This year, CEO members from 11 countries enrolled in the Vistage Executive Leadership Program in collaboration with Stanford Graduate School of Business to transform their organizations.
What happens when you combine the academic excellence of Stanford Graduate School of Business with the world-class peer advisory experience of Vistage? Transformation.
Launched in 2017, the Vistage Executive Leadership Program (VELP), in collaboration with Stanford GSB, is a one-of-a-kind offering that focuses on developing strategic thinking and applying innovative strategies to drive transformative change in an organization.
Members enroll in three self-paced courses from Stanford faculty: Strategic Leadership, Designing Organizations for Creativity and Innovation, and The Innovation Playbook. As they go through each course, members work with their designated Chair facilitator and other Stanford cohort members to apply those lessons to their businesses.
This year, enrollment included international Vistage members from Argentina, China, Germany, Malaysia, Malta, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Peru, Spain and Uruguay. Chairs and members in 11 countries connected with veteran Chair facilitators to understand the value of this exclusive program, creating the most effective executive education experience for SMB CEOs.
The lessons learned have helped create global change and continuing success since VELP launched in 2016. More than 300 alumni across multiple industries with revenues ranging from $1 to $250 million have learned to make better decisions for their companies, families and communities. Here, 3 Vistage CEO members describe their experiences.
Strategic leadership, organizational design, storytelling … each one forces you to dig deep into the roots of your company to better understand the processes lying beneath the surface. And, almost immediately, you are compelled to take action and propose ways to apply these insights to your company. It is very hands-on. The approach is iterative and cumulative, building your case week after week and getting a fully (self-made) implementable construction at the end of each module.
Vistage Argentina member since 2007
Chair: Bob Shingler
The VELP program has had a significant impact on the business, and it was designed in such a way that my team is involved in the assignment. To build momentum, I needed to brief my team and build the groundwork by going through the key concepts and reference case studies from some of the top organizations in the world. One important note to the team is that “the boss” is learning, which indirectly inspires them to continue learning to stay relevant in the competitive world. It will take some time before we see major changes in our business because the contents of the program have to be multiplied internally.
A great success was the presentation of the PARC (people, architecture and routines, and culture) model. In addition, we have gained a common understanding of strategy, so we first ask ourselves whether our activities help to create more value or not. The greatest progress has been made in HR. Good employees determine the success of the company. We have developed a series of general and specific training programs open to every employee. We want to promote personal growth, no matter how long that person is “part of our journey” (our company). We believe that this increases satisfaction and can take the company to a new level.
Peng Yew Choy
CEO, Wah Kong Corporation Sdn Bhd
Vistage Malaysia member since 2017
Chair: Bob Shingler
I decided to participate in VELP without hesitation because — as a person and as a manager — I have the inner desire to grow constantly. This is my personal fuel. After many years in a company, you quickly become operationally blind and may miss opportunities. Through my membership in Vistage, I am always taken out of everyday (business) life and can exchange ideas with inspiring executives from other companies. And often we share the same challenges. In combination with the focused and valuable Vistage learning content (speaker, group work, company tours), I was able to expand my skills and avoid “blindness.”
From my Vistage experience, I know that only high-quality content is taught, along with Stanford’s outstanding reputation, and it was clear that this program could take me to a whole new level. In addition, I love the exchange with international members, because every company and every culture works a little differently.
General Manager, Cortec GmbH
Vistage Germany member since 2018
Chair: Janet Fogarty