For over two decades, the Financial Times has consistently ranked Duke Corporate Education (Duke CE) among the top custom education providers. This year, Duke CE was #2 worldwide, and the top provider based in North America, Africa, Asia, and the UK.
To determine its rankings, the Financial Times surveys clients across a multitude of categories. Duke CE is ranked #1 in design and in the top two for preparation, teaching methods, aims achieved, international clients, and overseas programs.
Duke CE CEO Sharmla Chetty said, “We are really grateful to our wonderful clients as well as our faculty, our team, and the amazing communities we work in as well. Without you, this ranking would not be possible.”
“Covid-19 challenged businesses to think differently and required leaders to take on a broader scope of responsibilities as the pandemic laid bare our shared humanity,” says Chetty. It saw leaders and their employees engage in conversations on ways of work, social challenges and well-being that were unprecedented in previous decades.
The pandemic also accelerated the need to do more of what we do best with our clients: unite our creative talents to catalyze leadership-driven organizational change. Over the past two years, clients around the world saw an opportunity to move ahead by accelerating their leaders and transforming their business.
Transforming How We Do Business
One such organization is Aurecon, a leading Design, Engineering and Advisory company. Sam Fernando, Learning, Talent & Leadership Leader at Aurecon shares that it is a priority for the organization to build the leadership capability and mindset to address the challenges that a pandemic and post-pandemic world demand.
Fernando says working with Duke CE is about partnership in “a true trust-based relationship.” She adds, “It was real collaboration in practice. Together we practiced generative design. Duke CE listened and did not come to us with off the shelf leadership development.”
Duke CE was judged #1 for design, #2 for aims achieved, preparation, teaching methods and materials, international clients, and overseas programs.
Duke CE partners with Citi, a global leader in Financial Services, in a program uniting 160 top VPs globally to share ideas and credibly challenge each other to develop innovative solutions that create exponential impact.
Kelly Glynn, Senior Relationship Manager at Citi, shares, “In order to enable growth and progress for our clients and shareholders, we must continue our efforts to develop and retain transformational, innovative leaders who focus on taking ownership, delivering results and succeeding together.” The program fosters high-performing teams that have implemented hundreds of ideas across the Institutional Clients Group at Citi. “It has developed innovative, collaborative, client-focused leaders who have gone on to lead functions that are transforming the way we do business,” says Glynn.
At global professional consulting and technical services firm Jacobs, the Amplif(i)3 program has been successfully rolled out in partnership with Duke CE for hundreds of leaders, helping to cascade the strategic and leadership messages from the Executive Leadership Program throughout the organization and encourage more diverse, inclusive, and innovative teams.
CEO Steve Demetriou touts the program as a major factor driving culture change within the organization – and the bottom line has seen an impact, too. Between October 2015 and September 29, 2021, Jacobs delivered a total shareholder return 280% above the S&P 500, which was up 155% during the same period.
According to Executive Vice President, Chief People & Inclusion Officer Shelie Gustafson, “to a great extent, our success is the result of our business aligned cultural transformation and a growing sense of belonging within the Jacobs team. We continue to measure the impact of the intervention on the culture and business at Jacobs and are pleased with the outcomes and results.” Read the Jacobs client story here.
Over the past 15 years Duke CE has been working closely with ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company. This has proven to be a successful case study of leadership development during an era of unmitigated change.
Vice President of Resourcing, Leadership Development and Learning at ArcelorMittal, Brian Callaghan, says “We wanted to develop the best leaders in our industry, and that has been a continual process of leadership development.”
He adds, “Working with Duke CE we were able to continually adapt the programs to enable us to continue to develop our leadership through good times and bad, because you can’t just stop and start development.”
Callaghan says diversity of leadership has never been more important. “The challenges that leaders face today are hugely demanding, which means we have to be ahead of the curve if we are going to attract and retain the best leaders. The past couple of years, with Covid-19, and now the crisis in Ukraine, means that leadership will have to continue to adapt in the coming years to ensure the wellbeing of our employees, our organization, and our world,” he says.
Another recent success story is Tongaat Hulett, a leading African agribusiness firm, where enhancing environmental, social, and governance performance is one of several key business needs addressed through work with Duke CE.
The company focused on driving a turnaround strategy by building its future leaders while enhancing corporate culture. As a result of the efforts with Duke CE, HR Executive Sashir Milne explains, “Our leaders are positively contributing to our operational performance, turnaround strategy, growth agenda and enhancement of our culture.”
This work impacts the business. “We integrated action learning projects, as part of the first program, and these were presented together with recommendations to a panel of some of our Executive Committee members. All of the projects are valuable and will be implemented into the organization.”
Business leaders who thrive will be those who transform their teams and set them on a course to continuously accelerate positive change, ultimately driving growth and innovation. At Duke CE we are immensely grateful to our clients for their trust in us to create sustained impact and innovation in their business.
At Duke CE we are immensely grateful to our clients for their trust in us to create sustained impact and innovation in their business. The confidence you have in us to continuously create impact within your organizations by prioritizing human capital and leadership development serves as an inspiration for us to continuously innovate our offerings during uncertain and disruptive times.Sharmla Chetty, CEO, Duke Corporate Education