Technology & Innovation

Values-based Leadership & Cultural Change
Creating a Learning Community using Action Learning with Executive Coaching,
Microsoft (Asia Pacific)

SG - Clients - Microsoft - 22 Jul 2015


Microsoft Asia Pacific Operations Centre (APOC) is part of Microsoft Corporation’s worldwide business strategy to consolidate its manufacturing & sales operations. APOC manages the manufacturing, licensing & accounting for Asia Pacific’s 17 sales subsidiaries - APOC employs over 23,800 people across the Asia Pacific Region. Their success depends on the efficient & effective delivery of product a& services from suppliers to customers in multiple markets.


APOC were looking for an integrated, cost-effective leadership development solution as part of their Business Strategy to move to a more effective ‘Coaching Culture’. They wanted a comprehensive learning solution to complement their MS Management Excellence Career Events. Action learning solution that provided a robust platform for lifelong development focused on workplace initiatives to create business impact. The action learning solution also transferred both the methodology & facilitation skills from the external providers to the program teams.


Synergy Global applied our experience to role-model effective virtual coaching & working. The 7-month program, facilitated face-to-face & virtually, involved 6 large groups drawn from Executives & Senior Managers. Using a combination of workshops, Synergy’s unique Action Learning Teams (ALTs) & 1:1 Coaching for the Executives, we created fun learning experiences to develop Microsoft Manager Competences & build an innovative, flexible solution to leading Microsoft’s virtual teams operating in a matrix structure during continual change. As part of the program participants identified key actions/behaviours that drive & impede business impact & linked these to 3 key areas of learning; Action Learning Teams (ALTs); Engagement & Inclusion; & Developing a Culture - moving APOC towards a Learning Organisation. HR provided onsite support throughout & participated in the program to help with our robust evaluation. The program has since continued internally.


We always agree metrics with clients in advance. Microsoft have sophisticated measurement metrics, so we were able to use & build on a number of these to design a robust & objective evaluation tool measuring impact in 12 areas of personal & management competency plus 26 specific skills. These were self-assessed at the beginning, middle & end of the program; they were verified with Line Managers as part of their 360 feedback & performance appraisals.


There was an average increase in the 12 areas of competency of 25% for Executives & 26% for Senior Managers. Specifically for ‘Facilitating Learning using Coaching’, we saw a 32% & 33% improvement for the Executives & Senior Managers respectively. Both Executives & Senior Managers stated they were using their new coaching skills in their daily work, particularly in their 1:1 meetings, & many felt more comfortable managing staff performance. The 12 Executives commented they found the 1:1 coaching sessions useful & effective in supporting them in their ALT facilitation, addressing challenges around their management roles & leadership styles, taking MEC forwards as a ‘Learning Community’ & that the program had a clear impact on the culture within APOC.

Microsoft APOC V-based Leadership Cultural Change Large Fun Group - 2009
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