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Transforming Leadership at Swiss Re



Impact and Swiss Re first worked together in 1997. The relationship evolved to Impact working across almost all leadership levels on a global basis. This programme combined Impact's experiential learning approach with the Swiss Re business context.

In partnership with Swiss Re Academy, Impact designed and delivered a transformational leadership programme. The project was a huge initiative targeted at developing the interpersonal leadership skills of the top 300 people in the organisation worldwide.

As attendance on this CEO sponsored programme was mandatory, the stakes were high. It was essential to create something that would engage participants immediately and develop a positive 'word of mouth' reputation.

Impact knew that the participants would rightly be demanding and looking for immediate value. Their intellectual capability was very high and most of them had experienced several leadership development initiatives in the past. As a design partnership Impact and Swiss Re Academy were committed to enabling behavioural transformation at an individual level and ultimately a transformation of the prevailing leadership culture at Swiss Re.

Together we designed an interactive, challenging and innovative five-day learning journey. During the programme 24 participants worked together in four groups. The programme is preceded by a 1:1 coaching discussion and a 'creating breakthrough strategies' workshop. The programme itself was very intensive, comprising of three parts which progressively shift the focus from the organisation to the individual leader. 

The leadership enquiry - this three stage process is designed to build a picture of the business context against which individual leadership capability needs to be developed. 

The leadership simulation - a 24 hour simulation based on the challenges of a fictional global market, was researched to be entirely realistic and specific to Swiss Re. The simulation involved actors, journalists, film crews and Swiss Re executive board members.

Intensive feedback - the simulation culminates with a number of sessions which deliver personal feedback accompanied by behavioural analysis data.

Swiss Re's Transforming Leadership programme ran for four highly successful years, during this time almost all of the top 300 Swiss Re leaders took part.

Impact and Swiss Re won the Excellence in Practice Award for ‘Partnership in Organisation Development’ from the European Foundation for Management Development.

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Chris Ranger
Director of Services
"In summary, a fantastically positive outcome for the EMEA Services Management team. We have improved business performance and enabled sales to exceed their targets as well as services targets in terms of contract attachment, contract revenues and deferred revenues. All of this has been done within the true spirit of co-operation and respect for each other."
“Because of our great results, we were awarded Country of the Year, which was a first for Asia as an in-house commendation.”
Stephen Mason
Group Finance Director
"I am writing to say a big thank you for taking the time to give your excellent presentation to HCT’s chief officers. The succinct analysis that you produced of HCT and the challenges of its management team has given us some clear pointers and has focused thought processes. Our Chief Executive, declared the experience ‘Excellent!’.”