Our employees

Talent and succession management - Target 1

To substantially improve the activities in identifying, managing and developing internal talents and successors for our management and executive positions on a Group-wide scale.

Why was this target chosen?

We have identified succession management as a key driver for future success. A strong succession management process will support several of our strategic goals, particularly our aim to attract, develop and retain the right people that fit our current and future business needs. In turn, this will help us become a champion in leadership and talent management.

What was the approach taken?

We set key objectives for this initiative:

  • Create Group-wide transparency on the succession situation
  • Provide relevant information on potential successors
  • Reduce recruitment costs through increasing the internal placement ratio
  • Increase speed and quality of succession decision-making
  • Provide cross-functional/ -brand/ -regional career perspectives for our people.

The idea was to adopt a new proactive business process that defines successors for our management and executive positions in the short and medium term. This approach replaces the former reactive process of filling vacant positions when they arose.

The process is supported by a software system called Horizon that provides transparency on potential successors, the succession situation per organisational unit and succession planning and related KPIs.

Score

50 percent

Barriers encountered along the way

  • Global standards on system solutions (SAP) and our Global Salary Management System (GSMS) grading needed to be established.
  • Mobility and flexibility of our employees for cross-regional, -functional or -brand careers is sometimes limited.
  • Realising our succession management ambitions by placing predefined successors is an ongoing challenge.

Conclusion

We have transparency on the succession situation for our first and second line management positions and deeper down in the hierarchy for the pilot areas in Finance and Legal. The medium term effects such as increasing the internal placement ratio, retention of our talents and reduced recruitment costs etc. will be evaluated regularly from 2009 onwards.

Lessons learnt in 2008

Implementing a global system solution that supports a Group-wide standard process is a huge change management project and requires strong leadership and commitment by senior management and Group HR. The added value of the process and system increases with the global deployment of succession management.

New target for 2009

In 2009 and 2010 we will continue with the global implementation of the talent and succession management in all regions, functions and brands.

Talent and succession management - Target 2

To identify, develop and retain adidas Group talents and place them in management and executive level positions.

Why was this target chosen?

The adidas Group talent management approach is a core element of the Group HR's strategic business plan. Ultimately, talent management is an important factor in our success and competitive advantage, because it is mainly these talents who push and support the company to success through their competence, innovative thinking and creativity.

What was the approach taken?

The current talent and succession management approach was developed three years ago. We are now getting into the fourth year and it is now an established process within the adidas Group.

The structure of both the Management Development Programme (MDP) and the Executive Development Programme (EDP) is three modules of three days each, undertaken within a period of approximately nine months. The respective modules comply with the relevant competencies and thus with the requirements for either the managerial or executive level. The three cornerstones of the EDP for example are Organisational, Strategic and Personal Leadership.

These Group-oriented programmes are offered to talents in all regions (Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe), all brands (adidas, Reebok, TaylorMade-adidas Golf) and in all Group functions.

Score

75 percent

Barriers encountered along the way

Pushing programmes such as these through a matrix organisation is always a challenge. The programmes become accepted once they have earned a good reputation and this takes time, based as it is on participants' feedback and an assessment of the added value the training brings to the organisation.

Conclusion

Although the structure of the programmes stays constant, it is important to always adapt them to respond to the changing conditions the adidas Group is operating under. This ensures that our talents draw on the latest knowledge on organisational, strategic and personal leadership to initiate stronger performance and business results.

To ensure the placement of all of our talents, we have to keep emphasising the importance of the individual development plan. It is key to determining for each talent the position they should aim for and gives the talent a way to manage and structure their development actions.

We have received very positive feedback from the participants on the learning experience they have been through attending these programmes. The selected talents do see it as a great opportunity for their career and as an honour to be invited as attendees. Participants have been able to apply their learnings into their daily working lives and make a difference to the company.

Lessons learnt in 2008

As both programmes have gained a high profile within the organisation, it is important to reinforce the criteria for selecting the participants. It is key to ensure consistently the quality of our talents. A more seamless link from the development programmes into succession management needs to be worked on. The further roll-out of our Horizon software system will support this.

New target for 2009

We continue in 2009/2010 with generation four of the Management Development Programme (MDP) and with generation three of the Executive Development Programme (EDP) in all regions.

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Within this report
KEY
  • 0%: no progress
  • 10%: initiated
  • 25%: partly complete
  • 50%: good progress
  • 75%: substantially complete
  • 100%: fully complete