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IMD Impact Stories · Talent Management

How global skin care company Beiersdorf onboards new managers

IMD’s The First 90 Days helps leaders with a successful transition
August 2018

Beiersdorf AG is a German skin care company based in Hamburg, Germany. Its brands include Labello, La Prairie, Nivea and more.

Founded in 1882, the company has over 18,000 employees and has a market cap of $26.3 billion.

In order to reinforce its leadership capabilities, Beiersdorf works with IMD both on custom leadership development programs and through open enrolment programs. One of the open enrolment programs is The First 90 Days®, designed for leaders taking on critical new roles who have been hired from the outside or are making a challenging internal move.

The program is led by Michael Watkins, IMD Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change, and author of the best-selling book about leadership transitions, The First 90 Days®.

During the interactive, 2-day learning journey, new leaders diagnose the situations they have inherited, define strategic direction, build teams, create alliances, and secure early wins. Participants establish a detailed action plan that shows them how to create successful momentum for their first 90 days.

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Speaking recently to Lauren Smith, HR CoE Development Manager Competency Building, she told IMD that her company, Beiersdorf, uses the program to support middle managers in a transition phase. Alongside an internal module, The First 90 Days® helps new leaders at Beiersdorf step into their new roles with confidence.

The length of the program was one of the advantages that helped the company select the program, according to Lauren. It gives managers an intensive overview of what they need to succeed in their transition, but it only takes them out of the office for a short time.

In addition, the program simultaneously provides several leaders beginning a new role a common framework and vocabulary that help them communicate and work better together. “More and more we have a need for a common framework,” says Lauren. “The program is very useful for onboarding our managers. It is a very insightful two days and the group work is also a major benefit of the program.”

Michael Watkins, who has recently conducted extensive research on the subject of onboarding published including in Harvard Business Review, says: “It’s essential to have a well-designed integration advisory process and advisors who have both the business acumen and the behavioral insight required to provide superior support.”

Find out more about IMD’s The First 90 Days®.