• Organisation: Fidelity Life
  • Programme Participants: 10 Emerging Leaders in 2016  & 11 Emerging Leaders in 2017
  • Location: Head Office, Auckland
  • Core Business: New Zealand owned and operated insurance provider
  • Opportunity: To design, build and facilitate a specialised leadership programme for the high performing, emerging leaders identified as talent

A bit of background

Blacksmith first worked with the Fidelity Life team in 2014 to support the successful realignment of their culture toward high performance. When Fidelity Life were looking for someone to partner with to develop their emerging leaders, Blacksmith was the obvious choice based on the respect and trust they had already established with the Fidelity Life Executive.

After engaging with internal stakeholders about what was important to them, Fidelity Life partnered with Blacksmith to develop ‘High Fidelity’, a programme for their emerging leaders to develop their skills, capabilities and confidence as future leaders of the organisation.

The programme co-designed with internal stakeholders at Fidelity Life, leveraging their knowledge of the organisational strategy, culture and development intentions, to create a ‘Fit for Fidelity’ programme. The programme was rolled out to an initial cohort of 11 emerging leaders selected via a rigorous internal application process in 2016 and the 2017 programme is now underway.

High Fidelity was designed to give participants the opportunity to see themselves as future leaders of the organisation; deepen their self awareness and self mastery; foster connections with business units outside their own; and elevate their visibility and value with the Executive Team.

What did we do?

Blacksmith partnered with Fidelity Life to design, build and deliver a fully facilitated and immersive leadership programme over a nine-month period. The Blacksmith development experience included face-to-face workshops kicking off with a three-day residential workshop followed by bi-monthly full day follow on workshops and two hour ‘reconnect’ sessions. A real world business challenge stretched over the entire programme, completed in two teams, and additional support by way of Executive Mentors and an on-line community (YAMMER) provided participants with access to collateral and connectedness outside the formal workshops.

This systemic approach to development created a deep level of transformation for the emerging leaders, providing them with space, connection, insights and challenge. Through this approach, participants accessed layered meaning within the concepts, tools and practices; developed deep connection as a community and delivered tangible value to the organisation.

What were the results?

The High Fidelity programme provided the means to grow stronger relationships and higher levels of engagement between the emerging leaders, their 1-up managers, and the Executive Team. Participants took their learnings back to their teams and applied it to benefit a wider organisation.

Specifically the results reported were:

  • Emerging leaders that are visibly more confident in their own abilities and capabilities;
  • Eagerness to get involved in projects and presentations and to work with others in the business in order to share business experiences and ideas;
  • The Executive team were able to identify and work with the high performers that have now been identified as emerging leaders for succession planning; and
  • Retention and performance improvement for all programme participants.

The participants reported:

  • Increased confidence and a willingness to get involved in work related projects outside their divisions;
  • Increased willingness to share knowledge and experience with others and to put forward ideas to improve processes;
  • Increased sense of value and belonging to the organisation; and
  • Increased engagement and intention to stay.

The Fidelity Life Board were invited to see High Fidelity in action at the final Wrap Workshop and reported an exceedingly high level of satisfaction with the experience and outputs created by the programme for the organisation.

What clients say

The Blacksmith experience was easy and really fun for my team and I. They had a really good understanding of our business and our people and they were quite thought-provoking in terms of coming up with ideas or challenges that we may not have considered

Stacey Mariu, Head of People and Talent - Fidelity Life

It was really refreshing to get a course put together that really addressed specific needs we had [and] did it in a fun and enjoyable way, and on all counts people have had a lot that they have been able to take away from it

Ed Eadie, Chief Financial Officer - Fidelity Life

The growth I've experienced has been phenomenal. The tools, support and encouragement received from the team at blacksmith is fantastic

Jolee Stewart, Programme Participant - Fidelity Life