Universitas Telefónica is a wonderful place outside Barcelona where the top 2000 leaders across the Telefónica Group (O2, Movistar, Terra, Vivo and many others) have an opportunity to come together as a network and learn about each others’ regions, markets and strategic developments.
Our original relationship with Telefónica started when we were asked to design and deliver a four day intensive programme called Leading Transformation For Profitable Growth. It was clear that they were not looking for a ‘business as usual’ approach. The ExCo knew that the Group was heading for much leaner times and in dire need of a more entrepreneurial approach. In an environment dominated by faculty members with heavy duty academic credentials we were a complete ‘wild card’ choice. We won the assignment and as a result of its success were asked to develop another programme called Customer Focus. This was about developing and delivering end-to-end branded customer experiences on behalf of Telefónica globally. We put together a design and delivery team which included the former head of customer services for Virgin Atlantic, the European head of Customer Experience for O2 and the global head of IBM’s client services for Telefónica.
The programme combined our expertise in customer insight and business coaching models with the O2 brand experience frameworks, and storytelling by leaders who shared their personal experiences (both good and bad) in shifting to a customer centric mindset. Subsequently we co-designed a Disruptive Leadership programme alongside the University’s faculty and specialists in Forum Theatre. It was the first time we were invited to partner with the leadership of the University itself. This programme helped delegates take responsibility for and commit to the changes that they want to see in their respective companies and countries. It required a significant cultural shift within a traditional hierarchical structure. When introduced, it was rated the most popular course offered at the university.