Leadership development that creates actual business results

Fostering collaboration and co-creation as key leadership skills

OI Academy empowers leaders across the organization to learn new skills and mindsets whilst creating tangible results.

The Challenge:

To stay ahead of the curve in the competitive retail industry OI needs to empower strong leaders that can collaborate across divisions and continents. To collaborate successfully and to build  a customer-centric culture, leaders also need to build communication and social influencing skills and the resilience and grit to get things DOne.

How we approached it

The OI Academy blends OI’s internal leadership philosophy with the DO School’s approach to leadership development to offer a unique and customized version of the “Intrapreneur Academy”.

The nine-month leadership program takes a learning by DOing approach to combine new insights, impulses and tools with concrete results for lasting effects. Throughout the program OI Academy participants co-create solutions to a concrete business challenge. Using the DO Innovation Method, the program is structured to take place in multiple intensive workshops combined with remote work-times during which participants collaborate and implement the newly learned tools and skills. Ongoing coaching and peer-coaching sessions provide an opportunity for participants to reflect and deepen the learning experience.

The OI Academy is built to last as an ongoing tool for internal leadership development. It invites one cohort of participants per year and also offers a light-touch engagement and networking for Academy Alumni.

In reaction to the social distancing needs and travel restrictions due to the Covid pandemic, the OI Academy has been re-designed from a blended to a fully virtual delivery including a focus on remote leadership. 

The OI Academy works on two levels:

  1. Participants walk away from the program with concrete new skills and mindsets they can directly apply in their work. The Academy enables them to reflect and strengthen their leadership skills and create better collaboration environments with their own teams leading to new ways of working.

  2. Each cohort creates concrete solutions to the Challenges posed. The first cohort for example proposed setting up iData, a transparent, centralised OI vendor and sourcing knowledge pool. The idea is now fully implemented and OI merchandisers can easily find the perfect match for customer orders anywhere within OI’s global sourcing network. iData thereby helped facilitate OI’s customer-centric and global transformation.

An Internal talent pipeline and network of intrapreneurs

The OI Academy offers an internal talent development vehicle to build a strong talent pipeline to secure the future success of the company by training leaders that bring the skills and mindsets necessary to innovate, to put the customer at the center and to collaborate across silos and with external partners.

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Amelie is an alumna of the first 24YOU gap year program. At that time, with her high school diploma in hand, she had no set plans for the future. Today, she is studying business administration for her master's degree and works in HR-consulting. Learn how the program helped her on her way and why it is even more important for graduates to apply after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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