A Global Journey Towards Transformation, Growth, and Innovation

Three years ago, a top credit reporting agency experienced a change of hands, from one CEO to another, and began the pursuit of a new vision of what the company could be. Under a revitalized structure, the new leadership at the organization decided to shift from a business model focused exclusively on credit reporting to a new, technology-enabled organization that uses advanced analytics to provide insights for customers across industries. The new CEO recognized that the company had troves of data with the potential to serve customers and consumers if they were able to develop the technology, solutions and products to support it. With this realization, the company embarked on a journey to completely transform its business.

The organization developed a core growth strategy focused on new market, product, vertical, and customer opportunities. This new direction resulted in both short-term financial success as well as a positive long-term outlook from investors and analysts. The back-bone of this success was a new technology platform that entirely reformed how the organization functioned. However, such growth would not come easily – new systems, new processes and new ways of doing business left the workforce asking for clarity and support.

Employee survey results revealed that almost half of associates felt that they were not adequately equipped with the skills and tools they needed to effectively do their jobs. Employees needed more than strategy reform to perform at optimal levels; they needed to know why the business was going in the direction that it was headed and how they would play a role in getting it there.

In partnership with BTS, the company developed a two-day experience that would be attended by all 4,500 managers and associates around the world. The experience was designed to make strategy personal for each manager and associate and focused on four key principles:

  1. Who we are
  2. How we work
  3. Why it matters
  4. Why you matter

BTS co-designed a series of experiences to help facilitate the thinking and conversations around these topics.

Part 1: Manager Day

The first day of the experience was “Manager Day,” dedicated to individuals with direct reports. The company recognized that helping associates get the skills needed to accelerate the transformation would not be accomplished via formal learning alone. Instead, they opted to focus on teaching managers how to build teams that freely harness and share tacit knowledge and develop capabilities through on-the-job experiences. To cultivate these behaviors, the program opened with a custom simulation for all managers to work through. This simulation was modeled after the company’s business and culture. Managers were broken into teams of five and used digital technology to step into a leadership role at a simulated company. Each team had to interact with their simulated team members, internal stakeholders and customers, making a series of decisions in a variety of challenging situations. These situations modeled the real-life moments that managers face as they balance executing on today’s business priorities while searching for opportunities to develop their associates. Through practicing these behaviors, making decisions, and working through strategic objectives that closely resembled those they faced in real life, managers built alignment to the company strategy and further developed their management skills, which could then be applied back on the job.

Part 2: Associate Day

On the morning of Associate Day, executive leaders used large-scale digital technology to lead a discussion with associates about the company’s past, present and future, helping to build participants’ understanding of the organization’s portfolio and capabilities. Associates worked together, participating in interactive experiences to gain hands-on practice discussing and debating business priorities, product features, key customer concerns, and the company’s impact on the world.

In the afternoon, the focus shifted to defining how each and every associate personally impacts the execution of the company’s strategy. Working in intact teams, managers and their associates worked through a map-based experience that challenged them to answer three critical questions:

  1. What are things we have to get done to execute on the strategy?
  2. What will get in our way?
  3. What are we going to change to accelerate our performance?

The results of the two day experience were far-reaching. Through the data collected during the event, which included input from associates and managers across the organization, the company gained a better understanding of how to be more effective in executing their strategy and the barriers that they might face while implementing it. Both managers and associates expressed that the experience was incredibly impactful as it held a mirror to the issues that needed to be addressed while being a high-energy way to kick-start a broader strategic initiative to transform the organization and accelerate change.

About BTS

BTS focuses on the people side of strategy, working with leaders at all levels to help them make better decisions, convert those decisions to actions and deliver results. At our core, we believe people learn best by doing. For 30 years, we’ve been designing fun, powerful experiences™ that have profound and lasting impact on people and their careers. We inspire new ways of thinking, build critical capabilities and unleash business success.
It’s strategy made personal.

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