Cheif Learning Officer Solutions for Enterprise Productivity

The 2008 Learning In Practice Awards

The simulation experiences were so successful that Hennessy and Wilson’s team was obliged to roll them out first to director-level employees and then to the NetApp professional services staff. The proactive approach is particularly effective because NetApp leaders are forced to look beyond their functional areas and gain an understanding of other areas of the business, while the expanding workforce has a common, tried-and-true toolbox with which to address various business challenges and opportunities.


Lucy Dinwiddie
Vice President of Organization Development, ConAgra Foods

This year’s Division 2 recipient of the Silver award in the Vanguard category is Lucy Dinwiddie, vice president of organizational development at ConAgra Foods.

Dinwiddie has been instrumental in helping ConAgra improve internal placement and ultimately unify its corporate vision and methodology. Prior to initiating enterprise-wide learning programs in 2006, the company had been highly disparate and business-unit-centric. Not only did it fill 70 percent of director-level and higher positions with external talent, but market challenges such as the high cost of commodities and energy, and acquisitions and divestitures also contributed to a fractured focus.

To create a more unified outlook, Dinwiddie and her team — with the support of senior executives — created the Leadership Excellence Series (LES). Geared toward the company’s top 150 executives and running six months long, the LES program had three primary goals: to bring together all business units under the umbrella of the One ConAgra identity; to facilitate leaders’ success in a new matrix organizational structure; and to identify and develop leadership competencies specific to ConAgra’s current challenges, which included an increased customer focus.


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