Suntory’s Global Leadership Development Programme

Posted: 16th April 2019

In late 2018, the Møller Institute team won a substantial new contract in Japan as strategic partner for Suntory’s Global Leadership Development Programme, its flagship multi-module, multi-region investment in developing future leaders.

Richard Buttrey , Client Director explained, “Suntory has created a Global Leadership Development Programme for 24 of its most promising young stars from all over the world. The delegates had already experienced an intense journey of self-discovery in the New Zealand outback and examined the company, Japanese culture and their own in Tokyo, supported by our teaching team, and came to the Møller Institute in early 2019 for a module focused specifically on innovation in Cambridge. The programme concludes back in Japan in April when project teams of participants will present innovation proposals around how products are turning into experiences and what sustainability means in different markets to the CEO and other Board members.”

Suntory’s well-known UK brands include Lucozade; Jim Beam; Ribena and they bottle for Pepsi in the US. Suntory are a global leader in consumer packaged goods, producing and distributing a diverse portfolio of beverages, premium spirits, beer and wine, and wellness products throughout the world.

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Design and delivery

In August 2018, a small team from Suntory including Sue Gannon, Deputy COO Global Development & Diversity, attended a design workshop at the Møller Institute to design the programme and as well as showcasing Cambridge to the group including a trip to the Dojima Sake Brewery in Fordham.

Mindset & Leadership, disciplined entrepreneurship and creativity and connectedness were the key learning outcomes for the programme. The group heard from leading lights in the Cambridge innovation ecosystem including, amongst others, Professor Tim Minshall, Professor of Innovation, Head of the Institute for Manufacturing; Edd Brunner, Head of Global Food and Beverage Business and Asia Consumer Business, Cambridge Consultants and Michael Chaskalson, Europe’s leading pioneer of mindfulness teaching and research.

Professor Tim Minshall unpacked the criticality of innovation, explain how the Cambridge eco-system has evolved and what Suntory can learn from it, delving into the detail of how large companies successfully innovate. Edd explained how professional outsource innovators approach sustainability and product/experience innovation – and understand their team dynamic and process. Michael will explore the importance of looking at the mind and improving focus.

Other sessions included political and economic macro-trends and their implications for Suntory; embedding design thinking; the effect on brands of digital transformation and disruption; futures thinking and scenario planning; processes and frameworks for innovation and the art and science of a high-performing teams.

The Churchill College and Sir Winston Churchill story – Innovation Leader and Influencer – was eloquently delivered by Allen Packwood OBE, Director of the Churchill Archive Centre. And finally, the group were challenged by Barry Phipps, Director of Studies, History of Art, Churchill College, to draw parallels between disruption in art and business, and then to complete a timed challenge around Cambridge to gather evidence of breaking the ‘dominant logic.

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The team at the Dojima Sake Brewery in August 2018 – (L-R) Yahiro Hashimoto, Suntory; Sue Gannon, Deputy COO Global Development & Diversity, Suntory; Cathy Butler, Head of Executive Education, Møller Institute; Gensee Murakami, Suntory; Tony Mitchell, Production Manager, Dojima Sake Brewery; Mrs. Hashimoto, owner, Dojima Sake Brewery.

Japanese experience

Møller’s executive education team designed and delivered its first Japanese leadership programme back in 2003 with NTT DoCoMo and, since then, over 5000 senior and aspiring global leaders have attended Møller Institute leadership development programmes. This latest client win follows the hire of former Tokyo-based DIT Head of Trade Development, Richard Buttrey, to spearhead the Institute’s executive education growth in Asia.