Case Study /
Leadership Alignment + Employee Engagement at a Critical Growth Point
Leadership Alignment at a Critical Growth Point
A commercial insurance company, scaling rapidly in revenue and size, struggled with declining employee engagement.
The Creative Executive helped the new leadership team invest in the vision of the company and align around planning for each stage of growth.
Company YOY growth
Long-term leadership partnership since 2017
C-Suite + Executive Participants
Senior Managers from 10+ Product Lines
Investing in LEADERSHIP at a critical Growth point
Investing in NEW LEADERSHIP
In 2017, the founder of a sub-$1bn commercial insurance company announced his retirement, almost two decades after starting the company. The new CEO and President, both long-time employees, had taken their respective helms. The business was growing, but employee engagement was declining.
As technical leaders in a technical organization, managers and senior executives excelled at results, models, and analytics. Now they also needed to invest in the vision, heart, and soul of their company.
With a Texas HQ and offices all over the United States, the leadership team was big: 25 directors and 15 C-suite and senior executives. Despite many of them being long-time employees with vast institutional knowledge, the team needed to come together and leverage their collective superpowers toward the company’s further growth.
Over the course of five years, The Creative Executive planned and executed strategic off-sites for senior executives and team managers and has helped the leadership team connect, plan, and deliver for each stage of the company’s continued growth.
GOALS + GROWTH AREAS
Many of the team managers had worked together for years but didn’t really know each other on more dynamic levels. The team managers had operated in their own verticals and had never met as a group.
The leadership team needed alignment about where the company was going strategically in all areas – products, technology, M&A, brand, marketing, culture, organization structure, and more.
The company needed to codify their mission and values. The employees also wanted more opportunities to contribute to their communities, professional development, and more culture-building initiatives.
A comprehensive engagement from research to implementation
Understand org culture from key stakeholders
Liaise with internal advocate, a C-Suite executive
Map out strategic team engagement based on goals
Build content, exercises, and discussion framework
Run all off-site logistics and event-day production
Conduct discussions, training, and day-of experiences
Our facilitation approach was to address employee engagement from the top, by championing people and their growth while keeping the essence of what makes them special. To achieve this, we designed highly experiential, educational, and enjoyable off-site experiences for the leadership team. The events were strategically designed to upskill and align senior leadership, and to build trust and deepen working relationships within these high-performing teams.
Building trust + practicing alignment
These leaders are competitive high-performers, so we kept it low-stakes and playful. Our activities are gamified to create natural opportunities to learn about each other and have deeper conversations.
Depending on the specific needs of the executives in attendance, we facilitated improv for innovation and risk-taking; a creative arts leadership experience; a mixology competition; games such as a Lego challenge; personal storytelling roundtables; visioning exercises; and a mountaintop dinner cooked by cowboys.
Facilitating strategic discussions
The Creative Executive facilitated working groups of leaders focused on strategic planning, innovation, and problem-solving. Using a structured approach, we ensured that discussions before, during, and after off-sites promoted inclusion, accountability, and action.
The Creative Executive brought in dynamic thought leaders and subject matter experts for group training and coaching on topics such as creativity, strategic mindset, executive communication, innovation, DEI, unconscious bias, and change management.
Across our five-year partnership, The Creative Executive has worked directly with 40+ senior executives, an impact that is felt at every level of the company’s workforce.
- Senior management is more involved in strategic initiatives, helping shape strategy versus being focused solely on production.
- Management practices are more consistent across the company.
- Empowering lower-level managers has increased transparency and led to scaled decision-making.
- Participants report a more proactive and participative leadership style, and these changes have been reflected in their 360 feedback.
- Since 2017, the company’s revenues have doubled (to $2bn+). They recently acquired a new company and nearly doubled their workforce.
new strategic initiatives for leadership development + culture
In our work with a new level of leaders within their organizational structure, The Creative Executive was able to help them codify a mission and values statement, a social impact strategy, an executive communications development program, a mentorship program, a corporate citizenship council, a DEI council, an innovation competition, a remote work policy, and more.
Senior leaders report feeling more connected to their work overall. In an employee engagement survey, 61% responded that the company’s community service commitment was an important factor in their work.
A new remote work policy addresses employee’s changing needs
New mentorship + leadership development programs
DIVERSITY + INCLUSION
New DEI council aims to help executive leadership move the culture forward
Leadership alignment around new mission statement + values
Creation of a social impact strategy + corporate citizenship council
*Postscript: As many of our clients have moved into a hybrid work environment, The Creative Executive team has successfully adapted off-site experiences for in-person and remote formats.
Five years ago, our company found itself in an unfamiliar and unexpected position after our founder & CEO sold the company to pursue other professional challenges. This set the stage for our company’s most aggressive restructure ever, nearly doubling the management team overnight. The Creative Executive team acted quickly to provide systematic and goal-oriented paths centered around adaptive management approaches, recognition of styles, strengths, and weaknesses, effective problem solving, and best-in-class performance. The C/E team facilitated team-building events, goal-related and comfort-pushing exercises, and in-depth 360 reviews of the entire management team. The unique challenge for C/E centered around an entirely new management team most having little or no senior-level corporate experience. Five years later, a cohesive & confident team in support of common goals has emerged. C/E has clearly been an intrinsic part of our company’s amazing success. As the nationwide leader in our commercial insurance space, we’ve watched both top and bottom-line financial results more than double during our 5-year relationship with C/E. Perhaps the best (and unfortunately unmeasured) results are the care & kindness that’s braided into the entire organization now at all levels.