Building capabilities for long-term cultural change

Aug 26, 2016Case Studies

Telefonica S.A.


Telefónica is a Spanish, multinational broadband and telecommunications provider with operations in Europe; Asia; and North, Central, and South America. It is one of the largest telephone operators and providers in the world. Telefónica contracted with us to create a programme to build capabilities to effect long-term cultural change.


Telefónica set out to align its leaders and organisational culture with its key strategic initiatives:

  • To lead the digital future
  • To turn customers into fans
  • To create a great place to work

To this end, Oxford Leadership collaborated with Telefónica to support the company in its cross-border, leadership transformation processes through our Strategic Cultural Change Programme.


The primary objectives of this project were to improve leaders’ ability to:

  • Influence change from the inside out
  • Manage complexity and ambiguity, and develop the skills to lead others through turbulent times
  • Build a sense of community, trust, belonging, and openness across all areas of the company
  • Discover a deeper sense of purpose and meaning in their work


To meet the company’s objectives, we customised core Oxford Leadership programmes—Self-Managing Leadership, Leading High-Performing Teams, and Strategic Focusing—for Telefónica’s Corporate University to deliver these Programmes on a global scale. The solution included a special Facilitators’ Certification Training for Telefónica managers that supported the delivery of these programmes and cascaded them throughout the organisation.


To date, more than 2000 Telefónica leaders from 18 countries (including Germany, Czech Republic, Ireland, Slovakia, UK, Spain, and USA) have completed the Self-Managing Leadership Programme, with more members of the leadership team on the waiting list for upcoming programmes. Over 600 top Telefónica leaders have attended the Leading High-Performing Teams and Strategic Focusing trainings, with more programmes and Leadership Journeys scheduled.

Oxford Leadership™ is a long-term partner of Telefónica’s Corporate University. More than 2,000 Telefónica senior leaders have completed the Oxford Leadership courses, which consistently achieve the highest level of evaluation amongst our directors.
Rory SimpsonChief Learning OfficerTelefónica
AuthorBrian Bacon
Chairman & Founder
Brian is Brian is the Chairman and Founder of Oxford Leadership. As a leading global business strategist, Brian Bacon has been involved in more than 30 successful corporate turnarounds and is the creator of one of the world’s most successful leadership development programmes with over 200,000 alumni from 90 countries.
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