Genesis Park Leadership Programme

Brief: 
  • Genesis Park is PwC’s global leadership development programme. PwC takes the top 2% to 5% of early senior managers and accelerates their development into resilient, responsible and authentic leaders.
  • The PwC approach uses blended learning and social networking and culminates in an intensive 10-week residential programme. Participants focus on their personal development; explore the world through the eyes of existing network, industry and community leaders; and work on real business issues. Dynamic and intensive coaching supports the entire experience.
The problem addressed by the campaign: 
  • PwC needed a better way to build a pipeline of leaders able to thrive in an uncertain future and help fulfil potential for growth.
  • PwC wanted to revamp the Genesis Park experience to increase its effectiveness. 
Solution: 
  • A team of innovative experts, recognized for their achievements in leadership development, were brought together to revamp the Genesis Park by:
    • Bringing forward the best of the previous Genesis Park programme (running since 2001)
    • Drawing from successful approaches in other PwC programmes and those of other organizations
    • Identifying where the existing content and approaches did not meet the business needs
  • As a result of this review, a 12 month design plan was put in place and additional specialist expertise brought in around the design team to build out the three major sections of the programme: pre-work, the residential program and post-work.
  • Within these three sections there were elements that clearly needed to run through the entire programme: (1) elements that build the whole person; (2) elements that build the leader as resilient, authentic, responsible; and (3) elements that build the individual leadership capabilities around the roles of strategic advisor, global integrator, team catalyst, etc.
  • All of theses culminated in the strategic projects – the opportunity to create business impact by working on issues of real significance to PwC, at the same time having the opportunity to experiment in a safe environment.
  • The new and improved Genesis programme involves this careful crafting of elements that are consistently delivered irrespective of location. It has bespoke design and real time adjustments to ensure that the programme is in tune with the local culture and takes advantage of what is happening in the moment in the local host office (e.g., connecting with visiting partner, leaders and clients).
Impact: 
  • PwC measures the participant response to the programme and that of their partner coach in their home firm through a series of evaluations and surveys.
  • Qualitatively, PwC looks at the participants’ readiness to become a partner and the assignments and opportunities that alumni get as a result of having been part of the programme. This is achieved through an analysis of the leadership stories of Genesis Park participants – both at the end of the residential programme and then nine months later when they have transitioned back to their home practices.
  • There has been immediate positive impact on participants of the 2011 programme in terms of their response to the experience of Genesis Park (through formal and informal evaluation). The longer-term impact of their leadership transformation and career development will be assessed going forward.
Why has it worked?: 
  • Global leadership sponsorship and support
  • A high-performing team of leadership development experts
  • Strong territory and host site engagement and support
  • The three programmes were run with staggered start dates, which allowed for the lessons from programme one to be passed on to programmes two and three.
Conclusions and Recommendations: 
  • The continuous improvement approach meant that there were no major issues that did not work – due to the iterative nature of the programme PwC was able to constantly correct, adjust and improve. Each programme showed significant improvement in the quality of outputs.
  • Key lessons include: reduce pre-work and make the pre-work more focused; increase the initial up-front context setting for the overall programme, and increase the experiential elements of the residential programme.
Foundational Issues: 
Critical skills gaps
Level of Collaboration: 
Level 1: Collaboration within the organization
Region: 
Global (all of the above)
Economic and political context: 

PwC (2011):

  • 169,000 employees
  • Gross revenues of US$ 29.2 billion
  • Net revenues of US$ 27.5 billion
About the Author(s): 
  • PwC is a professional services network delivering assurance, tax and advisory services to clients.
  • PwC has firms in 158 countries with close to 169,000 employees.