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Driving a Performance Culture Through Learning

Find out how learning plays an essential role in driving a performance culture – not only yours, but that of your team.

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Career Development at adidas

I’ve been a facilitator with adidas for 8.5 years and, back in August 2015, I wrote about my personal transformation on how sport has the power to change lives. Today I will focus on how learning has the power to transform your career.

Focus, dedication and hard work no longer seem to be enough to get ahead in our fast-paced, ever-changing working environment. In order to be successful, we’re required to be resilient, adaptable and open to transform ourselves for new, unknown challenges. I have found that learning is the key that unlocks your personal transformation. In fact, the pace of change is so rapid that I can only recommend you consider the benefits of embedding it into your day-to-day work.

The importance of learning when driving a performance culture

Performance is the engine that helps you to get the results you want, and to perform at your best, you need to constantly learn, develop your skills and potentially unlearn the things that are no longer useful.

While we have implemented several innovative training programs for all levels within the organization and we are ensuring that learning is accessible (24/7) for everyone, I really want to focus on two of our adidas programs that our global internal facilitation team is currently embedding into the organization: The Manager Development Program (MDE) and Director Development Program (DDE).

employees taking part in a lesson or workshop, Performance Culture
Developing future leaders.

What makes these two programs so special is that they are self-directed, blended learning programs that drive a transformational mindset when it comes to learning. They reflect and shape the desired behaviors of our performance culture: one being the growth mindset.

Leadership, culture and high performance

We believe that our leaders hold the key to high performance.

As anyone who follows sport would tell you, strong leadership is essential for teams to thrive. If there are any cracks, the team doesn’t gel, and the performance suffers.

On that basis, we’re keen to support the development of our (future) leaders to make sure they’re equipped with the skills they need to get their teams to deliver at the top of their game.

It really does start from the top. Leadership drives culture, culture drives behavior and behavior drives strategy, so it’s important that we get it right.

The culture you create within your team is what drives success.

Fostering an environment to learn

Leaders can role-model learning, foster a learning culture in their teams and embrace it.

To establish the right environment for learning, a leader needs to foster a safe and engaging atmosphere while working towards goals. A place where employees can be challenged, try out new behaviors and where employees receive the support from their peers, line managers and mentors.

My personal takeaways

As a facilitator and a leader, I get to see both sides of the coin. Learning is core to who I am, and I push myself to walk the talk too. It was important for me to role-model learning behaviors and ensure what my team delivers reflects the performance culture.

I worked to create an environment where those around me can feel psychologically safe and be vulnerable, a place where learning, knowledge sharing, joy, empathy and passion go hand in hand with delivering key results. This has set the team up for success.

employees collaborating in a creative workspace
The right leadership approach will ensure your team performs at its best.

The adidas facilitators are our brand ambassadors that bring the content alive in their own unique ways, and it has been very well rated so far by those who’ve completed the program.

The latest NPS (Net Promotor Score) at the German Headquarters is for facilitators 73 and for the programs 67, an outstanding achievement.

Of course, we’re only beginning our journey as we fully understand that instilling a learning culture within an organization takes time to master. But we know there’s already a hunger.

Learning does have the power to transform lives. How do you stay current and agile in your area of expertise? Turn learning into a habit, make it part of your daily routine and keep driving your performance.


Tap into the unlimited power of collaboration, confidence, and creativity.

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by Jean Travassos 05.12.2019
Super inspiring. True, knowledge can change lives and how this knowledge comes matters.
The learning experience can be determinant to the amount of content retention, further, to the application of it. So, congrats for the initiative and it must be great to be trained in Adidas' (and Linda's) way =)
by Linda Evenhuis Jean Travassos 07.12.2019
Thanks Jean! Very well said about the importance of how the learning experience is conducted!
by Paul Francis Seline 08.12.2019
Thanks Linda!
Brilliant insights, excellent curriculum and powerful personal training contributions.
All the best to you, Petar, Mallory, Shelly, and the whole team.
by Linda Evenhuis Paul Francis Seline 11.12.2019
Thank you Paul for your support and recognizing the good work we’re doing as a global team!
by Tom Hillebrand 12.12.2019
Hi Linda,
great to see, how your energy and confidence is creating results !! Gongrats and keep going :-)

I remember very well, experienced you in a training together, seeing your passion! This year i was able to host some workshops from GCC - all related to the topic of communiction.

Was an honor to support ADIDAS - my favorite brand !!!


#drivingperformance #values #collaboration
by Corina Breban 07.01.2020
Learning is core to who I am :) , so beautifully said and so you, Linda! You are inspiring so many of us/

In 2020 in adidas we do and be more of: live the culture of Leader led and learn to be:
^adaptable, and
^create the new
by Matthias Bartsch 08.01.2020
Dear Ms Linda Evenhuis,
your article inspired me and moved me to introduce the HOHENLOHER company.
we design rooms for learning, experimenting and research.
If you are planning a new environment, we can contribute our experience and facilities...

I would be pleased about a short feedback.

with kind regards

Matthias Bartsch
Area Sales Manager QUWIS Süd
Dipl.Ing. Innenarchitektur (FH)

by Alex Ahom 17.01.2020
How important is learning on the adidas journey (on-boarding, development etc)?

First time here?