Transformational Leadership Case

Case Study

Client: Health Insurance Company

Constant disruptions and volatility in the health care and health insurance markets were threatening both the immediate financial performance and long-term survival of one of the leading health insurance companies. These disruptions were occurring so frequently and with so much impact on their markets, that the leadership of the company decided that it needed to make change leadership, including building deep change resilience, a core competency of the organization.


Comprehensive Approach to Purpose Driven Change Leadership

  • Great Transformational Leadership for Senior Executives – audience was 36 Executives in US Operations and 15 executives in International Operations. The focus was developing extensive change leadership capabilities while simultaneously implementing a massive change
  • Great Change Leadership for Operations Directors – audience was 120 Directors of Operations who reported to the above Executives. The focus was developing change leadership skills while implementing the operational changes required for the above initiative
  • Great Leadership for First-line Supervisors – audience was 700 Supervisors spread across18 business units. The program was customized for each business unit (e.g. Clinical Operations, Long-term Disability, Pharmacy Operations each had a customized program. The focus was improving first-line leadership and additional work on change leadership for implementing responses to the market changes
  • Role-specific programs – audience was 700-800 individual contributors going through programs customized to develop the specific skills needed for individual success (e.g. being effective call center representative in support of short-term disability claims). The focus was on building specific attitudes and skills needed for each business unit to prosper in the new markets


Measures of participation, demonstration of the desired new attitudes and skills and provider impact were taken for the program:


Approximately 95% of all Provider services personnel completed all of the learning actions. This was a surprising result particularly for the executive program because it was widely perceived that executives would not participate. The small percentage that did not complete the program either transferred to new jobs or left the company.

Quantitative Demonstration of Capabilities

Measures were taken before and after the program using 360 surveys of the participants’ attitudes and behaviors as defined by the best practices (i.e. how much did a participant demonstrate the best practice in real world situations).

Approximately 99.5% of all of the participants demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in their capabilities. Most showed complete demonstration of the
new capabilities

Qualitative Indicators

The EVP of US operations said: “This is the first time I am able to see real progress in both improving our change leadership and in the implementation of the changes required to serve the market.” He and the VP of HR for US Operations indicated that this program cut the implementation time of the
changes from an expected three years to six months.

Senior management of the FLMs and individual contributors indicated that most of the participants had changed drastically (one said: “they even walk differently) and that the attitudes and behaviors were identical to the desired change leadership model.

External customers and partners made many comments how different FLMs and individual contributors were and how they were really partnering. Most important, many stated that this company was the only one functioning this way and that they were dropping other insurance companies to devote themselves to working with this company.


When asked in a post-program debriefing is the program had substantively improved the competitive position in the provider market – 100% of the participants said that it had gone far to ensuring that their clients got great healthcare.

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