Case Studies

Schneider Electric

It takes courage to question your own capabilities and commitments, but growth and innovation often arise from courage.

Case Title:

Shaking the pillars of the “Schneider is On” strategy

Program Name:

Lead to Achieve, Impact, Inspire

Delivery Locations:

Dubai, London, Canada, Austria, USA

Challenge:

Schneider Electric is seeking to achieve a ‘transformation’ in leadership impact for the company. As never before, Schneider must accelerate the development of leaders at various levels not only to just address gaps in the leadership pipeline, but also to create a cadre of leaders who will define the culture and shape the future of the company for years to come. The company needs leaders who are able to respond to a VUCA world and adopt practical and forward looking ways to implement solutions which will serve customers better than competitors and also position Schneider Electric as a trusted and highly valued organization in the communities they serve. This all takes place in the context of a company which has grown rapidly through acquisition over the past 10 years from a EUR 6bn turnover company to a EUR 26bn global player.

Solution:

To achieve this, a new Leadership Academy has been established to bring together and align corporate-wide investment, governance and development activity in leadership development. Schneider Electric partnered with UNC Executive Development to design and develop a two module program which includes action learning project teams. Having partnered with ALA on other projects, UNC Executive Development reached out to ALA to help meet Schneider Electric’s goal of providing a world class program which included many different types of learning modalities for the global delivery. Working with both the internal design team from Schneider Electric and from UNC Executive Development, three ALA methodologies were leveraged to bring the program to life.

First was the use of the Leader’s Court, to test the shared understanding around the corporate strategy, and how successfully are they executing against that strategy in the VUCA world?

Second was connecting the outcomes from the Leader’s Court finding to identify gaps to address in the Marketplace of Ideas process. During this process, the cohort would develop recommendations to close the gaps by repeatedly testing recommendations in a rapid prototyping, highly interactive process. Winning recommendations were then rolled into solutions to be addressed by each of the action learning project teams.

The third and final step was helping to jumpstart the action learning project teams by helping each individual leader identify and share with an accountability partner what development items they are working on to improve his/her performance as a leader. The use of Learning Labs, in which a series of complex experiential activities are used as a lens for feedback to help individual observe and recognize the behaviors they were trying to change in action.

Impact:

Across all levels and regions of the organization Schneider reported a greater alignment on strategic priorities and how those needed to be applied geographically around the world.  Through the Leader’s Court findings, many gaps were identified and then prioritized.  Those of the highest priority were driven into the action learning project teams, and teams have been tasked with addressing those challenges.  In addition, through the storytelling process of the Leader’s Court and number of positive stories were highlighted and are now being shared broadly across the regions. To no surprise, the Learning and Development team is reporting a strengthened network across the regions, but it was noted that the process and design which included much more one on one conversations and space of small groups to hear the struggles and successes of the leaders often with similar challenges fostered this network to a new level. The results to date is a more aligned group of leaders, more willing to help one another as they prepare to address the rapid changing VUCA world they face day to day.

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