Excellence in Practice: Outstanding Learning and Development Partnerships

The EFMD Excellence in Practice Awards (EiP) recognises outstanding learning and development partnerships in the domains of leadership, professional, talent and organisation development.

The 2016 set of submissions was again of high quality and showed confirmation of a number of trends we have seen in the past few years:


Impact is, of course, inherent to the framework of EiP, as this is a key differentiator for getting selected for an award. Still, we clearly see a trend in organisations becoming much more professional and experienced in impact measurements. Though there is still plenty of ground to cover and make a difference.

One of the striking points is that almost all cases pursue more than one objective based on an overall strategic corporate intent. These include a recurrent and strong goal of leadership, talent or professional development as the drivers for organisational change above and beyond the individual dimension.

Partnerships and co-creation

Many of the cases document multi- partnerships with corporate clients or public organisations joining multiple business schools and alternative providers. Each of them brings their own strengths to the table and there is a strong involvement of corporate L&D functions in the analysis and design phase of projects, not just in the execution, plus a mix of partners based not just on academic credentials but also for coaching purposes or for geographical and virtual coverage.

Personal development focus, no technology landslide

Cases show a strong focus on personal growth, values and behaviours. Clearly the need is not for models or textbook/academic theories but to strengthen the personality, responsibility and personal capability – the human/emotional side – of managers and leaders. In this VUCA world they need to solve problems and situations that cannot be mastered with templates and grids.

Experiential learning, action learning, coaching and mentoring are blended into development journeys with the use of all technological support available in the day-to-day working environment. And, as such technology follows work practices and helps to bridge agenda and geographical challenges, without being the major disruptor some fear.

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EFMD is an international, not-for-profit, membership organisation of business schools and organisations, based in Brussels, Belgium, with nearly 900 member organisations from academia, business, public service and consultancy in 86 countries.

Visit www.efmd.org for more information.

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