Impactful solutions at scale – Developing 16 leadership teams simultaneously

Impactful Solutions at Scale – Developing 16 Leadership Teams Simultaneously!

The situation

Having successfully built a high-performing top management team, the CEO at a leading company within a traditional, transforming industry recognized untapped potential across the rest of the organization. Yet the financial slowdown had largely affected the industry and the company. Even if the needs were big – the resources were scarce. The norms in the business world further emphasized a high focus on cost cutting, not seldom at the expense of investments in people.

Together with the CEO, Head of Strategy, and Head of People we identified critical challenges and opportunities for maximizing the organization’s potential and enhancing its alignment with their vision and strategic goals.

The corporate strategy had a clear focus on increased cross-functional collaboration to leverage synergies and thereby increase client value. Furthermore, it was critical to transform the highly valued friendly culture to increasingly adopt multi-dimensional feedback to strengthen performance. Managers also highlighted the need to develop their management teams by increasing motivation and collaboration, but also to break down the strategy to be actionable for their part of the organization.

To balance the critical business situation, client needs, and untapped potential in the organization we crafted a tailored solution together – Management Team Development at Scale. A service aimed at increasing business performance through building 16 high performing teams simultaneously.

In recognizing the importance of boldly investing in leadership development, even amidst a financial turndown, the client is also a pioneer when it comes to challenging industry norms by staying true to their high focus on people.

The results

Midway through the project, we are already witnessing:

  • Enhanced holistic alignment within and across leadership teams.
  • Clearly defined purposes and goals for the leadership teams, roles, and responsibilities, facilitating strategic focus and collaboration.
  • New insights into strengths and development areas at team, leader, and organizational levels.
  • Increased engagement and ownership in leadership and team development.
  • Higher levels of psychological safety and openness. Strengthened communication, team culture, and collaboration.

The task

Implement a scalable solution to develop 16 high-performing leadership teams simultaneously in a cost-effective manner, emphasizing self-management and distributed leadership.

Desired outcomes

  • Enhance holistic alignment across all leadership teams by clarifying team purpose, strategic direction, operational methods, and culture
  • Increase the performance of all leadership teams and amplify their contribution to strategic achievements and overall business success
  • Develop the organization’s capabilities, including managers, leaders, and People Partners, to build high-performing teams
  • Boost culture and leadership across the organization

About the company

  • A major industry leader with over 10,000 employees and a turnover exceeding 30 billion SEK.
  • This targeted business unit consists of approximately 3,000 employees.
  • Operating within a traditional industry facing transformation, significantly influenced by the current financial downturn.
  • A strategic imperative to unravel silo-oriented ways of working and leverage management team potential to ensure strategic achievements and contribution to business success.

The solution

An innovative, customized solution to drive impact at scale, designed and executed through co-creation and collaboration between People Heart Business, the client project team, and pilot leadership teams.

Phase 1: Focus & Commit
  • Broad communication about the initiative and a workshop at the strategy conference to foster alignment, engagement, and collective understanding of the significance of high-performing teams for business success.
  • Insight reports for all teams, addressing strategy, culture, purpose, ways of working, leadership, and overall team performance, serving as a foundation for the team development journey.
  • Assessment of all leader's potential and their strengths and development areas in relation to the critical success factors.
  • Insight meetings with leaders to discuss team-specific challenges and opportunities.
  • A comprehensive insights report presenting data from all teams, identifying common challenges and opportunities across the organization, and providing recommendations for senior management.
Phase 2: Empower & Deliver
  • A digital toolkit comprising 7 workshops and 20 different exercises anchored in the fundamentals of building high-performing teams.
  • Leadership coaching to support all leaders in their quest to build high-performing teams capable of strategy realization while also engaging in personal leadership development and self-leadership.
  • "Train the trainer" workshops and coaching sessions for the People Partners to foster self-leadership, enhance skills, and strengthen internal capabilities for leading team development.
Phase 3: Boost to Continue
  • Evaluation of team and leadership development to generate new insights that guide the ongoing journey.
  • Booster plans to identify ways each leadership team and manager can sustain progress and ensure continued development. Booster plan on organizational level to prioritize coming investments.
  • Implementation of structures enabling continuous development

What our client says midway through the project

Decoding & uniting a unicorn

Decoding & uniting a unicorn


How to decode and spread the success DNA of one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies while running even faster? 

The founders and management team realized that to secure future success while still growing its business rapidly across multiple markets there was a need to define and scale the success DNA of the organization. 

The company had grown to 3000 employees, and the pressure on key players in the organization to both deliver on growing promises, onboard people, and stay alive and sound was often an unsolvable equation. High performers joining the company had an equally hard task offloading these key people since they were under high pressure to deliver. The mass of the organization did not know the core purpose of the company and therefore mistook the company for any traditional.  

The founder had wanted to do this for some time but, this being too big to fail, had found it to find the right partner. Suddenly, he found the company being 3000 people in great need of support. 

The results

Wide alignment and engagement for the organization’s success DNA, robust and ready to take on the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.

  • Awareness and engagement for the journey ahead, in the core and width of the organization through an accessible model covering critical aspects of the company’s success DNA – the purpose, culture, and strategy.
  • Allyship for the journey through involvement in the process and clear expectations on leaders and employees to contribute to the success through individual and joint ownership.
  • Ability to scale the success DNA through a leadership toolkit supporting strategy and culture into action in all parts of the organisation. 
  • Distributed leadership for the success through awareness and training of leaders throughout the organisation.
  • Increased collaboration across functions and markets enabled by uniting people around joint strategic focus areas, culture, and purpose. 

The Task

People Heart Business were invited as partner in this situation. A situation with a great need of support yet many conflicting priorities. The task was as often in partnerships jointly defined. To leverage the potential in the organization there was a need to stop running and prioritize defining the success DNA to further scale and professionalize the organization for future success. The task to both define and align around purpose, culture, add strategic focus areas. People Heart Business was equally focused on getting the right things in the fancy power points as building a movement for the success DNA, and therefore the work to a large extent relied on co-creation with the organization.  

The solution

  • Through a 6 months co-creation project, gather the management team, leaders, and employees in the organization to analyze, discuss, and define critical aspects of the Success DNA.
  • Define external trends that will impact the organization going forward and, in this context, contribute to strategic organizational learning and development of relevant direction and expertise.
  • Build trust within and between organizational units to better understand and collaborate around strategic priorities. 
  • Build a framework for “the company way” including purpose, culture, and strategic focus areas while simultaneously strengthening leadership capabilities, and most importantly ownership for the realization of the Success DNA in both senior management and employees out in the organization. 

Partner quotes

Making the traditional player innovative and human centric

Making the traditional player innovative and human centric


How to make the successful large traditional player leave the safe space and move into uncharted areas making it successful going forward? 

With strong market performance, over 10 000 employees with a high engagement for the company, and large and satisfied customers – why change?   

…Because the world changes, and what made this organization successful now or in the near future will not be the answer to long-term success. To lead the future, the organization needed to have a higher focus on innovation and sustainability, transforming their leadership to handle the fourth industrial revolution and have a higher focus on human centricity to attract both customers and the next generation workforce. 

The organization had been built on strong individual leaders and business units. Even though collaboration was a core value, it had not been core to the Executive Management Team, creating frustration and inefficiency in the next level of the organization. At times, the executive management team became more of a suppressor, than an enabler of innovation in the organization. To compete at scale and drive innovation, there was a need for alignment, efficiency, and collaboration.   

The newly appointed CEO reached out to People Heart Business to get support in this transformation – to unite the executive management team around the critical success factors for the future and role model a human-centric way of working. 

The results




Percentage experiencing a high degree of increased performance.

  • New performance management measurements from the board throughout the organization covering and driving both financial and non-financial targets
  • Higher pace in driving the strategic agenda for sustainability, innovation, people and efficiency
  • Improved team climate and power balance supporting the future success of the company
  • Members not supporting or able to drive the shift leaving the team and giving space to diverse perspectives on future success

The solution

People Heart Business, together with the CEO, decided to start focusing on the Executive Management Team, but with important input from external and internal stakeholders. The first phase built important trust and engagement in the organization for the newly appointed CEO, it helped the management team to stop, reflect, and see the severeness in the gathered feedback from owners, board, customers, and employees. The feedback highlighted many positive areas and built pride in the management team, and it also functioned as a wake-up call for some blind spots.

Building a high-performing management team is not a two-day workshop gig. It takes dedication and time to truly impact strategy realization and team efficiency. Therefore, People Heart Business, together with the customer, targeted the most critical business challenges and designed a one-year program. Individual development assessments, in relation to the critical success factors, were conducted for all team members, to build awareness of strengths and development areas and to spark development. Cross-functional task forces were put together to create shared ownership for common challenges rather than silo-driven responsibilities.

The initiative was met with both positive and negative reactions. Members with higher historical status and large impact had a harder time understanding the need to prioritize the initiative, whereas people in charge of the desired change or promoters of collaboration experienced a great relief that hindering blocks for performance and psychological safety were addressed.