TomTom and Digital Transformation

Skilling Up

Here, there and everywhere

Today, whenever you request a ride, order food to be delivered or receive a package at home, it’s likely that TomTom technology helped guide the way. Even something as simple as requesting directions on your phone relies on layers of TomTom technology — from mapping and routing to showing you traffic delays and the distance to a nearby gas station.

“800 million people use TomTom technology every day without ever knowing it” — Arne-Christian van der Tang, Chief HR Officer TomTom

A change of route

TomTom launched their first GPS to the consumer electronics market in 2004, with the hope of selling 50,000 units. They ended up selling 5 million that first year and over 100 million since. But the decision that changed the course of the company for an even more dramatic story, was to focus their efforts on developing software for business-to-business clients — not consumers. To be known more for the power inside the device, not for the device itself. And as software innovation moves faster than almost every other industry, that meant having the right people with the right skills was more important than ever.

Problem

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Solution

Searching for the next leaders

As a tech company, TomTom’s success hinges on continual innovation. But finding leaders in such a competitive industry is no easy task.

Could lead you to your own door

We helped TomTom create a proprietary leadership assessment to identify the people best suited to drive greater performance — and train the next generation of managers.

“Assessments can increase the odds of finding the right person for a specific role from a 50/50 flip of a coin, to about an 80% success rate.” — Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, ManpowerGroup Chief Talent Scientist

Leading innovations need leaders

Just as TomTom has innovated technologies, they understand that innovation and change must occur in their workforce as well. They understand that leaders in the digital age need to be to be able to disrupt, and be disrupted. TomTom had grown to 5,000 people and knew that to evolve, they needed to invest in more leaders. As every tech company knows, there simply aren’t enough people with the right skills to lead in the digital age. And those who do have the skills are courted by larger firms, like Google, Apple and hundreds of others with more resources.

World-class leadership assessment

With a commitment from management to develop the best and brightest from within, TomTom engaged in a determined effort to assess, understand and build leadership from existing staff. They turned to ManpowerGroup for expertise. Using Right Management’s P3 Leader Model as a foundation, together we designed and implemented a proprietary assessment of 750 global managers. To be considered a World-Class Leader at TomTom, one needs to possess characteristics proven to not only increase performance, but also to motivate others to do their best. The assessment was developed and executed within six months across 35 countries, allowing individuals to quickly have knowledge of their strengths and areas of growth. By offering continued skills development opportunities, TomTom is able to retain key talent and equip those in leadership positions to train the next generation of leaders.

“Assessments help people understand their own human potential — with that knowledge they make choices that help organizations perform their best” — Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, ManpowerGroup Chief Talent Scientist

In six months, we helped TomTom assess managers for leadership potential

  • 750
    Managers Assessed
  • 35
    Countries

Success builds

Helping individuals at all levels understand their strengths and providing the opportunities to upskill is key — for companies to address talent shortages, and for individuals to remain employable throughout their careers. When it comes to TomTom’s search for leaders within their own ranks, van der Tang admits, “Operationally it was big pressure, and of course this is where true partnerships really come to life, and are being tested” he ends with an assessment of his own, “And I think we did that really well.”

Among companies we surveyed:

  • 26%
  • Potential increase in profits for those that embrace digital transformation