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The Path to the Top

Panasonic logoWickland Westcott worked with Panasonic to design and develop an Experiential Guide for their Finance, and Sales and Marketing functions. The guide is essentially a career planning tool aimed at:

  • Providing an outline of the career experiences, skills, behaviours and knowledge needed at each job level en route to MD, within both Finance and Sales and Marketing
  • Giving transparency around the Finance, and Sales and Marketing career paths
  • Providing consistency within these functions across their European businesses
  • Supporting and further skilling Line Managers to hold performance and development discussions with individuals within their function/team.

There were a number of key stages to the design of these guides. First, we took a detailed briefing to ensure we built a clear understanding of what Panasonic wanted, and how they intended the guides to be used by the business. The second stage was data gathering. This involved conducting a range of stakeholder interviews (from MD level through to Administrator) to understand the critical and discrete behaviours, knowledge and experiences required to be successful at each level within the function. We also carried out desk research, which included analysing and reviewing job descriptions and the organisational structure. Additionally, we drew on Wickland Westcott’s knowledge of recruiting and assessing professionals within these functions for similar organisations, in order to provide ‘stretch’ at each level within the guide. We felt it important to design a tool that would help people to equip themselves with the skills, behaviours and know-how required to progress through job levels, both now and in the future.

The third stage involved analysing the data, identifying themes and descriptions bespoke to these functions within Panasonic, and creating a ‘client ready’ first draft. We then facilitated an expert review of the career planning tool by both Panasonic and Wickland Westcott’s steering group for this project. The final delivery stage involved presenting the guide to the business in partnership with Panasonic’s internal Talent Team.

The Finance Experiential Guide will be launched to the whole organisation at the annual Finance conference. The Sales and Marketing Experiential Guide is at the final stages of development, and likewise will soon be launched within the business. Helena Bodin, European Talent Manager, concluded:

“To put together an Experiential Guide is a big piece of work. I’ve appreciated very much to have the support of Liz and Laura at Wickland Westcott. Their expertise has helped us make sure that we capture what is really important, in the right way, and that the tool is also benchmarked towards other organisations. Panasonic will use this guide in career coaching discussions with our employees, which will also complement the work we are doing around developing a career coaching tool kit for our managers and defining our internal career paths as part of the overall career planning project”.

If you would like any more information about this project or are interested in discussing how we could help your organisation build a career planning tool or functional competency set, please contact Liz Lawson.