Client Stories

Executive education

Deepen the pool of leaders ready to take on new challenges

Client: Major integrated, international energy company

Client's Challenge: We are in the process of doubling our production capacity, opening new markets, and changing the ways we operate, yet we seek to preserve the special culture that has made us distinctive in our industry and a magnet for talent. We are concerned that we are not growing enough leaders, fast enough, to be able to master these challenges and take on new ones.

Approach: Partnering with Duke CE (see Collaborators) we developed and successfully delivered three integrated executive learning experiences—beginning with the CEO's team, then reaching the Vice Presidents, then their direct reports. These learning experiences were custom built, setting the learning inside of the industry context and company challenges that client executives faced. We selected analytic and leadership concepts that were well matched to their executives' experience and culture, and taught these through innovative methods and intensive conversations. Working with the CEO's team to identify real challenges the company faced, we created "action learning" teams to work on these challenges and coached them through to practical recommendations.

Outcomes: Client "action learning" teams had wide ranging impact on the business—outlining new strategic choices, accelerating a change in culture, improving business performance and increasing the engagement between leadership levels and their sense of ownership of the company's future. The CEO's team gained new insight into the next level of leaders. After the final reports of one group of action learning teams, several members commented that they were "no longer worried about our succession pool." The programs were highly rated by participants, often cited as the best executive education they had ever been a part of. In what is often a natural extension of such work, we designed and facilitated their annual leadership summit for the top 50 executives.

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