Background to the partnership
Schneider Electric had a new strategy that called for energising its workforce of 150,000 people to lead the industry shift toward digital solutions and services. Having led the transformation from French multinational to truly global company from the top, Schneider’s senior executives realised that this new shift required a change in leadership mindset, focus and behaviour at all levels.
INSEAD’s Executive Education experts suggested a combination of face-to-face and digital modules, which applied the principles of digital disruption to “Transforming Schneider Leadership,” as the initiative came to be called. The school had successfully used digital learning in the past for customised programmes on innovation, corporate entrepreneurship, finance and strategy. But could leadership, a capacity grounded in personal commitment and social bonds, be learned in this way? And since the pressures of tradition and performance seemed to stifle Schneider managers’ ability to lead, could the digital transformation become a vehicle to free leaders up throughout the company?
As the two partners worked closely together on learning design over several months and on delivery over the past two years, they found that the answer was yes. The product of their ongoing collaboration was a multilevel system of leadership development programmes, tailored to the challenges of each managerial level and customised to Schneider’s new strategy.