People not just Megawatts: The Vestas Story

In today’s new green (and red ink) economy, businesses all over the world are working hard to reduce operational expenses, restructure their workforce, and transform themselves into sustainable business models.  I think one of the most exciting examples of a company going through this transition is Vestas Wind Systems, the global leader in wind energy systems.

Vestas Wind Systems:  People not just Megawatts

Vestas is a fascinating company.  Headquartered in Denmark, Vestas is a $6 billion company growing at almost 25% per year and is 100% dedicated to providing end-to-end wind energy systems for use throughout the world.  In 2008 the company’s employee base grew by almost 8,000 employees and today the company has more than 21,000 employees located in 29 countries.   This company has grown rapidly:  in 1986 they were a small engineering company of 66 people.  Such tremendous growth has been driven by the company’s focus on its core market:  exquisitely engineered, highly efficient, end-to-end solutions for wind energy.  (PS, I studied mechanical engineering in my college days so this kind of company truly fascinates me.)

 

vestas

Fig 1:  Vestas Wind Systems

The #2 Chief People and Culture officer at Vestas, Helle Bay, will be speaking at our upcoming research conference IMPACT 2009:  The Business of Talent®.   Helle is responsible for global onboarding, leadership development, talent management, and culture programs at Vestas and she exemplifies our view of talent in “enduring organizations.”  Vesta’s philosophy is “people before megawatts,” an important message which is driven by the company’s CEO.   What this means is that Vestas invests continuously in people processes:  training, development, leadership, and management development. 

In fact, Vestas was the winner of one of our Learning Leaders® awards for excellence in learning programs.  Their global onboarding program (developed by Effective Learning, A.G) is one of the most powerful uses of e-learning simulation and character based scenarios we have seen.  This program makes sure that all of the 8,000+ employees that join Vestas have a deep understanding of wind energy, wind energy systems, and the Vestas company and processes.

I want to invite you to join us at the IMPACT conference to learn more about Vestas and how they are applying the principles of high-impact talent management to fuel their growth and success, even in the slowing world economy.

Vestas World – Award Winning Onboarding Program

For more information, the company has made available an interesting demonstration of their e-learning program called “Vestas World,” which you can access by clicking on the image below:

Vestas World

Fig 2:  Vestas World – Onboarding Program

 

Onboarding is one of the fastest-growing new strategic learning areas in many organizations.  Even during downsizing, organizations find that end-to-end onboarding programs drive tremendous improvements in performance, productivity, and alignment.  

Bersin & Associates Learning Leaders Program

If you would like to read more about onboarding or details on the Vestas story, please read our 2008 Learning Leaders® Research Report, available at no charge.

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