Harvard Business School Publishing Supports Leadership Development At Unilever

May 14, 2002

BOSTON – May 15, 2002 – The eLearning Division of Harvard Business School Publishing (HBSP), today announced that Unilever, one of the world’s leading Foods, Home, and Personal Care companies, will adopt HBSP’s comprehensive online leadership training programs to strengthen Unilever’s corporate leadership development and the implementation of a new competency model. The new model, called the Leadership Growth Profile, is part of a comprehensive change program lying at the heart of Unilever’s Path to Growth business strategy. It is aimed at developing a more enterprising culture and a change in leadership behavior, and has been specifically tailored to the Path to Growth strategy and objectives. The model is complemented by eLearning programs. HBSP will provide content to support the change in behavior and it will be available to Unilever’s 250,000-plus employees, located in more than 100 countries.

The Leadership Growth Profile is a focussed competency model, externally benchmarked against World Class leaders, that defines the leadership behavior that will accelerate business growth for Unilever. The company is collaborating with HBSP in designing the follow-up tools and resources employees can access to gain more leadership training.

“Management training and development has always been important to Unilever,” said Kay Robinson, Leadership Development manager at Unilever. “But as we bring about change in the corporate culture and adopt the behavior of the Leadership Growth Profile, we are looking to Harvard Business School Publishing to provide us with material that will help our employees continue to develop themselves.”

Unilever’s eLearning tool for the Leadership Growth Profile will give direct access to HBSP’s Leadership suite of eLearning programs, which include:

  • Decision Making – Designed to help leaders avoid common “thinking traps,” identify and examine the issues at hand, and appreciate one’s intuition when making decisions.

  • Influencing and Motivating Others – Helps leaders distinguish between effective and ineffective motivation methods, develop credibility, how to maximize influence, and how to persuade via negotiation and compromise.

  • Leadership Transitions – Designed to help new leaders transition into new roles by learning to assess the transition process, prioritize, build productive relationships, and develop strong teams and supportive partnerships.

  • Managing Change – Designed to help managers avoid critical mistakes due to changes, clarify corporate intentions and roles, plan around changes, and balance changes in content, processes, emotions, and behavior.

  • What Is a Leader? – Helps distinguish between leadership and management, “big picture” thinking, how to create environments that empower employees, and how to develop “soft skills.”

  • Coaching for Results – Designed to help managers effectively coach others through observing behavior and diagnosing problems, asking probing questions to open up the discussion, and by listening and providing valuable, specific feedback.

  • Managing Direct Reports – Helps strengthen effective delegation by teaching managers how to better understand direct reports’ expectations, encourage others to discover their own solutions, foster and manage group support systems, and set up a group agenda and goal.

  • Managing Virtual Teams – Teaches specialized communication skills for virtual channels, effective ways to identify optimal skills and qualifications for virtual team members, how to develop and share vision and processes, and provides a primer on the uses of appropriate technology.

Also, HBSP’s eLearning programs are easily translated into different languages and can be accessed online via the Internet or intranet. This enables Unilever to offer a seamless, uniform training program to its many operating companies located worldwide. In the past, Unilever was a significant user of HBSP’s CD-ROM management suites, which included such programs as Coaching, Managing for Performance, Service Success, and Getting to Yes. Unilever also holds a multi-year license to HBSP’s Harvard ManageMentor®, a comprehensive resource that delivers top-line, practical information addressing the key challenges managers and project leaders face day-to-day. When searching for the appropriate content provider to support the change in behavior demanded by the Leadership Growth Profile, Unilever turned again to Harvard Business School Publishing.

“The LGP is about leadership at all levels. It was important to us to support this initiative with some of the best and most credible leadership development programs available that would fit with this philosophy. The Harvard Business School Publishing brand is unparalleled,” said Ron Edwards, Head of eLearning at Unilever. “The follow-up tools and resources HBSP are providing are excellent and designed specifically the way we wanted them. HBSP listened well to what we wanted and how we wanted the content and programs designed.”

“Organizations looking to develop better managers must provide employees with access to the best training tools,” said Jonathon Levy, vice president of eLearning Programs for Harvard Business School Publishing. “We’ve been successful in meeting our customers’ management development needs by providing robust training programs and enabling anytime, anywhere access to these programs.”

About Harvard Business School Publishing’s eLearning Division

Harvard Business School Publishing (HBSP) is a wholly owned, not-for-profit subsidiary of Harvard University. HBSP’s eLearning division provides leadership and general management expertise through online programs to a growing list of over 500 corporate eLearning clients. Combining premier content with Internet technology, the eLearning programs bring powerful ideas and tools to the desktops of executives and managers around the world helping corporations improve management performance. HBSP’s eLearning programs include Harvard ManageMentor®, Leadership Transitions, Managing Change, Decision Making, Coaching for Results, Influencing and Motivating Others and more. Additional information is available on the Web at www.eLearning.hbsp.org or via telephone on 1-617-783-7886.

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s largest, consumer products companies with annual sales of approximately $49 billion in 2001. It produces and markets a wide range of foods and home and personal care products. Unilever operates in around 100 countries around the globe and employs approximately 250,000 people.