Executive Growth Circles
EGA members use proven Power of Peers methodology to address real-world challenges, co-create opportunities and scale innovations during Executive Growth Circles.
Through the use of Circles, the world’s most progressive platform uniquely designed for peer learning and collaboration, EGA group members globally can participate globally from home, office, the beach or anywhere.
What happens during an EGC?
EGCs are structured around a Specific Actionable Challenge (SAC) brought forth by one of the EGA members, i.e. challenge or an opportunity that he/she faces in the real world.
During the two-hour circle, members share insights and experiences along with what they would do if they were in the SAC owner’s shoes.
The EGA Catalyst facilitates the discussion and the solution of the SAC and ensures all members leave with a commitment to take action to explore and implement learnings from the EGC in their own environment.
See what they have achieved:
- The organization was in top 25 employers globally
- Needed to define a new approach to attracting and recruiting talent in the context of addressing current global macro-trends and becoming future-ready
- More efficiency and effectiveness in strategic workforce
- Consistent framework to ensure the right candidates are identified, attracted, and selected, removing bias from the process.
Specific Actionable Challenge:
How to design and continuously improve our recruitment process? What tools and techniques can I used to source talent, identify & attract the right candidate and remove bias from the process?
- New ways to attract talent – including a referral program, leveraging ESG position, global bootcamps and traineeships
- Clarity around achievable plan and OKRs to focus on
- Insights from peers of external perception of the organization as a brand
- Member incorporated EGA insights into HR strategy which got directional approval
- With continuous support of EGA community, translated strategy into portfolio projects, ‘lighting many fires’ at once
- Achieved real momentum – recruitment now high on the organisational agenda & seeing early results with quality of applicants
- The organization is a global shipping company
- Needed to get senior leadership team to see value in a new product – circular rope
- To establish a successful pilot and scale by creating a sense of urgency
Specific Actionable Challenge:
How can I, as a leader, create a sense of urgency and influence others (such as ship owners) to change behavior – for a positive impact on the environment and sustainable business?
- Confidence to stand up and be the champion for change at the organization
- Advice on how to structure passion into a project – SWOT, value chain, risks, budget, goals, requirements
- Step-by-step approach for setting clear concrete goals and actionable plan for each week
- Insights on how to make the senior leadership see the problem – ‘change or be changed’
- Successfully launched the Circular rope project
- Got invited to the UN Ocean Conference to present the project and inspire other global leaders
- Got awarded a grant to launch and lead a new venture fully focused on sustainability
- Slow growth in customers and sales post COVID-19 pandemic
- Needed to rebuild the employee motivation and engagement to achieve high perfromance, despite remote working
- Due to recent merger, needed to establish one culture and ways of working across the organization
Specific Actionable Challenge:
How to build and maintain a company culture of family-feeling and high performance to achieve goals in Post COVID -19 world?
- Insights on how to align people’s personal and company values
- Framework to empower people; define culture; agree on USPs and have top leaders own the challenge (3C Framework)
- Coaching on how to best hold 1-1s sessions with seniors to understand their desires; gain their support in building success
- Member incorporated EGC insights and went on to hold 1:1 with leadership team and a company-wide retreat
- Updated the company USP and restructured teams to better serve the customer
- 30% increase in sales and 100% increase in employee satisfaction
- Went on to successfully complete two more mergers
SAC Owner’s feedback: “I leave each EGC energized and inspired. Gaining global perspectives and accountability for application of learning in the real world is highly unique to EGA.”
Business Need: Gain mid-management commitment to achieve transformation and revenue goals defined by corporate leadership.
Obstacles to Success:
- Disconnected employees – lacking interest and involvement
- Separation between strategic planning and day-to-day operations
Challenge: Engaging mid-level managers and employees to gain commitment to new business model.
- Confidence to move
- Insights of tools that have assisted other leaders in gaining commitment to change
- Perspective – to ask more questions, engage team members and empower for long term transformation
- Greater understanding of the need to change within the team. Increased empowerment of mid-level managers to achieve long term objectives for growth.
- Reshaping to meet the needs of the future
- Reorganizing to ensure serving new stakeholders
- Developing ways to ensure the organization has the right people, skills and structure for innovative working
Obstacles to Success:
- Keeping people motivated to step up, understand where they are and what they need
- Continuing to engage with positive company culture while cultivating digital practices within the organization
- Overcoming the impact of Covid-19 on employees and their abilities to perform
How can leadership encourage and engage its employees so they feel valued as the business transitions into the digital space?
- Scheduling one-on-one meetings to understand individual employee needs
- Gaining perspective on balancing the demand for in-person office experiences versus working remotely
- Resolving the digital challenges and making organizational changes to achieve future growth.
Business Need: Innovate and build on strong growth in revenue to enhance market position and retailer success through strategic investments and marketing approaches.
Approach: Leverage annual strategic planning process to identify strategic investments and plan new marketing approaches for the next year.
Obstacles to Success:
- Past planning processes led to task list and budget allocation not new ideas
- Need for creativity and out of the box thinking
Strategic Actionable Challenge: Apply strategic thinking concepts to gain greater results from the annual strategic planning process.
Gained from EGC:
- Proven techniques to approach strategic planning from a new ‘out of the box ways’
- Insight on power of asking good questions and examples to use
- Enthusiasm and support for doing things differently
- Highly successful strategic planning events leading to new ways to approach the market do things differently over the next year.
- Culture change across organization – asking open ‘big picture’ questions during meetings
- Organization-wide commitment to innovation through strategic thinking. answer
Business Need: Hire and develop a sustainable leadership team, allowing founder to drive the business forward through fundraising and strategic leadership.
- Identified under-performers in current team
- Defined three key roles for future
Reached out to network for potential candidates
Obstacles to Success:
- Time needed to manage out under-performers
- Limited funding for salaries to attract quality hires
- Unsure of methods to evaluate candidates
Challenge: Select and onboard mid/senior level team members to take on daily responsibilities allowing founder to drive company’s growth
- Insight on new ways to address compensation issues
- Techniques to effectively deal with under-performers
- Inspiration to step back, consider objectives and plan hires around long term goals.
- On-boarded operations, supply chain and content editor – highly qualified and skilled team members
- Managed out under-performers in a win/win manner
- Stronger culture through releasing toxic people (under-performers)
Business Need: Define and prioritize needs and effective ways to implement financial and operational recovery plans for struggling YMCAs.
Approach: Engage local leaders to define unique recovery plan for each area– gaining corporate support.
- Resistance to change from traditional inside our funding model
- Selection of YMCA leaders in light of broad-scale needs
Specific Actionable Challenge: How to select regions and prioritize resources while addressing longer term need to change funding model.
- New perspectives and insights to accelerate mindset change
- Proven techniques for selection and prioritization of local need
- New perspectives and insights to accelerate changing corporate mindset
- Global leader commitment to definition of new funding model
Business Need: Define, develop and gain customer adoption for new digital service
Approach: Creation of digital app to provide value added service to airport customers
Achieved Before EGC: Investment in many rewards and information apps with limited engagement
Challenge: Building an app that travelers and others in community would see valuable
- Identified unmet need for secure and easy delivery of baggage to and from airport
- Co-creation partner also struggling to develop value added app for customer adoption
- Peer support, sounding board and check ins during 9 month development process
- Successful pilot of baggage delivery app within 9 months of initiation in EGC
- Confidence that rapid (agile) design, development and implementation is possible in large public sector organizations
- Improved customer loyalty
Business Need: Implement and scale digital solutions which can disrupt traditional business
Approach: Innovation center to validate MVP, BU to then build, launch and scale innovation
Achieved before EGA: Executive / board buyin and incentives for innovation to scale
Challenge: Majority of new solutions succeed through pilot but do not have funding / resources for long term growth
- Understanding of importance of champions as well as business case for growth
- Peer coaching to approach measurement of success, budgets and timelines in new ways
- Successful spin out of new digital solution with non-traditional KPIs for success
- Leadership team confidence in innovation process and requirements for success
Business Need: Measurable returns on investment in innovation projects and pilots
Approach: Innovation Hub to incubate new offerings and business models for service firm
Achieved Before EGC: Two year development of new online business offering with strong customer engagement and empowered team ready to implement globally
Challenge: Lacking executive leadership support for implementation ( due to disruption of traditional business model)
Gained: New approaches to anchor solution to business goals and executive incentives
- Executive support, resources and incentives for implementation of new offering for a segmented target audience
- New approaches to evaluate impact of new business initiatives
- Increased commitment and productivity of innovation team
Business Need: Recurring revenue with increased customer loyalty
Approach: Create a New Digital Farming Direct to Customer Offering
Achieved Before EGC: Successful pilot of new D2C service to hothouse farmers
Challenge: How to implement without cannibalizing traditional revenue through distribution
Gained: Peer experience, new perspectives, accountability and support to take risk
- Revenue from new services
- Distributor acceptance and growth of new value added services
- Increased satisfaction reported from customers using D2C service
- Initiation of additional D2C services to generate incremental revenue
Business Need: Customer loyalty and differentiation as more than a paint store
Approach: Implement and market home improvement services
Achieved Before EGC: Pilot of services in stores, training of staff, creation of financial model
Challenge: How to balance competing priorities between selling paint and offering home improvement design and implementation services
Gained: Awareness of potential gaps in strategy, prioritization for focus
- Revision of strategy to enhance success offering most relevant service which would increase paint sales while adding service revenue
- Improved customer experience and loyalty
- Savings of time and money planned for investment in services with less possibility to succeed
Business Need: Enhance agility to remain competitive and address changing meet customers’ needs.
Approach: Implement Agile methodology across organization adapt more easily when conditions and/or requirements change.
Achieved Before EGA: Management agreement to Agile Concept, employee training and board support
Current Challenge: How to shift employee mindset and implement agile workstyle across operations
- Deeper insight into what is really required to BE Agile vs knowing Agile
- Tactical techniques and tools to encourage experimentation and greater customer engagement
- Collaboration partners to share learning and resources
- Greater engagement of team and customer experience
- Recognition and designation as global innovation leader
Business Need: Rebuild sustainable revenue and teamwork after abrupt business change
Approach: Reorganize, revitalize exec team and engagement of employees
Achieved Before EGC: Baseline of employee perspectives and core executive team in place
Challenge: How to gain short term success while defining future leadership approach
Gained: Proven (by peer experience) ways to lead through crisis, coaching from peers and ongoing support for short and long-term growth
- Role clarity for leader and executive team
- Increased confidence and direction for the future
- Greater authority and trust from employees
- Deeper and more profitable customer relationships
What Members Gained From EGA Membership
Kjetil Ulving-Tufte, Vice President Strategy and Business Development at Schneider Electric
Kristian Sarastuen, Chief Executive Officer at Burson Cohn & Wolfe
“Insight and perspective of peers who bring diverse perspectives is critical when faced with complex innovation challenges.”
“EGA membership is more important than ever to get out ‘the box’; gain insight and perspective. This is a highly unique way to understand how others in different countries are dealing with change and innovation.”
“My success in rebuilding the team and increasing revenue and reputation for BCW is due in large part to the insights and support I have gained through my EGA membership.”
“I leave each Executive Growth Forum with energy, inspiration and action to move forward into the future with confidence and peer support”
“By working with real-world cases and sharing our actual learnings (successes and failures) in Executive Growth Circles, we learn ‘real time’ while actively taking initiatives forward.”
“The EGA is the only place I can really share what doesn’t work with trusted peers – this has been highly instrumental in development as a leader – way more valuable than a course or study group.”