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Innovation exercise in Coca-Cola's Supply Chain eXcellence Leadership Development Program involves a paper aqueduct.
Innovation exercise in Coca-Cola's Supply Chain eXcellence Leadership Development Program involves a paper aqueduct.

Huang Executive Education Center: Helping Coca-Cola and Other Clients Lead and Succeed

Passersbys by the Acuity Brands Plaza of Georgia Tech College of Management might have caught an unusual sight recently. Thirty-seven supply chain leaders were working in teams to successfully construct an aqueduct out of multiple pieces of white paper. Their aim was to successfully transport the contents of a pitcher of water down about six feet into another vessel at the other end.

That activity was just one part of a larger goal to enhance these leaders' innovation and teamwork. They came to Georgia Tech from around the world to partici­pate in Coca-Cola's Supply Chain eXcellence Leadership Development Program (SCXLDP) for its top technical leaders from across the company's global bottling system.

Developed for Coca-Cola by the College of Management's Huang Executive Education Center, the program helped these supply chain leaders with such issues as supply chain strategy and network configura­tion, and leadership skills such as critical thinking, communications, negotiation, and leading change.

"Word has gotten out and demand is growing for this program," says Tim Talmadge, the learning manager for supply chain at Coca-Cola.

First held in fall 2010, the four-phase program is offered twice per year and includes an application project at participants' home organizations after class time at Tech.

"It fulfills a key need to support our business growth plans for many years to come," Talmadge says. "People were, of course, always welcome to take external training courses, but many of these programs lacked organization-specific content and local relevance. We've taken it to the next level by partnering with Tech, a strong leader in the academic world, to tailor this program for our system needs."

Georgia Tech's Huang Executive Education Center tailors programs to meet the needs of a wide variety of clients, often taking an interdisciplinary approach by drawing upon the specialized expertise available across campus. "We will develop a company-specific program that is designed to meet your company's needs, whether at the College, at your company's site, or at an alternate location," says Brian Jennings, associate dean for executive education at the College of Management.

Participant feedback from Coca-Cola's Supply Chain Excellence Leadership Development Program has been overwhelmingly positive. "This was an excellent program in terms of the knowledge that I can take back and apply in my home location," wrote one participant. "Bringing supply chain professionals together in one place is a great way to spread the best practices across the Coca-Cola community."

Other recent custom programs offered through Georgia Tech College of Management include:

  • GE Energy: Business Strategy in the Energy Industry Program
  • NFL: Career Transition Program
  • McKesson: Learning Excellence Acceleration Program
  • GE Healthcare: Advanced Leadership Development Program
  • Lockheed Martin: Early Career Leaderhip Fundamentals
  • NCR: Supply Chain Excellence Program

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Susan Ambrosetti
Director of Marketing & Communications