Sovereign: Accelerating Talent Development Case Study

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Accelerating Talent Development Case Study

Leadership Development NZ
The challenge

Since opening in 1989, Sovereign has grown into New Zealand’s largest life insurance company. They provide personal and business insurance, health insurance, home loans, investments and superannuation products to more than 650,000 customers.

Sovereign have recognised that in order to maintain their No.1 spot in a changing insurance industry they needed to mobilise leaders in the organisation to help them to maintain and grow their competitive advantage.

From stakeholder discussions, to utilising all of the data from employee surveys and other mechanisms, the [email protected] development programme was developed in partnership with the Sovereign team. Its key purpose was seen to be:

“Successful and sustainable delivery of business strategy”

Our approach

The response to the programme has been overwhelmingly positive from both participants and their managers. The following have been seen as the critical factors in the programme’s success:

  • Positive feedback on 360 feedback process and fostering self-awareness
  • Continued reference to chosen models and frameworks is strong
  • Neuroscience and leadership was a key piece of knowledge for people
  • Offering practical tools to use right away
  • Facilitating rather than training the content. This helped groups to understand through discussion and ‘real’ scenario-based activities
  • Facilitation has been highly regarded
  • Strong focus on being accountable for planning and getting into action
  • Relationship networks built with other participants are helpful and working
  • Regular evaluation involving the line manager. At one stage, this included their manager’s supervisor to ensure the programme was hitting the mark and was making a difference (this roundtable conversation has been a very positive experience for most). This will continue beyond the programme
Organisational impact

The major benefits are seen as:

  • An increase in confidence to lead and take purposeful action
  • Broadening leadership perspectives
  • Flexibility in style and increase in influencing skills and impact
  • Productivity gains from more effective communication, delegation and building team members capabilities
  • A workplace environment where poor performance/behaviour is challenged and dealt with
  • An ability to step out of the detail and look ahead
  • Conducting of stakeholder reviews and analysis
  • Sharing and mentoring across the organisation is taking place (both with managers, peers and high-potential employees)
The future

This programme will continue to roll out for the foreseeable future. It will continue with increased input from an internal facilitator, who has been coached and mentored by the Mantle team.

The success of the programme has led to the design, development and delivery by Mantle of a pilot programme at the next level of leaders within Sovereign – watch this space!

Client feedback

“I have been able to identify what type of leader I want to be – innovative, influential, trustworthy, empathetic – striking a perfect balance between building a high performing team and influencing peers and stakeholders”