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Company: IBM
Category: Learning or Training Professional of the Year

Nomination Title: Candy Santa Rita: Navigating Uncertainty with Mindfulness



Candy Santa Rita is a learning facilitator for Latin America with over eighteen years of experience in leadership and development. She has a background in Psychology, a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a master’s degree in Education. Candy is particularly proficient at coaching. Her field of expertise lies in developing outstanding leadership skills and people management capabilities on individuals.

Candy has become synonym of talent development. She is recognized among leaders for having a pivotal role in contributing to their progress. Establishing herself as a reference of IBM values, Candy has become a trusted advisor to executives and managers. With Candy’s aid, leaders achieved higher engagement levels in their teams (+2 points), they are becoming ready to lead through example and have been able to develop top performing self- directed teams.

Candy supports IBM’s strategic mission of establishing servant leadership. She’s instrumental in the continuous evolution of the leader’s curricula by timely incorporating valuable concepts such as resiliency and mindfulness. Candy is shaping IBM leadership, assuring consistent development and display of exemplary qualities in IBM leaders. It is through these leaders that Candy is touching the lives of individual IBMers across Latin America creating signature experiences in their careers.

Candy performed her role with outstanding results. Additionally, Candy stepped out of her scope to provide tailored solutions that yielded business results:

Once taboo, “Mindfulness” has been embraced in the region as a result of Candy’s passionate advocacy. She created the strategy and lead a cross- functional team defining six different ways of practicing mindfulness.

Participants expressed positive impact in their mental and emotional health through direct feedback. Candy also designed and delivered the “Beyond the change and uncertainty” sessions with the objective to provide leaders and IBMers with the necessary tools to navigate uncertainty under challenging situations like the COVID contingency. Candy started a “Mindfulness L.A.” slack channel gaining +1100 followers in the first month.

Candy was part of the content designing team of the Manager’s Journey 2020 summit for Latin America. This summit targeted a 360- degree leadership development approach covering: leading yourself, leading others and leading the organization. As an individual, Candy designed and lead the summit closure, ensuring participants established personal commitment and defined meaningful action plans based on leadership key messages and takeaways from the sessions.

Applying coaching and self- discovery, Candy’s expertise led selected IBM teams to identify root causes blocking their potential. Blockers were addressed and mitigated leading to the individual’s realization of the value generated by uniting their individual talent. The teams felt empowered, proud about their role and were able to translate their operational activities into business and client impact, discovering purpose and meaning. Higher levels of engagement and better results were obtained.

During 2019 to date, Candy has influenced and shaped the leadership careers of 68 Vice Presidents and Executives, 300 Business Unit Directors and 2700 First Line Managers across Latin America.

Candy amplified leaders’ current competencies, leveraging their expertise. She went beyond the theoretical frameworks to discuss daily challenges of a leader, helping individuals develop required capabilities to successfully overcome future obstacles. Through Candy, leaders were able to establish better connections with their employees. Higher engagement, transparency and better decision making are some of the benefits that leaders expressed gaining.

Candy applied complex- to- master elements that foster development such as individual and group coaching, role playing, user case dynamics, and discussion groups. Her sessions were performed under a well- established environment that offered psychological safety for the participants.

Candy’s “Beyond the change and uncertainty” sessions had 353 participants with a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of
89. Participants reduced their levels of stress and anxiety allowing them to perform under challenging situations. Additional 46 sessions on the topic of “Mindfulness” and “Resiliency” were conducted covering 1752 participants.

The Manager’s Journey 2020 summit had 1730 managers with an NPS of 79. Additional to the leaders’ benefits, the organization ensured cross- region leader alignment and consistency to IBM’s strategy and culture.

Candy achieved excellent results in areas such as Client Success and Responsibility to Others. She received internal recognition highlighting IBM values such as “Share Expertise”. As a team- player, Candy received two recognitions from the IBM Mexico General Manager.

Set of attached documents below represent examples of materials that Candy designed for the sessions described above. They demonstrate the thoughtfulness and the depth of an effort that Candy puts into her sessions.

Beyond the change and uncertainty:

Mindfulness Session example: https://ibm.box.com/s/2zn3k0s71ibnz5jg2sljulzdlhub3pdx
Manager's Journey 2020 metrics: https://ibm.box.com/s/2e2xpajg3714wsvo03thnevdigbf477b
Compilation of class pictures and individual views: https://ibm.box.com/s/nqxmp52mebuxvzd9vi9u42ypzlsvfxce https://ibm.box.com/s/t8lr368vrczc5t90s6rzwi6fcf2ns8fn
Session participant feedback: https://ibm.box.com/s/ojpf8bqyjr3bmf1firjaeyzvcfinw4ie

Links/Supporting Documents: