A partnership between Ashridge, Diabetes UK and Novo Nordisk wins GOLD at international management development awards


Ashridge Executive Education and Diabetes UK, in collaboration with Novo Nordisk who are providing support and funding, has been awarded Gold at the prestigious 2017 European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) Excellence in Practice Awards.

Added on 20 June 2017 by

The Diabetes UK Clinical Champions initiative, which launched in 2014 and is in its 4th year, is an innovative change program which is tackling the UK’s diabetes crisis by empowering and supporting health professionals in the NHS to address serious failings and complex challenges in delivering diabetes healthcare.

This is the fourth time in as many years that Ashridge has been awarded the top slot at the EFMD Awards.  Bjorn Bengtsson, President, Ashridge Executive Education commented “This is another fantastic result for our team, demonstrating our belief and commitment to pushing forward the boundaries of leadership and organization development, along with our focus on making a difference where it really matters.” 

By creating a new role of Clinical Champion and giving power to those at the frontline of diabetes care, the program sees diabetes nurses, doctors, clinicians, consultants and dieticians brought together for the first time, stepping into voluntary leadership roles regardless of formal position or personal gain and given the authority, leadership development and practical hands-on support (not just rhetoric) to make change happen.

The initiative delivers multiple examples of directly-correlated change including:

·      improving inpatient safety

·      reducing variability in the quality of care

·      empowering/enabling patients to control their diabetes

·      preventing serious complications

This is particularly impressive when you consider that diabetes healthcare has been improved in ways which were previously perceived impossible and without adding any extra strain on the system or single penny to the healthcare budget. 

Seeing off tough competition from around the globe, the EFMD gold award recognises the initiative’s inventiveness, partnership approach and the outstanding impact not only on the lives of people living with diabetes but also the wider world of diabetes policy-making, commissioning, public engagement and education.

Speaking on behalf of EFMD, Senior Adviser Jan Ginneberge commented “this initiative supports participants to maximise their own return-on-efforts and be true champions for the cause well beyond their own direct working environment, including impacting national policy.”

On the success of the partnership Guy Lubitsh, Client Director at Ashridge Executive Education explains: “With so many organizations no longer able to rely solely on themselves or their own resources to address highly complex problems, creative partnerships are needed. By combining resources, skills and experience the Clinical Champions partnership expanded the thinking and was able to find the practical, hidden and unexpected solutions.”

Diabetes UK and Novo Nordisk are delighted with the award and both credit the inspiring partnership for solving complex challenges and positively impacting the lives of thousands of people living with diabetes.

“To receive this award is an immensely proud moment for us. The impact the initiative is having is inspiring and demonstrates what can be achieved through this model for solving complex challenges. We have many great challenges ahead but we are so grateful for the extra energy this award gives us.” Amy Rylance, Head of Healthcare Professional Engagement, Diabetes UK

“It is wonderful that this ambitious initiative has been recognised with such a prestigious EFMD Gold Award. Thank you to EFMD for acknowledging the impact that our partnership and shared ambition is having on the lives of thousands of people living with diabetes.” Adam Burt, Director Market Access and Public Affairs, Novo Nordisk UK.

Speaking specifically of the impact winning this award has on meeting the shared ambitions Chris Askew, Chief Executive Diabetes UK explains: “For all involved in this initiative there has been the sense of being part of something bigger. A movement. Fighting for diabetes healthcare, addressing underlying challenges and raising awareness of the condition. This accolade helps us enormously with these ambitions and recognises the hard work of so many of our unsung healthcare heroes. Thank you.” 

The full award submission can be viewed here.


The annual EFMD Excellence in Practice Awards recognize excellence in management and leadership development, and are regarded as one of the most prestigious within the executive and organization development industry.

To find out more about Ashridge visit www.ashridge.org.uk/results or contact insights@ashridge.hult.edu