Smart thinkers and high flyers are essential success factors for a major company like Siemens. That’s why Supply Chain Management at Siemens runs a very special scheme for nurturing promising young talents: the Global Development Program (GDP)@SCM. The GDP is now in its tenth generation – time for a retrospective.
Nicole Engelfried and Sigrid Allendörfer, HR Business Partners for Siemens Supply Chain Management, exude enthusiasm as they analyze the history of the GDP: 10 years, 87 participants from over 23 countries, and more than 50 completed projects for the Procurement community. The talent development program boasts impressive figures.
“We’ve achieved a great deal, supported many talented young people and boosted their careers. We and the management are extremely proud of that,” confirms Nicole with a smile.
Sigrid, too, beams as she recalls past moments with the GDP candidates: “All the participants we’ve had so far have been super motivated, and they’ve been able to support Siemens Procurement by getting really great projects off the ground.”
There’s one event that particularly sticks in their mind: the Siemens SCM Conference in 2019. The GDP participants were given the opportunity to play an important role in facilitating the conference. “We sat in our hotel and everyone spent day and night working out their parts. This brought the group closer and closer as time went on,” Nicole reminisces. They all supported each other and had a lot of fun together despite being under stress. “The community gave a brilliant performance at the conference. It was pretty impressive,” recalls Sigrid. It’s moments like these that make the Global Development Program stand out.
What is the GDP?
The GDP is a certified potential development program at Siemens AG. It is intended for all potential high flyers in Procurement with at least five to seven years of professional experience. The program extends over 24 months and encompasses both professional development activities and practical work on SCM-related projects. The participants commit themselves to engaging in the program alongside their regular duties and contributing their ideas. The GDP lives on the input from the participants. In exchange, they receive tailor-made training courses and the opportunity to swap ideas and enhance their visibility at management level as well as build an extensive international network.
A key component is the project work. The aim of these GDP@SCM projects is to generate added value for Procurement by encouraging the participants to identify and implement innovative solutions and strategic possibilities with their “fresh outlook”. After completing the program, all participants are integrated into the alumni network and are on hand to offer advice to new members.
Success speaks for itself
It’s not just the impressive figures that speak for the program. Its positive impact is also reflected in the development of the participants’ career paths: many talented young people who have taken part in the program now hold responsible positions at Siemens.
Regina Kühle, for example, joined Siemens a few years ago as a project manager at SCM Shared Services. She went on to become one of the fourth generation of GDP participants. Today, she heads the SCM team in Belgium.
Even though the program is extremely stressful and time-intensive, she strongly recommends applying for the GDP, which she describes as a “once in a lifetime experience”. It definitely pays off in terms of both personal and professional development.
Cyrus Irani, who now leads his team at Siemens Healthineers as Head of Risk and Internal Controls & Enterprise Risk Management for Japan, also has only positive things to say about the program.
The GDP opens many career doors for the participants. Taking responsibility for different SCM-related projects provides the candidates with the best possible preparation for the tasks that await them.
Planning already under way for the next generation
The current situation isn’t exactly making it easy to prepare for the next GDP round. Nevertheless, plans are afoot to welcome the eleventh generation on board from January 2021. “We don’t want to suspend the GDP, and have already developed many solutions for virtual collaboration,” explains Sigrid.