Best Practice Institute Recognizes Executives, Programs at Microsoft, National Grid

London, England — Monday, June 3, 2013 — Cutting-edge leadership development and workforce planning programs at Microsoft and National Grid will be celebrated by Best Practice Institute, a leadership development center that serves talent management executives of many of the world’s top corporations, during an awards presentation on June 5.

The awards recognize a leadership program that sends Microsoft’s most promising leaders for action learning on the front lines of developing nations, and an approach to workforce planning which results in National Grid’s key players collaborating on strategic solutions.

Shannon Banks, Microsoft HR Director focused on talent management, will receive the BPI Award for Top Practitioner in Global Talent Solutions. Banks created Front Lines, which immerses Microsoft’s most elite high-potential leaders in action learning situations in developing nations.

Juliette Trollope, manager of strategic workforce planning for National Grid, will receive the BPI Award for Top Practitioner in Strategic Workforce Planning. Trollope fine-tuned a program at the international electricity and gas company that predicts and develops responses to gaps in “critical job families” years ahead of time.

Banks and Trollope will receive the awards on June 5 at a Best Practice Institute event at GSK House in London, world headquarters of GlaxoSmithKline. Banks and Trollope are both based in the UK.

“It is great to turn the attention to two rising stars of talent management in the United Kingdom,” said Lou Carter, BPI founder and CEO. “Juliette Trollope and Shannon Banks are among the best of the best in a new generation of talent management executives.”

The award recipients were selected based on feedback from hundreds of the world’s talent executives, Carter said.

“BPI consults with some of the world’s top talent programs around the world,” said Carter. “The programs Juliette and Shannon have developed at their companies are among the very best in that they bring leading best practice solutions to a next level of innovation.”

Microsoft: Two Goals with One Program

Banks is Microsoft’s HR Director for Western Europe. She is a certified Senior Action Learning Coach who has been with Microsoft 15 years. Microsoft has 97,000 employees worldwide in more than 190 countries.

Banks created Front Lines, a global leadership development program that sends Microsoft’s high-potential leaders to an action-learning experience in a developing country. Front Lines was launched in Kenya in 2010, moved to Peru in 2011 and was held in The Philippines in February.

During a 4-5 day immersive workshop, participants team up with partner organizations (e.g., non-profits) to address real issues. Participants have spent time in such places as the Mukuru slums of Nairobi, Kenya, and a shantytown school in Pachacutec, Peru.

“We began working on the idea for Front Lines about six years ago,” Banks said. “The goal was to develop an action learning program that delivered on the company’s leadership development goals and simultaneously made a genuine contribution in the emerging world.”

National Grid: Getting out in Front of the Gaps

Trollope became National Grid‘s manager of strategic workforce planning (SWP) in September 2011 and has been with National Grid for five years. National Grid, an electricity and gas company and one of the world’s largest investor-owned utilities, has 27,000 employees in the U.S. and UK.

Workforce planning is nothing new, but modern companies are seeking a long-term strategic approach to workforce issues. “It’s all about forecasting the gaps and then ensuring that we put in place actions to address them before they become significant,” Trollope said.

Trollope formulated an SWP approach at National Grid that operates on a 10-year time frame and is refreshed annually. She said distinctives of National Grid’s approach to SWP is to keep the focus on core areas of the business and to create the plan based on critical job families.

One aspect of the National Grid approach that Trollope said is vital to the program’s success is “approaching workforce planning in a collaborative way.” All of the corporation’s key players are engaged in the process, led by business, including HR business partners, HR centers of expertise, management information and finance. The business lead has ultimate ownership for success of workforce planning, Trollope said.

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BEST PRACTICE INSTITUTE is a leadership development center, think tank, peer network, research institute and online learning portal. Its focus areas span all aspects of global leadership development, workforce planning and talent management. BPI was named to Leadership Excellence magazine’s “Best in Leadership Development” 2012 ranking. Best Practice Institute has corporate and individual members in about two dozen countries on five continents, including executives and employees of the majority of the Fortune 500.

BPI services and activities include innovations in assessment and online distributed learning, cutting-edge business research, a faculty of hundreds of thought leaders and business leaders, a wealth of online knowledge including hundreds of webinars, and intimate, ongoing consultation provided to its premium membership. BPI’s website,, offers members a treasury of research, case studies and more than 300 interactive webinars led by BPI faculty members, which include world-famous thought leaders and Fortune 500 executives. Human resources training and accreditation (PHR, SPHR, GPHR) are available. BPI also offers, a 360-degree assessment tool built on a social networking, cloud-based platform.

LOUIS CARTER: Since founding Best Practice Institute in 2001, Louis Carter has led the company to become one of the world’s top associations for leadership and human resource development, with more than 42,000 subscribers, receiving Leadership Excellence’s Best in Leadership Development Award and Training Industry’s Innovations in Leadership Development Watch List. Carter has written eleven books on best practices and organizational leadership, including the Best Practice series and the Change Champion’s Field Guide, published by John Wiley & Sons.

Carter became chairman of the Best Practice Institute Senior Executive Board in 2005 after Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Bank of America, Corning, Saudi Aramco, Volvo, Boston Scientific and The Gap became founding corporate members. Carter is creator of, the new 360-degree feedback tool based on a new social networking platform, and creator of the BPI Online Learning Portal on He received his undergraduate degree from Connecticut College and Brown University with honors in political science and economics and his graduate degree in social/organizational psychology from Columbia University with honors.

FOR MORE INFORMATION or to schedule an interview, please contact Louis Carter: 800-718-4274; lou (at)