PETRONAS - Managerial Excellence Leadership Development Journey

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Name of Organization / Company: PETRONAS NASIONAL BERHAD, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Category: L01 - L02 - Award for Innovation in Human Resources > L02. Award for Innovation in Human Resources Management, Planning & Practice > All Other Industries

Entry Title: Managerial Excellence Leadership Development Journey


PETRONAS is one of the only national oil companies in Asia that has transformed itself into being a leading multinational and ranked amongst the FORTUNE Global 500®. Since its establishment in 1974, PETRONAS has continuously pursued innovative solutions across the entire spectrum of its business, particularly in moving towards a sustainable energy future.

To achieve the ambitious business goals of pushing boundaries and innovating, PETRONAS needs to empower its people and equip them with the required mindsets and capabilities. The most important population is the 3,000 middle managers, as they are the ones that directly impact all front-line employees across the world. Thus, they have launched an ambitious initiative called Managerial Excellence (ME) Leadership Development Journey to prepare all of the managers and the people they lead for the future of PETRONAS and the industry.¹

The ME Journey has proven to be world-class and highly effective in changing the managers’ mindsets and behaviors. The key success factors of the ME Journey are²:

- Business relevance: Senior Executives from across the organization were involved during the upfront design of this journey. Based on their inputs, the journey design has been closely customized to PETRONAS’ strategic priorities, business challenges, cultural context and future ambitions. All of the on-the-job application has been designed based on Senior Executive input in terms of what is most critical to help managers drive the PETRONAS strategic priorities.

- The design of the journey: Every step of the ME Journey is linked to the PETRONAS business context and desired business outcomes. In addition, each step reinforces the one before to ensure continuous embedding of learnings and application on-the-job. The focus on team-based activities, digital and gamification significantly raises engagement and puts the accountability back in the hands of the managers.

- Experiential Learning: Even in the final hour of each day of the programs, managers were still very enthusiastic and actively participating. This is due to the use of experiential learning throughout the journey, particularly the Leadership simulation and Oil & Gas business simulation used in the face-to-face sessions. Being highly customized to PETRONAS, they reflect the true business and people challenges that managers face back on the job.

- Virtual engagement and discussion forum: The ME Journey leverages Virtual and Digital solutions to continuously engage the managers over the course of 3 months. The participation rate in the Virtual components is 98% compared to industry average of below 20%.

- Support for on-the-job application: After the face-to-face sessions, participants join three application calls (led by a certified coach) with the same six team members that they worked together with in the face-to-face sessions. Discussing on-the-job application in small teams enabled managers to share their experiences, learn from each other, and form peer coaching networks that extend beyond the classroom.

The initiative is ongoing with initial studies showing strong impact in the critical mindset and behaviors that are needed for the managers and their people. In fact, 96% of the on-the-job applications of learning studied this far have reported positive impact.³ The supporting file provides details of those impacts.

¹ Supporting file #1
² Supporting file #2
³ Supporting file #3