Impact Story
Valmet custom program

Valmet & IMD: Forward-looking leadership development

Impact Story

Valmet custom program

Valmet & IMD: Forward-looking leadership development

I have seen so many leadership programs where there has been no real impact. That is why I started looking for a new method and approach. High Potentials needed to have a window and a real connection to senior managers and the strategy to find new insights and energy. I started thinking of renewal, networking, experience sharing and shadowing from a totally new perspective when the idea of a meeting point and learning together came up! I remember the first process of drawing it – it just seemed so challenging! And yet, I knew that only IMD could make it happen.

Hilkka Alatalo-Korpi Former Head of Talent Management, Valmet

Valmet: Digital transformation program


Valmet is the leading global developer and supplier of technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries created out of a de-merge with Metso in 2013. Valmet turned to IMD to develop and deploy a leadership journey for their senior managers and high potentials in unison.


Valmet was looking for an executive education partner to help it execute its strategy and transform into a confident, forward-looking technology front-runner. More specifically, Valmet looked to build its strategy and leadership capabilities, deepen experience and knowledge sharing amongst the senior executives and high potentials, and ensure significant financial impact from the program.

Custom approach

Using a truly customized approach, IMD and Valmet co-created a unique leadership development journey that ensured capability building, knowledge sharing, network development and financial impact. This journey was developed around six critical design principles: creating two programs in parallel for senior managers and high potentials with connections between the two; mentoring of high potentials by senior managers; building around the participants’ individual business challenges; addressing or resolving these challenges in each session; ensuring CEO and Executive Team support and sponsorship; and measuring impact at the individual, interpersonal, cohort and organizational levels.


The journey exceeded the expectations set out at the beginning, not simply based on impressions and testimonials but in terms of real impact. Not only were individual capabilities built, but in addition 62% of the mentoring relationships continued well beyond the end of the journey; cohort networks improved by over three times because of the program, and substantial financial impact was achieved (between 5 and 167 times the investment in the program depending on the definition). Overall, by early 2018 Valmet had outperformed the Helsinki OMX and Global Industrials index by 62% since the end of 2014, and it was on its way to reaching its stated 8%–10% EBITA targets by 2020.

The 2018 Gold Award Winners: Organizational Development

“Valmet & IMD Forward-Looking Leadership Development”

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