Developing People through Simulation: Walgreens Transformation Experience

by Sal Venegas, Beth Zadik

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Walgreens is undergoing a significant transformation, from your neighborhood drugstore to a retail health and daily living destination – a place that helps you get well, stay well, and live well. This transformation requires everyone in every part of the organization to change, but how do you get 240,000 people in a 110-year-old company to behave differently?

Walgreens started with leadership. By creating a comprehensive solution that challenged Walgreens’ traditional view of leadership development, the Walgreens Learning & Development team built leadership capability and enabled business transformation.

In this session, Walgreens and The Regis Company will discuss how they partnered to build a leadership simulation that drives the adoption of the new behaviors required by leaders and helps leaders see how their actions affect business strategy. During the simulation, participants work together in teams to make critical leadership decisions.

Participants also conduct debrief discussions as a group and in doing so, share best practices, concerns war stories, successes, and failures. The debriefs and feedback help the participants deepen their understanding of how their decisions impact the system dynamics of Walgreens’ business. The simulation is conducted in 4 rounds consisting of various tasks that present a broad spectrum of business questions and challenges for store leaders. Just like real life, decisions are time-sensitive and may have unanticipated ripple effects.

Walgreens and Regis will walk through lessons learned on the value of leveraging simulations as part of a change strategy and perspective on how to use simulations as part of a broader development plan to achieve impact.

Sal Venegas

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Sal Venegas
Beth Zadik

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