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Alumni Stories · Strategy

“As soon as I returned to my company, I started to apply what I learned”

Pirelli exec Claudio D’Ettole talks about Organizational Learn in Action
May 2017

Claudio D’Ettole is the School of Management and  - IMD Business SchoolLearning Systems Manager at Pirelli. He recently participated in IMD’s Organizational Learning in Action program, which helps senior learning leaders expand their impact on business performance and organizational results.

Claudio has a master in Organizational Psychology and has been in the field of corporate learning for the past 15 years. He currently heads the School of Management within Pirelli which develops the managerial skills of the company’s executives.

Here he discusses his experience in the program:


“Our department was starting a new challenge, to implement and make a new model work. There were many possible critical dimensions: how to make the company adopt this model at global level, how to influence people working in other departments to follow this framework, which kind of technological issues had to be managed, how to create an internal marketing plan. So the challenge was really huge and my manager suggested that I attend Organization learning in Action.”

The IMD experience

“I started the program with high expectations but also wondering what we could accomplish in five days talking about learning. Well, reality exceeded my expectations! Starting from the pre-program preparation, I found the attention to detail astonishing. Everything seemed to be under control, the online portal was very effective, the book I received before the program set the stage perfectly and I still refer to it today. The work we had to do before the course was challenging but balanced. So everything was perfect before we even met face-to-face to start the program. In Lausanne the experience on IMD’s campus was wonderful; everything was designed in order to facilitate our learning and networking. Then I met my fellow participants and the level of professionalism and experience was in line with my expectations: interesting colleagues, with a wide variety of professional challenges but most of all with a lot of value to share.

The design of the program was punctuated with a wide variety of activities, with a balanced mix of classroom, working groups, business cases, and networking opportunities. We didn’t have a lot of free time, but looking back, that was a key part of helping participants experience the program to its full potential. I remember that one of the first things I noticed was a folder on my seat summarizing the main business challenges at my own company: a perfect way to tailor the program to my real context in order to get maximum impact. The program coordinator was always ready to solve any problem or to support us in all of our requests. In a short period of time, the faculty was able to cover all of the topics on the agenda in appropriate depth.”


“As soon as I returned to my company, I started to apply what I learned during Organizational Learning in Action. I’m absolutely sure that the program helped our learning department identify the right strategies in order to become what we are today: a leader in best practice at the international level. We were awarded as one of the best corporate universities for being embedded in the culture and brand of the company, and in the past couple of years we’ve often been sought out to share our expertise with other industries. After the program I really felt a sudden boost in my professional mindset and that helped me to become recognized as a reliable counterpart at the highest levels of my organization.”

Find out more about Organizational Learning in Action.