Transforming Managers into Effective Leaders With Scalable Online Learning Solutions

CLIENT:Essilor, ophthalmic optics company
LOCATION:Headquartered in Charenton-le-pont, France
SIZE:69,000 employees

Client Profile & Challenge

Essilor is the world leader for corrective lenses. From design to manufacturing, the group develops a wide range of lenses to correct and protect eyesight for consumers in over 100 countries.

A core strategy for Essilor of America has been growth through acquisitions. This strategy has allowed the organization to expand rapidly in markets, services, and product categories. Though Essilor has a successful global leadership curriculum, it lacked an introductory program in basic supervising and management skills. To address the needs of its diverse workforce, the company knew it needed to shore up its continuum of leadership development in support of frontline supervisors.

Essilor of America first turned to “off-the-shelf” solutions to fill the gap. While they were able to deploy the training quickly and saw some success, the initiative was generally viewed as unsuccessful because it lacked business context. Essilor began to phase out this basic solution in favor of custom courses that directly fit the need; however, the company simply could not keep up with the variety of needs required in an increasingly expanding and complex organization.

Essilor transforms managers into effective leaders with a scalable, virtual solution from the Center for Creative Leadership - case study

Solution & Results

Essilor partnered with CCL to launch a blended learning solution for frontline supervisors that heavily leveraged an online curriculum that could be quickly deployed across a broad geography. CCL’s core, research-backed leadership development content was complemented by customized communication guides and job aids that reflected Essilor’s company values, workplace environment, and unique needs.

Essilor’s custom online leadership program addresses all 3 dimensions of learning: formal training, mentoring, and workplace experiences. The program spans 54 topics organized around 10 leadership competencies vital to Essilor — from managing conflict to developing people.

A single topic is introduced each month as a one-hour, online training module. To support the “learning from others” portion of the framework, each training topic cascades from the top down across 3 levels of leadership. Managers complete each month’s virtual course and then are prepped via a live webinar to model and reinforce the required behaviors. Coaching guides and “huddle” materials give managers the tools they need to conduct mini sessions with the managers and frontline supervisors on their team. To support workplace learning, practical tools provide real-time guidance in how to address the issues and opportunities that must be navigated each day.

Since its launch, Essilor’s leadership program has been offered to thousands of frontline supervisors and is making a noticeable impact on the company’s operations. “We feel confident it’s creating the foundation we need, and one we can build on, as individuals move from basic supervision through to global leadership positions,” Jones says. Essilor now offers select leadership development courses in 48 countries around the globe — creating a shared understanding of what it means to lead an Essilor team.


Though participation of the program is entirely voluntary, nearly 80% of frontline supervisors and managers in the US have completed the training. Nearly half of all managers are voluntarily using coaching guides and huddle tools to reinforce the program and cascade learning to their teams.

Participants Say

“We like innovations that are grounded in research, but effectively and simply address a need. This is true for our products, and it’s true for the training that we provide. EDGE [Essilor’s custom leadership development program] is a good cultural fit.”

Steve Cunningham

SVP of Human Resources
Essilor of America

“We’re using a blended approach that incorporates proven, off-the-shelf resources where appropriate, and building custom courses where necessary.”

Matt Jones

VP of Talent Management
Essilor of America

Partner With Us

We can work with you to customize effective and scalable virtual leadership development solutions that transform your leaders – wherever they are. Learn more about our Online Learning solutions that provide actionable steps for addressing today’s complex leadership challenges. 

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