Best Practices from Best Companies, Part 2 of 3: Leadership Development

Best Practices from Best Companies, Part 2 of 3: Leadership Development

Several companies consistently rank high on the 2012 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), #2 Best Company, is a great example. If you take a closer look, you’ll see some of the best practices that explain why they ranked so high on the 2012 list. Today we’re going to focus on Leadership Development at BCG.

BCG's leadership development process is deeply ingrained in their workplace culture and has been described as best-in-class in a Harvard Business School case study.  It’s not hard to understand why.  BCG believes there is always room for improvement and provides employees every tool imaginable to see their potential realized. Employees have access to workshops, online training tools, mentoring and apprenticeship programs, career development programs, a clear career path and support system for professional development, and more. Here are just a few examples of the opportunities available at BCG:

Educational Assistance

Associates with undergraduate degrees receive the support necessary (such as written recommendations and tuition for GMAT classes) to be accepted into top graduate schools. A stunning 91% of BCGers who apply to business schools are accepted! And when we say “top graduate schools” we mean it. For example, 64% of BCGers who applied to Harvard Business School this year were accepted, compared with a general acceptance rate of 12%. Similarly, 81 percent of BCGers applying to Wharton were accepted.

Those who make a commitment to return to BCG after graduate school are amply rewarded: BCG pays full tuition for two years and assists with living expenses, for a total of approximately $129,000 per person!

The BST Emerging Leaders Program

This year, BCG created the Emerging Leaders Program for their Business Services team. The goal of the program is to help young leaders develop leadership skills early in their careers, and to provide opportunities for experienced leaders to further improve their skills. The program is a series of trainings that includes curriculum on understanding different personalities through Myers-Briggs testing, learning best practices for collecting and giving feedback, and detecting when to use varied management tactics.

The Ambassador Program

BCG values global experience and has created several programs, including the Ambassador Program, for consultants seeking international experience. Under the Ambassadors Program, consultants in their second or third year with the firm are selected to work in a BCG office abroad for a year. Many types of global mobility opportunities are also available, in addition to informal options for cross-office staffing on international projects.

What does leadership development look like at your company?