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"The partnership and co-development of our Advanced Leadership Program has been incredibly powerful in building the leadership capabilities of over 300 leaders and assisting to accelerate our customer-focused strategy."

Mona Malone
BMO VP, Human Resources

In 2007 Bank of Montreal's (BMO) senior leadership envisioned a transformation: shift the company's focus firmly to the customer. For a financial services organization with over 40,000 employees providing a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products, effecting such a comprehensive change of culture was a daunting task. But in collaboration with Rotman Executive Programs, BMO has met the challenge–engendering strategic customer-centred change and developing leadership capability at all levels, while cultivating a dynamic environment of continuous learning.

Together BMO's senior executives and Rotman faculty created a training program to meet the organization's specific needs. The process was collaborative, with BMO top management participating at every stage of program design and delivery to ensure continuous relevance. Rotman's world-renowned faculty, with expertise grounded in both cutting-edge research and real-world experience, maintained the highest quality control.  Rotman Executive Programs is known for cultivating long-term partnerships with clients, and in this case faculty became the senior management team's trusted advisors with respect to organizational and personal leadership development.

More than 300 BMO executives have now graduated from the resulting Advanced Leadership Program (ALP), where participants acquire the leadership skills necessary to build and perpetuate a customer-focused culture. Piloting such transformational change in a large organization requires not just the ability on the part of its leaders to inspire and motivate, but to foster similar capacity throughout the organization.

Every step of the way, Rotman's thought leaders challenge and coach participants to optimize their learning. Continuous evaluation and innovation ensure that course content is always readily applicable to the day-to-day operations of the bank and its employees. Not only do executives learn the leadership skills and mindsets necessary to create and implement transformational solutions, they also leave the program with practical strategies in hand to roll out new services upon returning to the workplace.

Subsequent programs implemented by Rotman cascade ALP knowledge and skills-training through different tiers of the organization using need-specific methodology and media. More than 800 managers and leaders within the bank have learned to apply ALP practices across BMO, achieving tangible business results on an ongoing basis and reporting that the program made them more effective in their role as managers.

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