Eva VandorEven as the global economy was in trouble, Barclaycard leaders were clear they needed to look to the future. The company was transforming beyond the traditional credit card business. Both innovation and implementation of strategy were essential to achieve the vision.

Eva Vandor, head of Barclaycard Academy, was tasked with ensuring that the company had the skills to transform the business while managing external turmoil.

The result: Barclaycard developed its Executing Strategy Programme, which was launched in 2010.

Eva, along with Head of Leadership James Prior and their team, sought to provide leaders a full and shared perspective on the direction of the business, but also to develop key leadership capabilities. Among the most crucial: to collaborate effectively.

“Working across boundaries has never been more important,” Eva maintains. “Our agenda requires innovation. To innovate, we must work collaboratively across businesses, across functions, across levels, across geography. We also need to draw customers inside the organization and understand their needs.”

The Executing Strategy Programme — developed in collaboration with CCL and Ashridge Business School — was designed to boost managers’ ability to lead across boundaries, take risks, introduce change, accept uncertainty, inspire team members and stimulate their creativity to break through the status quo.

The nearly 100 leaders who participated in the Executing Strategy Programme have increased their leadership effectiveness, openness to others’ perspectives and ability to collaborate, according to a program evaluation conducted by CCL. Leaders also report a new focus on establishing strong connections, alliances and networks — and leveraging them to benefit the business.

“People are taking the initiative to connect with others in their group, across the organization and even outside the company,” says Eva. “They now see the value in spanning boundaries and have learned ways to do it effectively.”

“The power of CCL’s approach to leadership development cannot be underestimated,” she adds. “It’s liberating and motivating for people when you tap into what they can do. This can have great payback in terms of the business, but it also has a deep impact on our people.”

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