Case Study

How a leading market intelligence organization successfully implemented a new global talent strategy

Maintaining a lead in an industry – any industry – can be a challenge, especially in the rapidly changing technological age.

Having a great business strategy and a culture of innovation are paramount for staying ahead of the competition, but ultimately it is people who make strategy a reality. At a leading market intelligence organization, harnessing talent has been essential to maintaining their status as a leader in the field. Through the use of interactive technology and a customized moments-based leadership simulation, top leaders at the company gained a deep understanding of their new talent strategy and practiced handling pivotal leadership moments they would face when executing the strategy back on the job.

This global market intelligence organization has an attractive market position with a limited number of competitors, high brand recognition and a strong reputation. While the market intelligence business continues to be very successful, the company identified several emerging trends that could potentially leave them vulnerable to significant disruption in the next three to five years if not addressed immediately. The leadership team pinpointed talent as a critical component needed to mitigate these risks and elevate performance to execute the business strategy and drive long term growth.

The company’s leadership team determined the key talent priorities that needed to be addressed to maintain their position as a leader. The challenge of bringing the execution of these priorities to life was twofold. First, the organization needed to align its top 200 leaders to the new talent strategy and have them take ownership of it; second, they needed to overcome some key organizational obstacles, including a culture of complacency and a siloed working environment.

Jump-starting strategic alignment with an offsite leadership event

To address these two challenges, the company partnered with BTS to create an offsite event where the top 200 leaders of the organization would learn the key components of the new talent strategy and practice executing it through a realistic leadership simulation. The event would immerse participants in the new talent strategy and demonstrate its potential impact on long term results, as well as generate tremendous engagement and enthusiasm about it. Additionally, the executive team aimed to set expectations and clarify the role of the top 200 leaders in the implementation of the talent strategy. Beyond this, it was essential to create buy-in and ownership of the talent strategy, define what great leadership looks like at the organization, identify post-event actions, and build networks and cross-functional relationships.

With these goals in mind, BTS conducted a series of interviews with executives and global leaders to gain a better understanding of the key behavioral and mindset shifts needed for these leaders to successfully execute the talent strategy, identifying the pivotal moments where leaders needed to show up differently in their day-to–day work.

Using this information, BTS and the client team created an experience that included a highly customized business simulation and high-touch crowdsourcing exercises. These elements were designed to create an engaging strategy alignment forum and open up a thought space where the audience became active participants – engaging in rich discussions and generating ideas on how to use the strategy to take the company forward. Participant teams worked through a leadership scenario simulation, in which they practiced grappling with the pivotal leadership moments that they would encounter back on the job in the process of executing the talent strategy. This simulation highlighted the behavioral and mindset shifts needed to execute on the new strategy and allowed participants to “experience great” and fully understand what the best actions and behaviors look like during these pivotal moments.

Finally, to drive execution beyond the session, leaders committed to one or two things that they would do differently back on the job for each of the four key talent pillars. The experience was delivered via iPads and leveraged the proprietary BTS Pulse crowd-sourcing platform. One of the added benefits of the technology was that it captured the collective ideas of all the leaders in the room, which was then leveraged after the session to address potential barriers and ultimately sustain execution.

Leveraging learnings for sustained success

As a result of this powerful offsite experience, the company’s leaders walked away with a renewed sense of confidence in the organization and a transformed understanding of the pillars of great leadership and talent strategy. Participants developed and committed to completing almost 1,000 actions that they took back to the job to execute the strategy. The Chief Learning Officer commented: “Thanks again for being such amazing partners over the past three months. You truly contributed so much value to the offsite.”

Based off of the success of the event, the company is continuing to partner with BTS to leverage elements of the offsite to align the rest of the organization to the strategy. This alignment inspires actions that will allow them to continue to be an industry leader today, tomorrow, and into the future.