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Global Leadership Programme

The Challenge

Panasonic is one of the largest Japanese multinational electronics corporations. Under the leadership of the newly appointed President, managers across the globe were given a mandate to innovate on both a local and global scale under the banner “cross-value innovation”. Despite the tremendous energy to find opportunities to innovate, Panasonic managers were aware that a process was needed to help drive a culture of innovation that fostered a spirit of collaboration across disciplines and regions and would deliver innovative integrated solutions for customers. Cultural change and new ways of working, rooted in the Panasonic enduring principles, needed to be embedded in the organisational networks to enable sustainable innovative change. The leadership teams, running Panasonic businesses across the globe, were identified as the target audience for a leadership development journey to support them in making the transformational change.

Collaborative Programme Design

Panasonic wanted to provide a leadership learning experience that was global - truly reflecting the nature of their businesses and emphasising breakthrough innovation across boundaries. Panasonic, Imperial College Business School and National University of Singapore collaborated to design a Global Leadership Programme with modules delivered in both London and Singapore. To create a full learning experience, we focused the learning aims on innovation, sustainability and project conceptualisation and refinement, playing to Imperial’s expertise in these areas.

The programme was not just about improving Panasonic’s profitability. It was also about the long-term sustainability of Panasonic, and of global society more generally. The programme themes focused on some of the “big issues” facing Panasonic in terms of the environment and sustainability, as well as how to lead through change; fostering understanding, trust and inclusion with a diverse ecosystem of customers, communities, suppliers and partners. We engaged faculty experts and drew on our wider Imperial ecosystem for specialist contributors to ensure a highly practical and engaging approach to learning whilst delivering value to the business through group projects.

Business projects were the key deliverables from both a personal and organisational learning perspective. They were completed over the course of the programme in virtual global teams ending in a “Dragon’s Den” presentation with some of Panasonic’s top leaders.

Business Impact

The participants were exposed to bold new ideas and challenged to reframe their mindset on innovative thinking, delivering business projects that added real change and innovation to the business. Projects covered innovation in product, process and services and many continued from concept design at the end of the programme to implementation in the following year. Cross-functional and cross-cultural collaboration was key in delivering change in the business, reinforcing the principles of “one Panasonic”.

Panasonic, together with Imperial College Business School, National University Singapore and other specialist contributors, created a high-value learning experience based on the compelling leadership issues for today and tomorrow. Imperial College delivered a significant and important programme through specialist faculty contributors. It challenged participants to improve their cognitive diversity while developing our leaders as change agents, pathfinders, innovators and entrepreneurs.  We continue to work in close partnership with Imperial to achieve excellent results, not only for this programme but also with collaborations across the College such as supporting Masters projects, exclusive access to events and exploring technology collaborations with faculty.

Richard Mills, Director, UK HR & European Talent Management, Panasonic Europe B.V

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