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Transforming Leadership at Swiss Re

Financial Services
Talent Management


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.

See what our customers say about us
Karen Gregson
UK Learning and Development Lead
BAE Systems
"The programme leverages a variety of experiences for graduates including teamwork opportunities derived from Impact’s adventurous outdoor activity, workplace activities which provide real experience of business challenges, insights into other business areas, opportunities for reflection, and practical theory that they can learn from and then apply. This is an innovative programme which increases workplace capability and provides a strong return on investment”.
Malgorzata Bartler
HR Director
"Over our three year collaboration with Impact, the Challenger and Play for Future Academy programmes have enabled employees to introduce PLAY to the next level of business development. From our start-up phase we have moved on to growing the business, but have kept our focus on development, innovation and efficiency of both the organisation and our costs. Thanks to the development of key competencies, our managers are able to build and implement strategy with great understanding."
"A very good initiative for ambitious people who want to develop. The programme allows you to get to know yourself and determine the directions of development, i.e. what should be planned as a next step in development."