The leading Norwegian maritime company, Wilhelmsen, claim that their industry is inherently volatile. According to the CEO, Thomas Wilhelmsen, they need a culture that is able to adapt before it is too late. They need a Silicon Valley mindset. They have no choice.
With 450 offices in 75 countries and 18.000 employees, a cultural shift is not easy. Changing corporate culture is a hard and slow process. According to Thomas, another thing that needs to change is their business model -- from an old transactional model to a maintenance type of solution.
Innovating new technologies and business models can be valuable. According Wilhelmsen's top management, getting closer to their customers and cooperating better with multiple stakeholders will put them in the best position to add additional value. Therefore they want to adopt an agile, Silicon Valley mindset and a human-centered innovation process. They want to adopt Design Thinking.
Wilhelmsen reached out to the leading Design Thinking educators globally. This includes top universities like Stanford. Their need was a program that could educate the future leaders of Wilhelmsen. Pracademy submitted a proposal and was eventually chosen.
In June, Pracademy was invited to the Annual Management Forum with Wilhelmsen's top 30 managers globally. The purpose was to sell in the value of design thinking and Pracademy as a partner for Wilhelmsen’s Leadership Potential Program (LEPO). Here is some of the feedback: “Exceptionally good,” “lots of energy,” and “people were over the moon about it.”
As a result of this success, 15 representatives from the top management, including Thomas Wilhelmsen, volunteered as mentors for LEPO. Through this program, Pracademy will train 24 managers from across the world in design thinking during four modules, lasting three days each. The aim is to enable Wilhelmsen to focus on corporate culture, change, and the design of innovative products and services. In this way, Wilhelmsen can continue to shape the maritime industry going forward, as they have done for the last 156 years.