Global Insurance Company

Our client has life insurance, fund management or consumer finance operations in 13 markets across Asia, offering a wide range of savings, protection and investment products. They are the leading life insurer in the region with over 400,000 agents and employees.


160 years after first writing business in Asia, it is the growth engine of the Corporate Group. To support this strategic role, they designed and implemented a series of development centres to identify and support the in-house talent across the region. Subsequently, they decided to invest in a high impact regional development programme tailored for high performing and talented individuals with the potential to advance into senior strategic leadership roles.

The Challenge

Our client asked us to create a programme for “senior talents” from their businesses across the 13 countries in the Asia Region. The key objectives of the programme were to:

  • Grow strategic leadership capabilities to sustain long-term competitive advantage
  • Chart leadership career paths to support career transition
  • Build a robust talent and succession pipeline to strengthen the leadership pool
  • Engage talent to drive performance and retention
  • Foster networking and knowledge-sharing across Asia

The Solution

We designed, developed and are still delivering the Horizon programme for them. Horizon is a high impact rolling 18-month development programme with an annual intake of 27 senior talents from across Asia. Launched in May 2012, the first Cohort of leaders graduated from the programme in Sep 13. Cohort 3 commenced in May 14.

Horizon is built around 4 core modules approximately 6 months apart with two 1:1 coaching sessions for each participant after each module. The facilitator to participant ratio is 1:9. The themes of the modules are:

  • Leading myself
  • Leading the business
  • Leading 1:1
  • Leading one to many

The programme blends:

  • 360 feedback and psychometric and non-psychometric personal profiles
  • Experiential activities and exercises, simulations and case studies
  • In-depth exploration of supporting materials with content ranging from business models to personal and leadership behavioural models and concepts
  • Learning expeditions to external companies such as Unilever and Cathay Pacific to explore specific topics
  • A business-driven action learning approach
  • A 6-8 month business project worked on by “virtual teams of 5-6 participants with final presentations to the board members of their company
  • Exposure to their local businesses – each module is held in a different country with presentations from, and an opportunity to meet with, local Excom members and key operational managers
  • Internal and external guest speakers
  • 1:1 coaching with a dedicated facilitator/coach
  • An opportunity to meet and work with colleagues from across the region, exchange knowledge and build networks

They evaluated the success of Horizon. Clear and demonstrable impact was recognised against each of the key objectives of the programme. The success of Cohort 1 led directly to investment in Cohort 2 and subsequently a Cohort 3 in 2014.

Sample Participant Feedback:

“I find the entire programme to be inspiring and useful.”

“It is beyond my expectation… thank you very much.”

“I found all the topics covered very useful, and obtained a deeper understanding and insight of myself.”

“The personal experiences shared by the facilitators to enrich the discussions and help establish an open and honest environment.”

“I will be a less process driven and more inspiring leader by demonstrating genuine understanding of and empathy with team members, more willingness to take risk and open and receptive to new ideas, spending more time with team leaders to coach and develop them.”

“All the sessions are very valuable and practical to my career development and current job. It truly helps me to think and act differently in my job, stay focused on key business strategies, and develop our comprehensive departmental business plan.”

“It has reinforced my enthusiasm, not only for learning but also for working and my continuous personal improvement.”

“Personally, I found this much more challenging in terms of having to work with different people with different styles. I got frustrated at some stage but this is a great opportunity for me to practice what I said I would do.”

“I have gathered a selection of leadership style which I can apply in different situation. This will help enhance my responses in an effective way.”

“I am really proud of myself that I am a participant of the Horizon training.”

“Good program and well-structured content. Was very useful in helping me understand what I need to do to improve both on personal and professional levels.”

“I thought Module C was more relevant to my personal development. The power of engagement, response-ability and legacy statements were all very useful in help explore how to further motivate myself and my team.”

“This gave me clear direction for leading one to one and it is easy to implement in the working environment.”

“Horizon is a highly relevant and excellently structured program for the development of leadership skills.”

“The facilitators have very good understanding of the subject matter and of the content.