The Coca-Cola Company is experiencing unprecedented global growth and facing significant challenges. To support leaders of both Coca-Cola and the company’s bottling partners,
a bold mission called 2020 Vision was defined to create a balanced set of goals and metrics to target and deliver success over the next 10 years.
As a key enabler for growth in support of the 2020 Vision, Coca-Cola’s supply chain was entrusted to grow, protect and sustain the business. “We wanted to reduce complexity in our supply chain model and align with our partners around the world to solve complex global challenges,” says Scott Figura, Coca-Cola’s Global Director of Operational Excellence & Productivity. “We need strong leaders, operational excellence, capable people, and an understanding of a holistic supply chain to build our system capability.”
In partnership with Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business, Coca-Cola started with its top 400 global leaders and formed a custom-designed executive education program to develop the attributes needed to take on the challenges of the 2020 Vision. The content was created from Georgia Tech’s best-in-class academic thinkers, subject-matter experts and key supply chain leaders from across their system.
But the challenge became: How would the company extend the training to the next level of the organization and its partners? How would it reach more than 8,000 operational managers around the globe? The question was not about which strategies were needed, but rather how to activate the leadership behaviors that drive the necessary change and deliver the aggressive goals. A connected learning approach was the solution. It would be the optimal way to take the leadership mindset attributes and messaging that the company was building around its end-to-end supply chain and disperse the knowledge around the globe.
A Connected Learning Solution
Coca-Cola and Georgia Tech partnered with CorpU to create a Supply Chain Excellence solution to develop the supply chain managers and activate the new leadership mindset needed. The technology-enhanced blended design engaged participants through connected learning experiences. Guided, paced cohorts enable collaboration and help participants initiate new behaviors while collectively developing end-to-end solutions to supply chain problems.
The learning, focused on key competency areas, is delivered in a virtual learning community platform to build essential knowledge around these competencies and to prepare participants for the company’s face-to-face residential learning sessions. In the virtual learning phase, participants learn from lectures from Coca-Cola leaders and Georgia Tech faculty, discuss successful practices and ideas for performance improvement, and develop plans to apply new knowledge and skills.
“A key benefit is this program complements our current strategy,” says Figura. “It’s a means of activating the right leadership mindset and connecting people to collaborate and meet goals that they couldn’t meet as effectively other ways. It’s a source of knowledge and inspiration for employees to take their capabilities and perspectives to new heights.”
Real Business Impact
With up to 90 percent participant program completion rates and an average evaluation score of 4.54 (on a 5-point scale), Figura says the preliminary global launch of the Supply Chain Excellence program has performed very well. “Even more exciting than program completion and satisfaction metrics,” Figura notes, “are the significant returns on investment and enterprise contributions the program is producing as a whole. At the beginning of our journey, we’ve already hit a global home run. We’re building relationships and onboarding partnerships, driving business improvements in growth areas and getting the return on investment back into the business. We are changing the way our industry builds talent.”
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