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Leadership Learning Landscape at Boehringer Ingelheim

Together with Boehringer Ingelheim Regional Center Vienna (BI RCV), part of one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, we designed a Leadership Learning Landscape to empower BI RCV leaders to successfully meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.

In the design thinking process from vision to implementation

Together with the Boehringer Ingelheim Regional Center Vienna (BI RCV), we designed a Leadership Learning Landscape. BI RCV is part of one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, Boehringer Ingelheim. The Leadership Learning Landscape is designed to empower BI RCV leaders to successfully meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Leading through people: “We are strong through our people.” (Our Focus, Boehringer Ingelheim)

People are the central success factor of any company. To be able to give their best and successfully master the challenges of today and tomorrow, a good and healthy leadership culture is required. This is the only way to further develop leadership reflection, competence enhancement and utilization of potential .

With this in mind, Boehringer Ingelheim has set out to rethink the very broad range of management development services already available. This was intended to develop an attractive, future-oriented learning landscape for the company’s own managers.

The goal: to offer managers optimal learning and development opportunities in an attractive setting.

With a project team consisting of a core team, a steering group, employees from the target group and other managers, and a team of consultants from Strametz, we set about designing the Leadership Learning Landscape.

From Vision to Leadership Learning Landscape: the Process

The overall process of landscape development was under the setting of a co-creation and a strong involvement of the later users. The Leadership Learning Landscape should be developed in a creative creation process. What this should look like was still open at the beginning. It was important to link the needs of the target group with the Leadership Learning Landscape Principles defined by the project team, the existing leadership development framework (70-20-10 learning principle), and outside expertise.

Different learning formats are distinguished within the 70-20-10 learning principles.

Learning formats within the 70-20-10 learning principles

After all the goals and expectations of the parties involved in the kick-off had been clarified, we started the Analysis phase. The first thing we did was to take a close look at the existing management development portfolio. The second thing was to learn from the leaders. In essence, we wanted to find out what learning preferences executives have, what challenges they face, what learning formats they prefer, and what factors have played a key role in influencing their development to date.

Using the findings from the analysis phase, we developed three different Personas. A persona describes in a striking way so-called archetypes and represents the needs and characteristics of a certain user group. In our context, the persona stood for a user group in each case.

In the subsequent creative process, in which we followed the design thinking approach, the task was to put ourselves in the shoes of these personas and develop learning offerings and formats tailored to them.

In the design thinking process of the Leadership Learning Landscape at Boehringer Ingelheim, the persona

Persona “Martin/a

However, every development also needs additional guard rails in order to be able to dock onto existing framework conditions. This is a prerequisite for embedding the Leadership Learning Landscape into the organization. To achieve this, after each of the three creativity phases there was a joint Feedback loop with the steering group and representatives of the target group. In this way, the Leadership Learning Landscape was realigned and fine-tuned until a Prototype was created. This had been successfully accepted by the steering group in the final workshop.

With executives for executives: in co-creation

What should the Leadership Learning Landscape at Boehringer Ingelheim look like in concrete terms? What elements must be included? What are the needs and learning habits?

We discussed these and other questions in the co-creation phase. To do this, we sat down with a select group of end users – or rather, in a zoom room and at a mural board.

The development process of the Leadership Learning Landscape at Boehringer Ingelheim with a design thinking process.

Creation process of the Leadership Learning Landscape

Thus, after catchy creativity phases and inputs on the topics of leadership development, active learning and the leader as role model, we were able to cross-fertilize each other’s ideas and give free rein to creation.

Some of the team members took turns in the creation phases so that as many people as possible from the target group could get involved in the design of the Leadership Learning Landscape and actively shape the creation process.

Emergence and methodology of the Leadertship Learning Landscape.

Be creative online

Ten to 15 participants, at least as many monitors, zoom meeting rooms and mural boards: How do you get into the virtual creativity flow? John Cleese told us the secret to creativity in his Youtube video, “If you don’t know how to play, then you will not be creative.”

Thus, it was clear that we had to include a play phase at the beginning of the creation process, for which we sent all workshop participants packets of “craft accessories” that enabled immersion in the game world and mental relaxation.

In one of the workshops, for example, the participants each formed a persona out of plasticine, for which they developed ideas according to their needs in a further step – so the analysis results came back into play here.

To be able to discuss the results of the creation and inspire each other, we shared the ideas on the mural board. The board turned out to be a helpful tool for the joint work to exchange ideas on the various topics and to make a targeted selection from the many ideas in the later process.

Feedback with the Eigenland tool

For the feedback loops, a feedback challenge was prepared after each creation phase. Here, it was determined for which questions and course settings feedback is needed and should be obtained. Theses were formed from the respective questions, which were examined and discussed with the steering group, with the help of the Eigenland tool.

During the development process of the Leadership Learning Landscape at Boehringer Ingelheim, feedback on the Design Thinking phases was obtained using the Eigenland method.

Excerpts from the feedback with the Eigenland method

Eigenland is a workshop tool that combines multisensory and digital elements in a playful approach to make workshops more effective in achieving results. Through the thesis evaluation with the help of the tool and through the subsequent discussion of the voting results, decisions for the further processing phase were derived quickly and effectively. This helped shape the framework for the concrete learning landscape after the initial broad search for ideas.

The result – a navigation system through the Leadership Learning Landscape with different learning routes

The three creation and feedback phases have resulted in a Leadership Learning Landscape with five suggested learning routes. The learning routes each suggest different learning formats/learning stations. Each route starts with a leadership assessment in which the managers reflect on their current leadership behavior and leadership portfolio and from which they can then derive their specific learning needs. A “check-in” with the company’s own manager is also planned at certain intervals. The focus is on further development as a leader and learning for the leadership role.

The learning routes are designed to be agile – meaning you can deviate, take a different route, or select other elements from the Leadership Learning Landscape as needed. A “News Nuggets” section will also provide regular updates on new content in the Landscape and give executives tips and ideas for their own development.

About Boehringer Ingelheim

Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies and employs more than 50,000 people. The Boehringer Ingelheim Regional Center Vienna (RCV), as part of the German pharmaceutical company, has business responsibility for more than 30 countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. This makes RCV one of the Group’s most important sites. Vienna is home to Boehringer Ingelheim’s cancer research center. We thank Boehringer Ingelheim for the opportunity and trust to relaunch their Leadership Learning Landscape.

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