Leading for change with Shutterstock
Shutterstock’s award-winning leadership journey equipped their 60 most senior leaders with the skills needed to lead change in a highly dynamic and changing marketplace.
Headquartered in New York City’s Empire State Building, Shutterstock is a world-leading stock photo and media provider who are driving change at a pivotal point in the industry's evolution.
Due to recent acquisitions, Shutterstock was facing unprecedented changes in their competitive environment and internal re-organisation. Organisational transformation was critical to support the shift from a start-up culture to a more mature global and inclusive workplace.
Shutterstock asked Impact to be a partner in equipping their leaders with the skills that would enable them to help the leadership team reach their full potential and deliver on the business strategy. The goal of these programmes would be to focus on how the internal leadership team could work more effectively together and bring into focus how leaders explore leadership action on an individual level.
The purpose of the STEER programme that drove the company to a future-focused state, is grouped into:
In it's first year, the programme was thematically focused on Leader as Self and asked participants to consider their relationship to leadership. A series of experiential 'installations' allowed these leaders to explore their relationship with innovation, creativity, self-worth, hierarchy, and communication. Facilitators and coaches made purposeful links to the ways in which these experiences showed up for participants in their day to day experience at Shutterstock.
Short learning inputs were then conducted virtually with a purpose of building the skills learned during the initial programme. These supported the application of the learnings into the business.
Year two saw the launch of STEER 2.0 and Leading High Performing Teams became the focus. An immersive leadership challenge gave participants the chance to practice working as cross-functional teams solving real life business challenges. This ended with a presentation to the Executive Committee with fishbowl style feedback. It presented a highly valuable opportunity for senior leaders to get relevant exposure to the Executive Committee while also showcasing innovative and creative ideas that can move the business forward. The entire session used Impact’s Team Performance Model as a foundation. Throughout the three-day session, participants took a deep dive into the importance of psychological safety, trust, agreed approach, and a having a unified purpose. The teams integrated their key learnings into the presentations.
This experience also featured a presentation from the CEO and Executive Committee that detailed inclusive leadership practices with actionable takeaways to the business. The programme concluded with an interactive audio tour that led into an action planning session focused on accountability and sustainability. Emphasising the importance of sustainability, a series of coaching calls and virtual sessions took place back in the business.
‘The results are amazing, people stay longer and perform better. Experiential learning like this equips our people with a mindset that allows them to adapt to change. In my 40 years of leadership, I've never quite experienced anything as well put together and thought provoking.’
Paul Hennessy, CEO of Shutterstock
Post-programme feedback showed a 4.7/5 overall participant satisfaction rating (STEER 1.0).
In 2023, Brandon Hall Group awarded the programme bronze for ‘Best Advance in Leadership Development’, having evaluated that “the leadership development programme achieved measurable benefits and outcomes for the participants and organisation.”