company employs more than 75,000 people in almost 80 countries. When Jenisch stepped into the role of CEO, LafargeHolcim had not met financial targets in years. Morale was low and the company needed transformational change. A simplified strategy to strengthen performance Combining the two parent companies had led to increased centralisation for decision-making and increased reporting requirements for local business units, impacting the company’s ability to respond quickly to changing market conditions. Execution and performance were floundering. Jenisch reset the corporate strategy through a revised strategic plan. In March 2018, he presented “Strategy 2022 – Building for Growth” built on four value drivers: Growth, Simplification & Performance, Financial Strength, and Vision & People. Jenisch began with the Simplification & Performance pillar. In a bid to boost responsiveness, growth, and performance, he removed a layer of corporate management, increased local accountability for market strategies and results, and simplified key performance indicators. But Jenisch knew that making changes on paper would not be enough. For the strategy to succeed, business unit leaders had to behave


As the industry leader in building materials and solutions, LafargeHolcim employs more than 75,000 people in almost 80 countries

differently with both customers and their teams. He would have to communicate what it meant to be a P&L leader, and to encourage, motivate, and empower unit leaders to make strategic decisions and be held accountable for them. A strong believer in the role of learning to create change, Jenisch chose to drive that transformation through a comprehensive executive education programme. A partnership with The Ivey Academy In April 2018, Jenisch met with The Ivey Academy’s Martha Maznevski – an expert in leadership, coaching, and organisational transformation. With members of his executive team in attendance, Jenisch presented four design parameters to The Ivey Academy: • Develop the top 200 LafargeHolcim leaders, knowing that they would cascade the learning down into the organization. • The programme would be three days with an emphasis on strategy execution and leadership. • The programme would include a half day with the CEO. • Each cohort would include approximately 25 leaders, representing geographic and business diversity. All agreed that the programme should be launched quickly, with the top 200 leaders graduating by the end of 2018. 58

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Excellence in Practice 2020

LafargeHolcim / The Ivey Academy

Jenisch wanted a tight focus on strategy alignment and execution. The programme should help managers understand the importance of simplification and performance and empower them to take accountability and lead decisively. He hoped to see clear prioritisation of the new strategy, with specific actions taken to improve the four key performance indicators, as well as alignment among the countries’ top leaders on these priorities. From a human resources perspective, the programme should help leaders develop their direct reports’ and others’ capabilities and initiative-taking. With each cohort representing geographic and business diversity, a robust network would be forged among geographically dispersed leaders, enabling a culture of crossboundary sharing and support that did not rely on hierarchy. LafargeHolcim and The Ivey Academy agreed to partner on the development of a series of executive development programmes, beginning with the Senior Leaders Programme launched in August 2018. This would be the first of two or three annual cycles of learning and development, with each successive cycle taking the company’s leaders through new strategic growth phases. The LafargeHolcim Betterland Case A central feature of the initial Senior Leaders Programme was LafargeHolcim Betterland, a custom-written case about a LafargeHolcim country business facing a variety of performance challenges. The 12-page case was written collaboratively with input from Jenisch, LafargeHolcim’s executive team, Maznevski, and LafargeHolcim L&D leaders. The LafargeHolcim Leaders Programme In August 2018, the first cohort of LafargeHolcim senior leaders gathered at a conference facility near the company’s headquarters to take part in three days of learning. 59


Just seven months after the initial program design, 200 leaders had graduated from the fully-customised, strategically-aligned LafargeHolcim Leaders Programme, with the CEO involved in each delivery

Day One – Executing Strategy: Simplification & Performance Using the Betterland case, participants worked in small groups to identify, categorize, and prioritize the problems facing Betterland. Next, they developed a turnaround strategy which was presented to the class, including members of LafargeHolcim’s Executive Committee. “The magic of the case was that so many people – almost everybody in the room – thought it was written about them. No matter how much we reassured them it was fictional, everyone could find themselves in it,” said Tony Frost, Ivey Academy strategy professor and member of the LafargeHolcim Leaders Programme faculty team. The day concluded with participants applying the lessons to their own business units. In triads, they shared the challenges they faced, and provided guidance to each other about what to do.

Excellence in Practice 2020 | LafargeHolcim / The Ivey Academy

Day Three – A conversation with the CEO The program concluded with a half day session led by CEO Jan Jenisch. Jenisch provided company progress updates, then shared his ideas about performance management and leadership. This was followed by an open Q&A, organised by themes. The format created a safe environment for in-depth discussion of sensitive topics including divestments and acquisitions, organisational restructuring, responding to difficult markets, and company morale.

Day Two – Leading for Implementation: Directing, Aligning and Empowering Day two began with a framework for thinking about leader behaviour. A session contrasting the leadership styles of Hercules and Buddha helped leaders reflect on their own leadership and develop greater self-awareness of the impact of different behaviours. The framework also provided guidance for balancing directing behaviours with empowering behaviours for gaining commitment and developing ideas and people. Using the Betterland case, participants then worked in small groups with executive coaches to identify and role play the difficult conversations they needed to have to further their transformation priorities. “The role-play enabled participants to really engage and motivate their teams to take ownership for solving the specific underperformance issues stated in the case,” said Anders Fleischer, Lead Executive Coach, LafargeHolcim Leaders Programme. “Then in the coaching session we could help participants transfer those lessons to take them back to their own situations.”

The Impact of the LafargeHolcim Leaders Programme Just seven months after the initial program design, 200 leaders had graduated from the fullycustomised, strategically-aligned LafargeHolcim Leaders Programme, with the CEO involved in each delivery. This condensed, focused, and structured approach created a sense of urgency and provided a powerful and immediate impact and organizational shift. “There was evidence of transformational impact already by early 2019. I see it in the discussions we have in our country visits,” said Feliciano González Muñoz, Head of Group HR, LafargeHolcim. “Some of the leaders would bring up an anecdote from their experience in LafargeHolcim Leaders Programme. What they learned has become embedded in their day-to-day behaviour.” Supported by the LafargeHolcim Leaders Program, the implementation of Strategy 2022 drove a significant turnaround for LafargeHolcim: • Less than 18 months after the launch of the Leaders Programme, all of LafargeHolcim’s financial targets for 2019 were met. • Both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s upgraded LafargeHolcim’s outlook to “stable.” • Although only halfway through “Strategy 2022 – Building for Growth,” LafargeHolcim has achieved almost all 2022 targets. As a result of the LafargeHolcim Leaders Programme, the organization is now aligned to the strategy while operating within an established performance culture. This has been more than just training – this has been a truly transformational programme. 60

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Excellence in Practice 2020

Cognizant / Cognizant Academy

A transformative journey for the catalysts of change Business Heads needed to undergo a personal transformation in developing a learning habit so that they could keep pace with the rapidly changing technology landscape in a sustainable mode


e live in a world that is driven and defined by technology. As more and more organisations realise the critical role that technology plays in their business destiny, the onus falls on IT companies to lead the transformative journey and show the way. But there’s one more step that IT organisations must take― they need to equip their own employees and leaders so that they become the torchbearers of this tech transformation. Cognizant is no exception. As clients looked at Cognizant business leaders to function as the trusted technologysavvy consultants who could understand and support their digital needs, the business leaders themselves had another bigger task to undertake. They needed to update themselves on the latest available solutions so that they could help clients revisit and redefine their digital achievements. Understanding the need of the hour and acting on it Cognizant Delivery Heads ― the customerfacing business leaders― wear many hats― business, process, domain, people and, importantly, technology. In today’s VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) world, where technology


is being reinvented every few days, the challenge was that while many of the Delivery Heads were familiar with the traditional technologies, they needed to quickly come up to speed on the emerging digital technologies and trends to be prepared for the future. They needed to understand the emerging technologies and confidently apply them to solve business problems. More importantly, they needed to undergo a personal transformation in developing a learning habit so that they could keep pace with the rapidly changing technology landscape in a sustainable mode. It is this necessity to equip Cognizant leaders with the necessary domain knowledge that inspired Cognizant executive leadership and Academy, Cognizant’s L&D team, to co-design a learning programme for the Delivery Heads. This programme was named, quite aptly, “Techno Masters.” It was a blended learning programme on digital technologies of Cloud, AI/ML and Internet of Things― combining self-directed learning, peer-and-mentor-driven learning and practical application through “caselets”.

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Cognizant / Cognizant Academy


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

Cognizant / Cognizant Academy

What the programme wasn’t and why Before delving deeper into all the principles and approaches that the Techno Masters programme encapsulated, it is also important to understand what it considered redundant or non-functional in the context. Understanding this premise is important as it set the backdrop that decided the programme’s future design. To begin with, the Techno Masters program was NOT a training programme. Rather, it was a program that enabled the Delivery Heads to acquire a learning habit and become self-directed learners. Cognizant Academy embarked on a rather ambitious journey; because teaching a new skill is always a daunting task but changing a habit is a different ball game altogether. The goal of the programme was to give Delivery Heads the confidence to talk about multiple technologies and present a point of view to customers. The conventional classroom-based approach of training was not a sustainable one since new technologies keep emerging at a frenetic pace and the Delivery Heads need to keep learning them. The necessity to make the Delivery Heads self-reliant and enable them to “learn to learn” was the motivation to design the Techno Masters programme differently. At the outset, the Delivery Heads in the programme committed to developing a “tiny habit” of learning― just 15 to 30 minutes a day. As 21st century professionals, they also chose their own preferred mode of learning– videos, podcasts, articles, even conversations with colleagues. They used a collaborative learning platform (Degreed) to learn from each other and from designated mentors and engage in technical discussions. They also actively practised technology talks and presentations using the platform. The learning journey was encouraged through leaderboards to recognise and celebrate the most active learners. 63

15min Delivery Heads in the programme committed to developing a “tiny habit” of learning― just 15 to 30 minutes a day

So, what was the programme all about? The Academy team spoke with several business leaders and the Delivery Heads to understand their roles and the challenges they faced on the ground. The programme was designed as a blend of self-learning, peer learning, mentoring and practice, spanning 16 weeks, with approximately three hours of learning commitment per week. Techno Masters was launched for a group of 100 participants nominated from different business units within the organisation. This group was closely monitored to identify challenges and course corrections required in the programme. As this programme was for senior leaders in the organisation, senior business unit leaders, who were the sponsors for the programme, were invited to address the participants and communicate the need for technology learning. The leaders also showed their commitment by participating in the programme as mentors. This top-down message helped drive the criticality of technology focus for the Delivery Heads.

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Cognizant / Cognizant Academy

The participants wanted flexibility to pick the emerging technology of their choice and most relevant to their customers. Therefore, the programme design required a combination of certain foundational modules, followed by a bouquet of learning paths that the participant could pick to get a deeper understanding. Also, the programme had to be delivered in a virtual mode, given the distribution of Delivery Leads across locations. Yet based on the common technology of choice, peer learning groups or pods needed to be formed. Each of these pods were provided with a mentor to support them in their learning. In addition to technology skills, innovation through design thinking was also important for them to differentiate their solution with value proposed to customer problems. Key highlights The Techno Masters programme involved multiple blended learning components and delivery methods, which included: • Self-paced learning (including e-learning, videos, blogs and articles). • A social learning platform, which was also made available as a mobile learning app for self-study as well as collaborative peer learning. • Peer learning in a gamified manner through sharing weekly wisdom nuggets, followed by a quiz for each of them to participate and score individually and pod-wise to capture the leaderboard published every fortnight. • Pod-wise milestones which helped to learn and apply the concepts as pods. • Expert sessions as webinars (in virtual classroom mode through videoconferencing) were conducted at planned intervals, enabling spaced learning for the participants.

• Mentoring by senior business leaders for every pod throughout the program. • An in-person workshop to enable them on design thinking and practice it using their business problem chosen for this programme. • Classroom workshop session with a final role-play where business leaders played the role of customer stakeholder and the pods presented their innovation and articulated the business value out of that. • Participants presented the final proof of concept and a virtual demo of proposed innovation of their solution to solve the business problem. The difference made The programme received positive response from the participants. Based on participant feedback after the programme, 69% agreed that Techno Masters helped them converse confidently on technology and 46% said that they had developed the habit of continuous learning. The statistics were rather encouraging, especially because the target were the leaders who were often hard-pressed for time. The blended learning solution design provided the much-needed flexibility and autonomy in learning for the audience to address business needs. It also gave them an opportunity to achieve their learning goals together as peers, which they could continue with while contributing to the real business of the organisation. It took three months from designing the programme to its implementation. But taking a cue from its value ever since its launch, the future looks promising.


EFMD Global Focus_Iss.3 Vol.14 www.globalfocusmagazine.com

Excellence in Practice 2020

Vladimir Potanin Foundation / Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

How can museums reinvent themselves and become drivers of urban revitalisation? T

he main question faced by a museum today is how to transform from an institution for the conservation of heritage into an inclusive space that combines a variety of resources with the ability to nurture resilient and entrepreneurial communities, exert positive social impact and provide unique knowledge and experience that protects and promotes regional identity. The educational initiative “Museum: The Power of Place” was aimed at helping Russia’s regional museums unlock the potential of such transformation, provide the necessary tools and support from municipalities, as well as show the possible positive long-term economic effect on cities.

Museum as a driver for local sustainable development Many regional centres in Russia have inherited the results of Soviet unified, industry-oriented urban development policies. They lack their own individual design and miss a unique local identity that would help them stand out and become a driving force for development. Considering the enormous distance between Russian cities, and the fact that many are located in completely different historical and climatic regions, treating local cultural legacy in such a homogeneous way has led to extremely negative consequences, such as rapid loss of the historical, architectural and cultural appearance of the city and the poor integration of distinct urban cultural policies. Museums, while being cultural organistions with a long and high-impact history, are today being forced to redefine themselves in a rapidly changing sociocultural and economic situation. 65

Besides competing with offline offerings, museums face fierce rivalry with online products — social media, streaming platforms, podcasts, MOOCS and so on. The fundamental purpose of change in this sector is not just to survive and increase attendance but rather to re-invent the museum as an essential and relevant centre of cultural, social and economic development in its region and for its constituencies. Partnership with purpose The purpose of the educational programme: “Museum: The Power of Place” was to develop the necessary skill-sets for museum leaders that are vital for the implementation of pioneering projects at the intersection between museum activities and territory development—the so-called “cultural revitalisation initiatives”. It is a cross-disciplinary programme designed to bridge the gap between territories, communities and cultural organisations by incubating a new generation of museum projects contributing to the cultural, social and spatial revitalisation of cities and regions. “Museum: The Power of Place” came about as a result of joint efforts between the Vladimir Potanin Foundation (hereinafter referred to as the Foundation) and Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO (hereinafter referred to as SKOLKOVO). The Foundation, as an initiator of systematic sustainable changes in the cultural field of Russia, has been an active participant in these efforts to assist Russian museums. The goal of the Foundations’ activities in this field is to provide long-term support for museums as drivers of local socio-economic development.

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Vladimir Potanin Foundation / Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

We decided that the accumulated experience of supporting culture allows us to prove that culture can have a powerful and positive impact on the territory, unite the business, education and the state sectors for a common purpose. Our new initiative ‘Museum: The Power of Place’ regards culture as a project integrator. Teams that are prepared to solve current territory issues using cultural instruments will undergo training, and then the most successful projects will receive support from the Foundation on a competitive basis Oksana Oracheva General Director, Vladimir Potanin Foundation


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Excellence in Practice 2020

Vladimir Potanin Foundation / Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

“The Power of Place” was first presented at the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum in 2018. Its first stage comprised research conducted by the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, which revealed some of the Russian cities that had the highest potential for development through cultural means. The participating territories were then determined. The next stage was a “foresight session” held by SKOLKOVO, which brought together 96 representatives of regional institutions from 21 Russian cities and helped analyse the surrounding museum environment, frame key challenges and propose the paths for the optimal development of a modern museum. The results of the foresight session later laid the groundwork for the educational programme design. Creating impact Employing a three-step selection system, 10 museums from 10 regional centres were chosen. During the last stage of the selection process, one of the basic criteria for being accepted to the programme was the ability of the museum industry leader to find collaborators from other urban projects interested in the cultural revitalization of the city. The finalists were personalities ready to solve the current issues of the territory through cultural instruments, which formed 10 teams consisting of museum representatives and urban cultural leaders. The teams were supported by the Foundation on a competitive basis and successfully completed their studies in June 2019. The first part of the programme focused on moving from the specific to the abstract, from the specific situation of the museum to wider city issues, from those issues to goals and objectives, and finally from the set goals to tangible results. The second part of the programme was dedicated to reversing the museum’s “path” from the abstract to the concrete, from results to the implementation of a resource plan and acquiring value for specific stakeholders, as well as to the design project presented to the expert council during the final presentation. 67

Nurturing socio-cultural projects initiated by the authorities, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and the creative institutions is a part of our daily work at SKOLKOVO Andrei Sharonov President, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

The working hypothesis was the following: cultural organisations are an underutilised asset of urban development that can be mobilized through an ‘unpacking’ process of the detached museum complexes. This would enhance their participation in the life of the city, vitalising and revitalising both specific entities as well as the entire urban space. This is why the SKOLKOVO-created approach to project work was chosen. The essence of the ‘SKOLKOVO Method’ is that an appropriate educational environment must be fostered to support group work. The aim of the project work was to create leadership projects at the intersection of museum activity and territorial development. Thus, the teams’ final product was dubbed a “cultural-urban project”, highlighting the main project element.

Excellence in Practice 2020 | Vladimir Potanin Foundation / Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO


The country’s more than 2,500 public, corporate and private museums, employ over 76,000 people

Winning Projects

Winning projects The winners were diverse projects addressing a wide range of urban issues—from preserving the heritage to finding a new identity for a city. These winning projects are all united by their focus on strengthening the horizontal ties between museums and socially oriented partners in their regions to create sustainable positive change. In this scenario, museums go beyond their usual scope and can evaluate real problems and offer unique solutions. Due to the high potential of the projects, it was decided to increase the overall grant fund from 45 to 57 million roubles to support the maximum number of participants. The funds were granted to the winning teams for a three-year term, while the project implementation is being closely monitored. With the grant, the teams plan to attract new partners, including creative laboratories, educational and scientific institutions.

Lessons learnt The joint experiences of the Foundation, the SKOLKOVO project team and regional museumcity teams participating in the “Museum: The Power of Place” initiative is showing how local cultural potential and social activism can be converted into community-wide impact. Carefully designed and results-oriented modules that utilise educational experience supported by philanthropic assets made this programme truly unique. As has already been demonstrated by the interest from the individual museums, regional authorities and patrons of cultural institutions, there are opportunities for transforming this experience into a wider educational offering for a significant portion of the country’s more than 2,500 public, corporate and private museums, employing more than 76,000 people and able to touch the lives of millions of their constituents. By doing so, SKOLKOVO continues its commitment to high social impact and sustainable entrepreneurship and development.

(Funding Granted)

1. Krasnoyarsk

RUB 9,700,000

(approx EUR 130,000)

2. Omsk

RUB 14,885,268

(approx EUR 200,000)

3. Yekaterinburg

RUB 14,590,700

(approx EUR 200,000)

4. Norilsk

RUB 8,118,600

(approx EUR 110,000)

5. Tver

RUB 9.581,400

(approx EUR 130,000)

Pandemic response In the spring of 2020, due to the global spread of Covid-19 pandemic, the Foundation undertook additional obligations to extend the implementation term, as well as to increase the grant funding by 10%. Moreover, it was decided to allow the reallocation of the project grant budget between the already approved items and new items to provide flexibility and ensure increased project viability in a time of a serious crisis. This approach illustrates a common value orientation towards actual qualitative changes in the city’s development and cultural institutions.


Excellence in Practice Award (EiP) Gold Winners since 2016: Abilitie / Alliance Manchester Business School / ArcelorMittal / Ashridge Executive Education / Association of Entrepreneurship Development “SKOLKOVO Community” / A.T. Kearney / BG Group / Bob Aubrey Associates / Center for Creative Leadership / Chola MS

School of Management / Diabetes UK / DSM / Deloitte Consulting / EF Education First / Endo Pharmaceuticals / Epiqus / Fundação Dom Cabral (FDC) / Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) / Hanken & SSE Executive Education / Henley Business School / IMD / INSEAD / KPMG / Leo Learning / LIW / Mars / Microsoft / Monocities Development Fund / Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO / Murugappa Group Management Development Centre / NHS

Commercial Bank (SCB) / Standard Bank / Swarovski / Telenor / Telstra / Tjitra and Associates Consulting / Tribal Resources Investment Corporation (TRICORP) / Unilever Brasil Industrial / University of Birmingham / University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business / University of Victoria, Gustavson School of Business / Valmet / Vlerick Business School

Information session webinars Tuesday 8 December 2020: 12:00pm CET Monday 11 January 2021: 5:00pm CET Thursday 4 February 2021: 1:00pm CET For registration: https://events.efmdglobal.org Contact eip@efmdglobal.org

Writing this case has been a great learning opportunity for ESMT Berlin, Enterprise Ireland and IMS to reflect on the key success factors of a programme. I am grateful to be part of a community where experience is exchanged and knowledge is openly shared Nan Guo Programme Director, Executive Education ESMT Berlin, Germany

Design by www.jebensdesign.co.uk

General Insurance / Cisco / Complex Adaptive Leadership / Cranfield

Leadership Academy / Nokia / Novo Nordisk / Pertamina / Siam

Next Deadline for Submission 15 March 2021 For more information on the assignment, submission guidelines and FAQs visit https://efmdglobal.org/EIP

Phone: +32 2 629 08 10 Fax: +32 2 629 08 11 Email: info@efmdglobal.org

Excellence in Practice The EFMD Excellence in Practice (EiP) Awards recognise outstanding and impactful client-supplier partnerships in the domains of Leadership, Professional, Talent and Organisational Development. Case studies can be submitted by an organisation either together with its in-house Learning & Development unit or with external L&D providers. The winners are selected based on the review of four key areas: a properly documented challenge, an effective partnering commitment, the appropriate L&D initiative, and a proven business impact.

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Excellence in Practice Call for entries 2021

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Excellence in Practice 2020  

The 2020 Excellence in Practice Award (EiP) initiative received over 40 submissions, an all-time record, demonstrating great diversity and s...

Excellence in Practice 2020  

The 2020 Excellence in Practice Award (EiP) initiative received over 40 submissions, an all-time record, demonstrating great diversity and s...

Profile for efmd