Bringing a Well-loved Classic into the Future
With a renewed focused on global growth and innovation, the leaders of a large global consumer company saw the need to upgrade their long running, highly regarded senior leadership learning program. But the old program had star power. Celebrity guest speakers. Senior leader involvement. Plus, the company was at the top of their game and on the Fortune 10 list.
So why hit the eject button?
Because parts of the tape were skipping. The program was certainly popular and participants were enthusiastic about learning from the stars of the day, but overall it was lacking cohesiveness and alignment to the overarching strategy of the organization. Given unprecedented growth and the countless opportunities and challenges that an empowered consumer represent, the organizationâ€™s learning leaders realized that a revamped program must both align leaders to the strategy and convince them (and their teams) that the strategy was viable and achievable. If they wanted to take the company to the next level, they needed a new energy, some new perspectives and a new format, without losing the culture and values that made them so successful.
A Closer Look They contacted Pivot because they knew they could trust us to partner with them in creating the perfect remix; a leadership development experience that would showcase their own internal assets, goals and values while adding meaningful external points of view; fresh, innovative ideas; and a compelling storyline throughout. It was important that the programâ€™s messages be delivered in large part by their own leadership, so finding a partner that would help them create a lasting, actionable program was the only option.
We started by listening. By working closely with the companyâ€™s top leaders, we helped them to focus and craft the points of view paramount to leading the company forward. These points of view would become the essential elements of the next generation of executive learning programs. We learned that while the company enjoyed unprecedented success, the future growth possibilities were enormous. Their strategy, like many of their competitors, involved more investment and focus on emerging markets. But they realized they were less adept than some of their competitors at navigating the complexity that this brings. Companies with one tenth their revenue were already operating in five times more countries. How could they enable their leaders to bridge this gap in understanding the customers and the dynamics of these new markets? And what about their existing customers? The monumental shift in consumer driven innovation could not be ignored. How would their leaders understand their customers and respond innovatively in the digital future? Given that technology is changing the business landscape so fast, what will consumer companies look like in the future?
Time for a new format. The solution was a large scale global learning program closely tied to the global growth agenda. Spanning a two year period, with three residential sessions in various locations around the world, participants learned about developing markets by actually going there, listening, learning and then taking action. Leaders spent the five days in each session grappling with the growth challenge for themselves and for the organization. Pivot brought external thought leaders to inject outside perspectives and push the groupâ€™s thinking, but they were deliberately limited to 30% of the overall air time at the sessions. The organizationâ€™s own leaders took the prime role in driving the conversation. Each participant developed an action plan so both they and the CEO could see the progress between sessions. They then shared with the larger group what they had learned as a result of the work on their individual projects. In this way, individual learning was aggregated and mined for reapplication potential. The action plans being generated illustrate how powerfully the new leadership program ties the growth challenge together for participants, helping them align to the global growth challenges of the future. More importantly, the conversation between leaders and their ability to adapt has changed throughout the organization as it moves into new markets.
ABOUT PIVOT Pivot Leadership is a strategic leadership boutique that partners with Fortune 500 executives to help them lead, innovate, and adapt to volatile markets and changing industries. Our mission is to develop the best business leaders for the worldâ€™s most influential companies because we believe that leadership is the source of strategic advantage in todayâ€™s world.
Pivot Leadership Tel: 503.640.5335 www.pivotleadership.com