EFMD Excellence in Practice Award 2011 Awarded to: Royal Philips Electronics, Center for Creative Leadership, The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania)

Category: Talent Development About the Award: The European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) presents Excellence in Practice Awards to recognize outstanding and impactful Learning and Development partnerships in the domains of leadership, professional, talent, and organization development. Based in Brussels, Belgium, EFMD is a global forum for research, networking, and debate on innovation in management development.

The Challenge: How can a large global organization develop a strong and sustainable pool of top leadership talent and increase innovation to generate significant revenue growth? That is the challenge that Royal Philips Electronics has faced since the early 1970s, when it launched the first Octagon leadership development program. As the pace of technology accelerated in the early 2000s, the innovation imperative was even greater, especially since many divisions now drew more than half of their profits from products developed in the past two years. By 2005, Philips’ learning organization knew it had to grow beyond its in-house training program to deliver the business strategy and behavioral leadership skills Philips leaders needed to compete.

The Goals: Philips chose its external partners for Octagon carefully, selecting the Wharton School for its business acumen and innovation strategy, and the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) for its behavioral leadership skills. Supported by CEO involvement, the program was deeply linked to Philips’ strategy and supported the company’s six guiding Leadership Competencies.