The EFMD business magazine

Excellence in Practice 2023 Introduction

Introduction Excellence in Practice awards 2023
Welcome to the 14th consecutive edition of the Global Focus supplement on Excellence in Practice (EiP). We are proud to say that this year’s applications are impressive, showcasing a remarkable diversity of cases.

The cases encompass a wide range of ambitions, scopes, and innovative implementations. With this selection of experiences and insights, we anticipate that the forthcoming Executive Development Conference (St. Gallen, 4-6 October) will provide an exciting platform for engaging in meaningful exchanges and discussions on cutting-edge developments in the field.

The jury has a crucial role in any competition or selection process. Since the start of the program until 2023, over 500 cases have been submitted, indicating a growing interest and engagement within the EiP community. To evaluate these submissions, many jury committees and members, who are professionals from the field, have been convened. In the last five years, we have filled 180 jury seats with professionals from 24 countries, with 85 from companies, 60 from business schools and 35 from consultancy/executive development organisations. We pay tribute to their contribution to the award.

The primary responsibility of the jury is to thoroughly review and discuss each application. This involves a comprehensive assessment of the presented cases, considering their ambitions, scopes, and implementations. Through rigorous evaluation and thoughtful deliberation, the jury aims to gain a deep understanding of each submission’s unique qualities and contributions, rank and decide on the final awards. This crucial task not only identifies exemplary initiatives but also serves as a valuable benchmark for the EiP community, shedding light on best practices and emerging trends in the field.

Moreover, the jury’s work is not limited to selection; it provides valuable input for feedback to all applicants. Constructive critiques and insights from the jury help applicants refine and improve their projects, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation within the EiP community. In essence, the jury serves as a cornerstone of the entire process, ensuring that excellence is recognised, celebrated, and nurtured in the ever-evolving landscape of learning and development.

Upon analysing the feedback provided to the 2023 submitting partnerships, we have gained valuable insights into the key areas that need focus and improvement within learning and development initiatives.

  • It is worth noting that 92% of the cases received critical feedback on their impact chapter, with a specific emphasis on the requirement for hard evidence of business, organisational, and individual impact. The jury’s assessment included recommendations for the use of specific indicators, highlighting the importance of quantifiable outcomes in demonstrating the tangible effects of these initiatives.
  • It was found that a significant portion, comprising 54%, received remarks regarding the description of their initiatives. The jury commonly sought more comprehensive details regarding the design, structure, and delivery of these projects. This highlights the importance of providing a thorough and well-articulated overview to effectively convey the essence of each initiative.
  • The jury feedback shows that the strength of the L&D initiatives is highly praised (79%) throughout the submissions. Best practice cases design immersive, innovative, and ambitious learning journeys that follow a systemic approach to development, proactively involve leaders and are piloted by a governance council. They also ensure a balanced learning experience that covers education, experience, and exposure. Their initiatives employ a variety of methodologies, including coaching, mentorship, leaders teaching leaders, storytelling, art-based approaches, innovation hackathons, problem-solving, and design thinking methods, to achieve this goal. They also maintain a partial virtual setup, introduce gamification, and have micro-learning strategies in place. Their approach emphasises real-world action and innovation through projects and on-the-job assignments. They also include international expeditions, experiences, and company visits, as well as external stakeholders such as start-ups and clients. They foster a learning culture that empowers participants to own their development, leverage peer advisory, include alumni support, and provide networking opportunities.
  • 64% of the cases get commended for the effectiveness of the contracting stage and how the initial brief is translated by the partners into an actionable project (the commitment chapter in the EiP submission). The jury was charmed by the balanced and co-creative partnerships and impressed by the complexity and scale of projects in quite a number of cases.

We hope you enjoy reading the subset of cases featured in this magazine and find them inspiring. We also invite you to submit your own practices for the next round of submissions in 2024. Thank you for your attention and support.

EiP winners 2023 - list of winners

See other articles from Excellence in Practice 2023.

Excellence in Practice 2023 Introduction
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