Multinational Enterprise Achieves Leadership Alignment on Business Strategy
|CLIENT:||Ageas, a multinational insurance company based in Belgium|
|LOCATION:||Operates in 14 European and Asian countries|
Client Profile & Challenge
Ageas, a multi-billion euro insurance firm, was seeking to cultivate a common vision and culture across its country-level operating companies.
The organization faced shifting regulatory pressures and highly competitive markets in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Though its roots stretch back 2 centuries, it was a “new” company created when a larger financial services firm was broken up, with each operating company having substantial autonomy.
Ageas needed to develop its high-potential managers, increasing their capacity to lead and drive business performance while also deepening their understanding of the organization’s strategy.
The company had 5 goals for these high potentials:
- Enhance their readiness to deal with the different expectations they’ll encounter as they transition to more senior leadership roles;
- Strengthen their ability to think and act strategically across functions and regions;
- Leverage diverse experiences and perspectives and benefit from a network of peers from across the organization;
- Broaden their cultural awareness and increase their confidence level when working in unfamiliar environments; and
- Build relationships with Ageas Management Committee members and senior managers through leadership and business discussions.
Solution & Results
Collaborating with Ageas and a business school partner, we developed a solution that fused leadership learning with business application. We launched the Ageas Leadership Program (ALP) to provide cohorts of high-potential managers from across the company opportunities to strengthen their leadership skills, learn more about Ageas’ business strategy, and put the learning to work on real business challenges.
Participants start with a 360-feedback process, attend a kickoff webinar, and work with their managers to define individual goals for the program. The heart of ALP is a 2-week, intensive on-site program in Brussels, at the Ageas headquarters.
The first week participants complete the Leadership Module focused on leadership in the context of career advancement and company growth. Participants focus on making job transitions, managing change, developing talent, and staying true to a clear personal vision. They also form relationships with one another, building a professional network across multiple functions and countries.
In the second week, they participate in the Business Module, which we facilitate along with Vlerick Business School faculty. Vlerick introduces strategic business tools to participants, while our facilitators at CCL ensure the high-potentials continue to practice the new leadership skills and behaviors they’ve learned. As ALP participants take on real business challenges, they interact with senior Ageas executives, further strengthening their networks.
Teams of participants present their business projects to Ageas leaders for feedback. In addition, Ageas HR follows up with a second 360-feedback process 2 years after program completion to assess how it impacted participants’ work performance.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 31% increase in participants’ knowledge of Ageas’ strategic plan,
- 8.53 participant rating of how the program helped broaden networks within the Ageas group, and
- 8.65 participant rating of how useful program was for personal development.
(Participant ratings on 1-10 point scale)
“We put leadership quite high on the agenda. We need people that have the capacity not only to organize a business, but also people who are able to create adherence to a strategy and culture, who create enthusiasm to empower people, and who, at the same time, are available if people need help.”
—Bart De Smet, Ageas CEO
“In a normal day-to-day working environment, you very rarely get dedicated time to work on your own development. This was a fantastic opportunity, away from your day job, to stop, take stock, and take steps to aid in your personal development. I personally found this experience very rewarding.”
“The subject matter also gave me an opportunity to improve my knowledge in areas outside my functional expertise and to work outside of my comfort zone.”
“The opportunity to work with colleagues from around the world provided a unique opportunity to gain fresh insights and views on a variety of different matters and has expanded my horizons!”
Partner With Us
We are here to help your organization align talent development with your business strategy to drive real results. Learn more about how we can work with you to design an individualized leadership development program for your high-potential employees tailored to your unique needs to help grow your organization into the future.