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Qualcomm, the San Diego, California-based world leader in next-generation mobile technologies, has received kudos for its products, work culture, and employee practices. For example, in 2010 Qualcomm was recognized by fast company as one of the most innvoative American companies. For 13 years, including 2011, Qualcomm has been considered one of the best places to work by Fortune. Qualcomm was also recognized as one of India's top 25 great plaes to work for the fourth straight year. CareerBliss.com rated Qualcomm the fourth happiest place to work in 2011 based on employee evaluations. Qualcomm exceeded the industry avaerage in growth opportunities, compensation, benefits, work/life balance, career advancement, and job security. Qualcomm is also a global corporate citizen committed to improving the communities in which the company operates and where its employees live. that includes partnering with local agencies and organizations in countries around the world to apply the power of a 3G wireless network to help close the digital divide that exists in many parts of the world. This is particularly important in developing regions that lack traditional telecom infrastructure and where people may be struggling to make ends meet. Projects now under way or now being planned include improving access to health care for Andean villagers near Peru's Machu Picchu and working with teenage students in North Carolina to improve their math skills.

One of the reasons for the company's success is its unusual approach to leadership development. Unlike other companies, Qualcomm does not try to identify a few high-potenital employees and give them specialized development activities to help prepare them for executive positions. Instead the company's philosophy is to use development to help as many employees as possible develop leadership skills.

Qualcomm's leadership development program includes an introductory program in basic managerial skills which helps train project managers with technical expertise in how to manage. Experienced managers participate in the Leadership Skills program which focuses on studying specific business issues Qualcomm is facing and identifying solutions to these issues. Executive and directors participate in the Executive Leadership Essential's program. A blended learning approach is used for leadership development. this involves studying Qualcomm case histories or taking online training courses, after which employees return to their jobs and try to apply what they have learned. Later, employees meet again to share their successes and discuss challenges they face in using what they learned. Employees are encouraged to meet formal development sessions to help each other understand the material and how it can be applied to their workplace.

 

Questions:

1.  What other types of development activities should Qualcomm consider for its leadership development program? Explain the rationale for your recommendations.

2. How would giving a manager a project such as helping a health clinic in the small isolated mountain valley Peruvian village of  Coya, which serves as many as 500 patients a week, improve its ability to access advice and offer the best care to its patients be an effective developmental experience? Explain. What managerial skills or competencies could be improved through such as assignment?

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