My Way: choose to go further – PricewaterhouseCoopers & PWC My Way

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– SILVER WINNER OF THE 2017 EXCELLENCE IN PRACTICE AWARDS –

My Way, a transformational development programme at PwC, has proved its success in developing leaders who can inspire others by their words and actions

PwC is a network of members firms, mostly focusing on audit and assurance, tax and consulting services. PwC employs 223,468 people working in 743 locations in 157 countries and territories.

What is My Way EMEA?

My Way is a year-long sequence of learning experiences designed to make a significant difference to our key talent – senior managers and directors as they make the step up to leadership.

The programme is an optimal blend of:

  • developing self-awareness using 360° tools, shadow coaching and executive coaching
  • fostering virtual and in-person learning in teams of six and cohorts of 36
  • innovative approaches to using digital and face-to-face elements

Created in 2005, 1,850 alumni are already making a positive and sustained impact across the PwC EMEA Region (Europe, Middle East, Africa). They act as role models, multipliers and change agents across the network.

Participants are themselves a strongly connected network, bringing our values and purpose to life and helping us achieve our strategy as the world, our business and that of our clients face unprecedented levels of disruption.

My Way – not just a programme

In 2004, anticipating the volatility that was soon to engulf our world, a visionary team of leadership development specialists in PwC built a system that was adaptive to and predictive of the changing demands on our leaders – a system that would consistently equip our leaders to thrive and help others to do so no matter what challenges they face.

The programme would need to continually evolve and would ne ed a supporting ecosystem that would stay true to its central approach of developing leaders in the context of the whole person, a whole leader leading the organisation and society in teams; a whole leader with a mindset and skills to be agile and steady in the face of disruption.

Back in 2004 no one could have predicted just how volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous the world would be by 2017. It is in that VUCA world that My Way continues to develop relevant sustainable leaders who are innovative and valued and who lead with purpose.

“I have so many takeaways from My Way that I don’t even know where to start! I’ve re-emphasised my values and now have them engraved in my heart. I developed a personal brand and leadership vision (which seemed very difficult to do at first but now seems so simple). Everything has a different perspective now – from building a highly effective team to work-life balance to maintaining a healthy lifestyle; the list goes on. It is by far the best development experience that I have ever had!”

Maye Ayoub, Egypt

A unique partnership

My Way was designed to be a partnership between the My Way team and the client. The client is the My Way Champion Group, which is made up of representatives from each of the 23 participating EMEA Countries. These territories own the programme and the My Way team delivers it.

Co-designing with a group of 23 champions is not without its challenges. Nevertheless, we have managed, year upon year, to build on the programme’s core principles of forming the whole person, the whole leader. We ensure that the programme offers only what is on the cutting edge of leadership development.

The challenge and programme development

PwC’s stated purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. But in a world of exponentially growing disruption – technological, geopolitical, societal and environmental – these problems are bigger and thornier than ever. And rising to the challenge of solving them is more critical than ever and even more critical to our clients, our people and our communities.

To rise to this challenge we need leaders who can inspire others by their words and actions. Leaders who embody PwC’s values and purpose. Leaders who have a clear understanding of who they are and the impact they want to have. Leaders who can lead through the disruption we face. And we need these leaders in increasing numbers.

My Way is PwC EMEA’s answer to this challenge. It identifies key talent from across the region and invites participants to go far beyond leadership styles and techniques and truly explore their personal identity as a leader.

Participants build their own individual leadership visions, which guide them in creating lasting relationships with their clients and people and in co-creating value with everyone they interact with.

The programme equips them with a skillset and a mindset that will serve them well in the near and long-term future of increasing complexity, disruption and challenge.

“My Way was definitely the best programme I ever attended. It has helped me throughout my career in many ways, starting with reflection about myself and the impact my behaviour will have in business as well as with people inside and outside PwC.”

Petra Raspels, Head of Human Capital and Board Member, Germany

The commitment

In order to meet this challenge the EMEA business leaders committed to a bold course of action to work together to build an innovative programme for key talent in a way that had never been tried before.

This may sound simple but in a network of member firms where local decision making is an important part of the local identity, it was a profound culture shift and one which would develop increased consistency, increased global acumen and a more internationally mobile group of leaders.

They committed to build an exceptional cross-border programme comprised of world-class experiences and interventions. The programme is 12–14 months comprised of three face-to-face modules delivered in exceptionally tranquil environments, complete with virtual and social learning for 250 participants each year and supported by exceptional faculty.

Impact

  • The retention rate of My Way alumni is 94% (weighted average per annum)
  • 1,850 alumni since 2005 from 41 countries, >40% become partners
  • Leadership programmes for experienced partners: 33% My Way alumni
  • 1st Territory Senior Partner (PwC Finland) is My Way Alumnus Mikko Nieminen

Conclusion

Our challenge was to create a leadership development programme that could transform our key talent into leaders who will face a future full of great challenges but also enormous opportunities.

We needed to develop our talent to lead PwC, its people and its clients into this volatile future and through the inevitable disruptions – leaders with vision, capable of crafting and owning their own journey and navigating their leadership with agility, compassion and courage.

This programme itself is agile and nimble enough to adapt to the volatility in real time. It both guides participants while being responsive to the needs of their individual journeys. We have risen to that challenge and have built a programme that truly allows each individual future leader to learn, grow and flourish “My Way”.

Note: Alumni figures are as submitted at the time of the application

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