ROI Delivered for Nokia
Nokia reflects on using the Adaptable Leader Program and its success with return on investment for their needs.
Through the years of rapid and continual changes to their industry, both Nokia and one of its joint venture parents, NSN, had suffered years of sustained losses. In order to execute the high-stakes turnaround they would need to evolve their company, Nokia would need to make changes and fast. Nokia decided to establish a new leadership development program to prepare their leaders for the changes ahead of them. The leadership development program itself needed to be adaptable to a changing business landscape, or the return on the investment would be short-lived. To address these challenges, Nokia teamed up with Abilitie and Complex Adaptive Leadership to design, deliver, and evolve the Adaptable Leader Program (ALP), now a 4-month leadership program.
The Adaptable Leader Program (ALP) was integrated in three phases, using the “10-20-70” approach.
Phase 1: “The 10%”
The new program started with integrating participants into the first phase consisting of the participants preparation and pre-work, participants’ line manager involvement, and an interactive, 4-day experiential workshop. During the experiential workshop, Complex Adaptive Leadership and Abilitie jointly created a program that paired complexity science and serious games to challenge their participants.
Phase 2: “The 20%”
Following the completion of the rigorous 4-day workshop, the next 20% entailed a 3 to 4-month peer co-coaching program. This program paired senior manager “Champions” and had them mentor regular participants. The lessons learned in the experiential workshop could then be applied by the participants in a real world setting.
Phase 3: “The 70%”
The final phase was the 70%, focused on applying the lessons the participants learned from the pre-work and face-to-face training to their daily jobs. This reflective practice was supported by an online 70-20 action-learning management tool to ensure that participants retained the skills they had learned in the months following the initial workshop.
At the conclusion of the 3 to 4-month program, participants submitted detailed self-reports. These reports drew on peer accountability logs and impact reports validated by their line managers. Additionally, participants were approached after 12 months to report any additional impacts that would take longer to reveal, such as effects on revenue. The Adaptable Leader Program faculty and senior manager “Champions” reviewed reports and provided personalized and confidential feedback to each participant. These reports were then used to improve the ALP system, ensuring that it continues to thrive and return value in an ever-changing corporate environment.
In the Nokia study, the ALP used had a direct impact on both qualitative benefits and financial benefits. Among their employees, the program created greater leadership productivity, better motivated teams, less stress, faster results, and more strategic thinking in their participants. Additionally, the company measured a financial benefit of ~ €12m reported across 400 managers in 16 groups.
The following metrics demonstrate how the program has continued to succeed:
Importantly, the positive financial impact of the program per group resulted in the total program cost being recouped in only 4 months.
These successes allowed Nokia to continue the investment in leadership talent, even in the context of radical changes: changes such as cost cutting and frequent reorganizations, during which Nokia bought Siemens from NSN, sold its mobile phone business to Microsoft, and then acquired Alcatel-Lucent, doubling its size. The Adaptable Leader Program continues to evolve alongside the organizations, as Nokia is currently positioned as a central player in the Internet of Things and 5G networking.