Bringing Leadership to Life at AMD
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) reflects on the integration of the Managers’ Leadership Experience (MLE) Program and Abilitie’s Enterprise Challenge to meet their leadership development needs for their mid to senior level leaders.
On the heels of a successful turnaround led by AMD’s new CEO Lisa Su, AMD set its sights on finding a strategic way to invest in its people. The primary goal was to ensure that its leadership pipeline remained strong as AMD’s projected rapid growth loomed. AMD needed to fill its bench with qualified leaders ready to take on such a challenge. Leaders at AMD had witnessed the power of simulation-based learning and wanted to harness the energy that simulations can bring to continue moving their mid to senior level leaders forward.
Building on the success of a prior program, AMD partnered with Abilitie to create AMD’s Managers’ Leadership Experience (MLE) Program. The goal of the MLE was to enhance the leadership capabilities of experienced managers by creating leaders who drive business and shareholder value. Through the MLE, participants were given first hand training on the foundational success drivers of being an effective manager at AMD.
Key objectives of the Managers’ Leadership Experience include:
The MLE developed managers and senior managers at AMD through 4 days of classroom instruction simulating on-the-job experience in both team and individual projects. To help program participants practice real-world leadership skills, AMD L&D leaders brought in Abilitie’s Enterprise Challenge, with a focus on building skills around cross-functional communication, strategic thinking, business acumen, and decision-making in VUCA conditions.
In Abilitie’s Enterprise Challenge simulation, participants compete in teams to run a virtual business. The participants are met with tasks such as forming a strategy, making critical personnel decisions, setting operational capacities, and designing effective sales campaigns. Throughout the simulation, participants are encouraged to utilize self-awareness as well as cross-functional collaboration, operational excellence, and strategic thinking. The experience is facilitated by subject matter experts who help make the learned skills applicable to each participant’s real-world role through debriefs and by creating time for self-reflection. The program also reduces to a personal level by offering one-on-one check-ins and fosters discussions around how to develop skills aligned with the AMD leadership outcomes.
In measuring the outcome of the MLE program, AMD was able to show impressive measurable benefits, both qualitative and quantitative. One metric was the consistent positive satisfaction scores by participants: 4.65 (out of 5) in 2019 and 4.62 (out of 5) in 2020 across all program participants. AMD senior leaders consistently heard from program participants that their learning propelled them forward in their career and 21.1% of program participants received a promotion within approximately one year of going through the program. AMD also measured the impact of the program comparing manager quality scores on the annual all-employee survey. Overall engagement scores for AMD managers and senior managers were 6 points higher for MLE participants versus non-participants in 2019.
Feedback from the Experience:
“Informative AND fun, really valuable and key takeaways that I could use instantly in my role.”
“It was so much more valuable than I had anticipated. It made me think about a bunch of things I’d pushed to the back of my mind but really should be facing head on.”
“The business simulation was very useful for team-building and understanding the executive experience. The facilitator and materials were great. Having done several similar exercises before, the Abilitie simulation was by far the best I have experienced.”