Originally released on December 03, 2015.


A highly experiential leadership development programme – developed in partnership by Ashridge Executive Education and Heineken International, the world’s leading brewer – has won the Bronze Award for Best Partnership at the Training Journal (TJ) Awards 2015. It is the second time in three years that Ashridge has been recognised at the TJ awards, which annually showcase the best achievements of the year in the learning and development sector. The event was staged at a ‘red carpet’ ceremony at The Brewery in the City of London.

The innovative Ashridge programme features a high-pressured simulation where global talents at Heineken are taken “to the edge”, preparing them for the leadership challenges of the future and building muscle-memory to cope with them when they arise. Each participant is wired to a heart rate variance monitor in order to analyse and reflect upon both their performance and reactions to the programme’s stressful incidents, all of which were carefully designed to replicate the real-life challenges facing senior leaders in organisations today. The programme was underpinned by the latest Ashridge research into neuroscience, critical leadership incidents and learning transfer.

Robust Kirkpatrick level 4 evaluations highlight significant increases in skill, motivation, ways of working, career progression and drive to win. Analysis of business data has revealed increase in both talent pool retention and outstanding performance. Meeting specific organisational needs, the programme has developed agents of change who are living new Heineken behaviours, is directly impacting culture change and has transformed participants’ ability to cope and thrive with the challenges being experienced across the board at Heineken. Participant scores for the programme hit an incredible 5 out of 5 in June 2015.

Jason Cassidy, President of Ashridge Executive Education, commented: “This is a magnificent result for our team of experts, who repeatedly push forward the boundaries of learning. Currently, we provide customised solutions to thousands of managers and leaders worldwide and we’re looking forward to developing further innovations during the year ahead.”

On the impact of the programme Chris van Steenbergen, Chief HR Officer at Heineken said “This programme enables Heineken’s global talents to succeed against our current and future business challenges in a very fast moving environment. It enables and empowers them to become the role models for the performance driven and values-based culture change required to achieve our strategic objectives.”

Ashridge Client Director Sona Sherratt, who along with Ashridge and Heineken colleagues picked up the award at the ceremony last night, was delighted with the news: “The team and I are thrilled to receive this award. It is a privilege to work with Heineken which is such an engaged, dynamic and innovative organisation, and also with Fraser Murray with whom I have worked so closely to design, develop and deliver this programme. The programme is nothing short of a life experience. We are proud to commit ourselves to making a difference in our participants’ lives and, in turn, to their work as leaders within Heineken.”

Fraser Murray, Learning and Development Consultant, Heineken International, said “We are delighted to win this award and receive external recognition for a programme that is having such a positive impact on leadership capability internally within Heineken. The collaboration between Heineken and Ashridge is key to this success. Sona Sherratt and her team at Ashridge have worked hard to understand our needs and partner with us to create this programme. We are seeing immediate benefits from the programme, which is also strengthening our leadership pipeline for the future.”


Notes to editor

About Ashridge Executive Education: Established in 1959, Ashridge is a leading provider of leadership development and is in the 1% of providers globally to be accredited by all three major executive education bodies: AACB, EQUIS and AMBA. Each year it works with over 6,000 managers from 850 organisations from 60 countries. The Ashridge (Bonar Law Memorial) Trust, a United Kingdom registered charity, known as ‘Ashridge’ operationally merged with Hult International Business School on 1 September 2015. Both institutions remain as separate legal organisations awarding UK and US degrees respectively. www.ashridge.org.uk @AshridgeUK

For media enquiries, please contact: Chris Johnson, PR Manager, Ashridge Executive Education at Hult International Business School Tel: +44 (0) 1442 841429 / + 44 (0)7867580492 Email: chris.johnson@ashridge.hult.edu

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