Ericsson was the UK subsidiary of the Sweden based Ericsson Group, since bought out by Sony. The SML approach was chosen to facilitate a change of culture to lifelong learning in line with the organisation’s strategic direction and local business strategy. It was initiated and run by senior line managers and presented as an opportunity for volunteers.
The two programmes covered 114 participants across two divisions in the following roles:
Following the programme, SML formed part of the businesses learning and development strategy in the UK and became an integral part of the company’s two-year graduate scheme.
To support the strategic direction:
To support local objectives:
Research conducted by Robert Lines, a Senior Line Manager within Ericsson, for his MBA.
From a Project Manager:
“… it (SML) will build a different type of culture where people are responsible for their own futures as opposed to thinking ‘My manager knows what I need to learn – I’ll just wait for him or her to let me know’. ‘Empowerment’, that’s the word I was looking for.”
From a Software Designer:
“I was surprised it worked. In the early days I couldn’t see how a bunch of people from different areas would be able to help other people learning different things. But I guess with SML you don’t always need to be told the answer. Sometimes people suggest something that leads you to the solution indirectly. Often just the opportunity to discuss an issue makes you realise that you knew the answer all the time.”