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Leading and Living Innovation

Telefónica approached Imperial College Business School to design a highly customised programme to accelerate its transformation from a state-owned utility to a world-class global digital communications company.

The telecoms industry is constantly being redefined through digital convergence, changing customer needs and technological development, so Telefónica needs new and innovative business models in order to stay ahead of its competitors.

Rather than simply apply generic theories of innovation to Telefónica’s situation, we went back to basics, questioned Telefónica’s existing models, and tried new ones based on our own research in the Business School and Imperial’s other faculties. We then built a bespoke programme that is deeply rooted in Telefónica’s DNA and will carry Telefónica forward for years to come.

This programme – which we developed along with external coaching partners ADEN executives – is intensive, demanding and practical. Participants create their learning journey with us, and are invested in making every minute count.

Over four days, participants gain a deeper understanding of their fast-changing industry and their customers, examine industry and organisational dynamics, and build their capacity for leadership. They are immersed in the exploration of what Telefónica needs to become a high performance, high velocity innovator. They assess how new players capture value and threaten Telefónica, and so gain insight into how they can build innovation eco-systems that will propel Telefónica forward and see off challengers. As leaders, they explore how they personally can influence Telefónica’s innovation environment by effective all-round communication and creating a high impact team.

By the end of the programme each participant leaves with a set of tools and a mindset that will enable them to innovate and to address the major issues that will face them as Telefónica becomes the world’s best communications company.

The company

(The programme) allows our participants to develop leadership attributes that are essential in an uncertain and fast changing environment. It is intended to expand both their personal capacity and organizational capacity to innovate while developing acute awareness of the competitive landscape and acquiring new insights into new models of innovation that are particularly relevant to Telco and will allow us to compete.

Rory SimpsonChief Executive Learning Officer, Telefónica