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SKF – A tailored programme for senior finance executives

The Challenge
SKF offers a broad range of internal training for its employees in the areas of finance and business control. In 2007, a competence mapping was conducted among the most senior financial professionals. This mapping showed that the business performance would improve if competencies in some
areas were enhanced. A tailored development programme was needed, challenging the company’s finance executives to develop their skills within strategy deployment, change management, risk management and service transformation.

The Engagement
As the group wanted to lend new insights into current SKF perspectives, they approached the School. Together with us, the SKF Group Finance Academy designed a development programme to enhance the knowledge of the participants on current topics within the academic world, whilst utilising the School’s international network of partner universities. The SKF Finance Executive Programme targeted finance
and business control executives from the global organisation of SKF, all with 10-15 years of experience. Participants were nominated and selected to form groups that reflected the diversity of finance management across the multitude of geographies where the SKF group was present.

The programme was divided into three different modules,delivered at different locations. The first module took place in Gothenburg with a focus on strategy development. The second module was run in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA, headquarters of SKF in North America. Here, the focus was
on Change Management. The third module gathered the participants at the Asian group headquarters in Shanghai,where the focus was Customer Service.

Throughout the programme, our academic researchers presented new ways to challenge established practices and they provided the participants with new tools. Part of the researchers’ role was to act as “intellectual sparring partners” in order to facilitate the participants’ efforts in structuring their experiences.

The Result
The programme has been a success, and continues to run today in its fourth year. For each new cycle, the contents are updated to reflect current challenges. Participating controllers and financial specialists have developed their capacity to act pro-actively, to take on new responsibilities in daily business decisions. They have acquired new knowledge and have learnt to apply it in their professional practice, which also enhances the learning process of others within SKF. The programme has become a
tool in creating a competitive edge for SKF within the group functions of finance and business control.

Ms. Evelyne Carlod had this to share about the SKF Finance Executive Programme:

“The first two days about strategy raised many questions. Accounting people are rational and analytical and our work is controlled by guidelines, taxes and procedures. We need to develop strategic thinking. Step by step, I realized that there were several ways to manage business. The program was also a great opportunity to network with colleagues from our global operations”

Evelyne Carlod is Finance Manager at SKF-Transrol in Chambéry, France and Business Controller for the Linear Motion Business Unit.

About the company
SKF Group is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems and Services. Founded in 1907, today SKF is represented in more than 130 countries. The company has more than 100 manufacturing sites as well as sales companies supported by about 15,000 distributor locations.

 

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