Essentials of Leadership Program for OSRAM

OSRAM, a global leader in semi-conducter based products and technologies is operating in a highly competitative and difficult market. Innovation and change are a necessity. New leaders, worldwide, must learn new skills in order to manage this situation to OSRAM’s advantage. Thanks to Schouten Global’s Essentials of Leadership program (ELP), participants are enthusiastically applying these new skills - using a new leadership mindset. We're talking with Georg Bachmaier – Senior Director Talent Acquisition & Development and Susanna Schmid-Elsaesser – Senior Consultant Leadership Development about the program.

OSRAM wants to train its future leaders in new management skills. These skills are necessary to enable growth and innovation in a rapidly changing, keenly competitive market. Important skills in this context include decision- making, conflict management, dealing with change, employee motivation assuming an innovative mindset. And shaving entrepreneurial courage and determination.


The behavior of participants changes rapidly once training commences. They become more proactive and a ‘go for it’ attitude develops: ‘If it is to be, it is up to me’. Participants challenge each other in this - and want, in turn, to be challenged. Their newly acquired skills are immediately applied to management issues arising in their daily work.

Why did OSRAM introduce this leadership program?

‘We are going trough a huge transformation process which started several years ago. Since some years the lighting industry is dominated by rapid en disruptive change. New and former unknown competition entered the market. Volatile and uncertain market circumstances became the norm. And the complexity of the business has increased. We are in the development from a component supplier to a provider of complete lighting systems to a high-tech company. In this competitive and difficult market we have managed to remain on a growth course. Which is why it’s important to prepare our new managers for the challenges we’re facing now and in the coming years.

Why choose Schouten Global?

‘We asked Schouten Global to propose a training program on the recommendation of our American division. It’s vital for OSRAM that the training course participants can immediately apply their new skills to the leadership issues they experience in their daily work. Schouten Global’s pitch convinced us that they could create and globaly deliver a customized training program that would meet this requirement. Perhaps it was the openness of the Dutch mindset that persuaded us.’ 

What comprises the ELP program?

‘The ELP program comprises three training modules and includes tasks via the digital learning platform and interim intervision meetings. Each module lasts two-and-half days and takes place in rural surroundings, far from the work environment, so that managers can concentrate fully on the course.’

“The proactive can-do attitude makes the biggest difference.”

What happens during the program?

‘At the start, personal leadership and the personal compass are the central focus. The participant considers who he wants be, as a leader and as a person. The participant is given feedback by his leader and together they determine the goals for the program. The participants then each work on their leadership mindset and skills. They reflect, in small groups, on what is already going well and what they want to improve. They also have weekly contact with a scrum buddy, with whom they discuss and evaluate their own daily leadership challenges.’

How do the participants experience it?

‘Our managers have picked up the leadership skills very rapidly. The participants are focused, alert and prepared to step out of their comfort zone. They are challenged - and challenge each other. The atmosphere is, nevertheless, relaxed and trustful. We saw immediate positive effects, in comparison with our old way of working. The proactive can-do attitude makes the biggest difference.’

ATD Award: Excellence in Practice Award

OSRAM and Schouten Global have won an ATD Award for this successfull program. Susanna about the success: 'Basis of the success of ELP was a well thought through concept which meets the needs of our organization and our first time leaders. This could only have been stablished through the co-creation in the development phase of the program. Colleagues from OSRAM business units and HR worked very effectively together with experienced designers and facilitates from Schouten Global. The continuous review and a close partnership between OSRAM and Schouten Global guarantees the permanent up-to-dateness of the program structure and content. The excellent selection of facilitators also supports the ongoing high quality of the program. Due to certain conceptual elements we have been able to establish a higher sustainability of the learnings than before - confirmed by surveys with the managers of the participants.'

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