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The 2008 Learning In Practice Awards
To address these issues, Cohen first conducted a survey of more than 250 C-level executives worldwide. To narrow down the specific characteristics that a Satyam leader would need, a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) survey was performed. Cohen then used the findings to create three dynamic new learning programs.
The first key program, launched in early 2007, is the yearlong Full Life Cycle Leader Certification (FLCL) process, which tackled the issue of high-leader turnover at Satyam. Aimed at helping new leaders achieve success in their first year, the FLCL program is structured in four phases, each building on the previous one: “Fueling,” in which participants are given a general overview of the process; “Ignite,” which includes virtual learning, competency development and awareness; “Lift Off!” which involves strategic business simulations on various leadership topics; and “Orbit,” which includes further competency development and action learning.
To address the increasingly global focus of the company, Cohen partnered with Harvard Business Publishing and Universitas 21 Global to create the Certificate of Global Business Leadership (CGBL) program that helps leaders develop the business skills necessary for success in a global environment.
The MBA-like program is six and a half months long and almost entirely virtual, so students can study at their own time, pace and place. By the end of 2008, more than 2,700 FLCL leaders will have graduated from the CGBL program.
Cohen also helped Satyam institute an annual leadership summit for networking, best-practice sharing and other purposes.
The impact of Cohen’s work at Satyam has been tangible. The percentage of leadership positions being filled internally has gone up from 20 percent in 2005 to more than 60 percent today. And within the first year of implementation of the FLCL program, the leadership turnover rate dropped from nearly 9 percent to less than 3 percent, while the company saved $1.75 million.
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