IMD, Africa Business School (ABS), and OCP co-create a custom program aimed to develop talent by interweaving theory and practice to help OCP transform and accelerate its shift to the next S-curve.
In 2018, OCP Group – the Moroccan-based world leader in plant nutrition and phosphate industry, and one of the most important employers of the private sector in the country – was a decade into an ambitious transformation program to capture higher value- added downstream business opportunities. To achieve its growth ambitions, it needed to develop new talent and skillsets.
OCP was committed to playing a vital role in improving plant nutrition and soil fertility and developing more sustainable farming practices, with a specific focus on Africa and the global south. To achieve this, it needed to expand the knowledge and skillsets of its talent.
Beyond’s final design resulted in an 18-month journey tightly linked to OCP’s strategic initiatives and its needs for new capabilities, such as customer centricity, and digital and collective intelligence. To demonstrate the program’s potential, the partners agreed to launch a pilot cohort of 50 participants. They were a carefully selected, highly motivated and diverse group that combined recent internal hires (54%) and external talent (46%) recruited from Tier 1 schools.
The initial projects focused on improving OCP’s operations at its industrial sites and enabled participants to develop a deep understanding of OCP’s products and production processes. In this first on-the job first phase, the teams worked on 21 exploitation related initiatives, many of which were part of the transformational program called ExplOI. In the second phase, the 23 initiatives focused on exploration. One of these tackled the issue of fluorine recovery and developed a market entry strategy for a new domain of activity.
By contributing to OCP’s strategic initiatives, Beyond participants honed their business acumen and benefited from exposure to both leading-edge academic theory and high-level stakeholders. The Beyond pilot cohort exceeded OCP’s expectations in every way. As a result, the company approved a second cohort to begin in early 2022.
Taoufik Samsam, Head of Talent Management at OCP Group says, “For me, one of the program’s main success indicators was when, after a couple of months of on-the-job projects, many OCP business leaders called me and asked if they could host Beyonders in their teams. They had heard positive feedback from their peers about the Beyonders’ performance and the quality of their delivery. Even today, they call and say: ‘Don’t forget to involve me in the second cohort; I will be there for you.’ This really lends credibility to the program.”