Transforming senior leaders and their teams, from small startups to global corporations.
MOVE's clients include a full range of international banking, consulting, fashion, sports, startup, production and engineering companies. We even worked with a national police force. We also work with cutting-edge leadership schools, communities, NGO's and conferences. Need more detail? Send us an email and we'll send you our reference list.
A global bank with dangerous organizational blindspots
A large global bank concluded that continuous scandal and malpractice was the result of blindspots in their culture. Employees had become passive and silent as a result of feeling like they had to fit in, that they had to blindly follow rules and that they needed to look good above all else.
In partnership with a global team, MOVE Leadership worked with this client by facilitating workshops for over 250,000 manager and customer-facing employees. The workshops, usually about 150 people large, used a wide range of experiential, interactive, playful and reflective exercises to engage employees to really understand the connection between their thoughts, emotions, behavior and decisions.
“Shifting towards a more speak-up culture”
As a result of these workshops participants became more aware of how their attitude and unconscious bias impacts their ability to stand up for what they believe in and make ethical decisions. They learned tools for how to ask for feedback and make better decisions. Participants found this impactful on both a professional and personal level. One participant shared at the end of the session that, “This workshop has changed my life. I never realised how much I would shut down when I was stressed and the impact this had on me and my colleagues.” Another participant felt strongly that, “This experience has changed the way I view my organization. Absolutely every employee needs to go through this if we are to change our culture for the better.” Employees have reported feeling more confident to speak up, more openness to challenging rules and decisions that don’t make sense, and participating in a more active feedback culture.
A small company notices its first communication problems
A small and rapidly growing venture capital start-up in New York needed to explore some key strategic scenarios for the upcoming year. However, a rise of communication issues among the staff and silo building between departments were preventing them from having the kinds of strategic conversations necessary.
“Uncovering the acupuncture points behind the symptoms”
As we dove into understanding the client’s culture, topics emerged like fear of failure, divisions between client and non-client facing departments and lack of trust among staff who felt they wanted to know one another more personally.
"Building a culture from the ground up”
We worked together with the entire company to surface existing patterns and behaviours around resistance to feedback, not helping out other colleagues, and fear of admitting to mistakes. Together they put to practice their learnings and immediately noticed a difference in performance and connection with one another. Having dissolved their own barriers, client-facing and non-client facing staff openly shared their knowledge with one another and gained an understanding of the complexity of their company. By the end of our session the role they each play in the larger strategy and system became clear and they committed to behaviors and structures that would keep this openness and information flowing between them in the upcoming months.
A global production company considers Short-term profits versus long-terms sustainability
One of the world’s largest cement production companies was looking into its longer-term future and considering a number of options. Digitization, customer focus and growing pressure for sustainable, eco-friendly building materials were on the minds of the top global leadership team.
“Real innovation starts at the periphery of our attention”
To shed more light and possibility on their challenge, we met in London with the global senior leadership team and challenged them to let go of habitual, downloaded thinking patterns in order to innovate or notice new trends. Participants learned and practiced how to extend their attention to where real disruption and innovation takes place and related thit to the company’s current and future reality.
“Leadership is about shifting attention to what really matters”
Our time with the client left them surprised, reflective and energised. The information they harvested presented hard truths about the company’s strained relationship to its staff, ignorance of marginalised local communities and disconnect with the future of sustainable cities. However, it also revealed possibilities about where forces in the organization could shift towards improvement. These insights were incorporated into upcoming proposals and strategic decisions.
A global sports community struggles to step out of the shadows of past mistakes
A global community of sports champions organised the first global sports event for their field. It brought together competitors from 12 different disciplines who were used to solo events held separate from one another. While this cross-disciplinary event was by many standards a success, there were also errors, miscommunications and even a fatality which tragically took place. This left many now feeling critical of planning another such international sports event.
“Coming together to see together”
The event's organisers asked a collaboration between MOVE Leadership and Matthias Müller-Lindenberg Leadership Advisors to help them bring the community together and learn the necessary lessons from the past. Our intake interviews revealed that the group consisted of experts who often disagreed with one another. In some cases they outright disrespected the decisions which their colleagues had made.
“Learning from the past to build for the future”
Through our designed and facilitated 3-day offsite in Switzerland barriers between individuals began to subside as they connected and listened to each other. They engaged in deep dialogue and learning around important mistakes from the past sports. As a result a shared vision of the future started to emerge. Despite looming obstacles and challenges, the group united behind the organisers in support of hosting another international event together.
A global strategy company's organizational culture is blocking its innovation
A successful global strategy consulting company knew that if it was going to get ahead of the competition it would need to leapfrog them in both mindsets and behaviors. However, when challenged to innovate many employees protested that the company’s culture of zero tolerance for failure prevented them from being able to do so.
“Inspiring change from the top-down”
Partnering with the company’s Chief Operations Officer, MOVE co-designed and facilitated a 2-day workshop outside of Boston for the 15 senior global operations leaders and then a 5-day innovation retreat in the heart of NYC for the top 55 senior leaders. The participants were taken on a journey to learn how to suspend and change their habits and thinking. They learned and practiced deeply listening and connecting with others around them. They met with startups, NGO’s and corporates outside their industry to gain new inspiration from unexpected sources. Through experiential exercises they learned about design thinking and agile experimentation and through embodiment sessions connected with their own sense of purpose, vision and future possibility.
“Prototypes for stepping into the future”
The experience left the participants motivated and at times even moved to tears. The leaders’ connection with one another inspired new ways of working, integrating “fail early fail often” as a necessary part of the innovation process. Their experience of the larger context and systemic interconnection gave them new insight and perspective on their own work. Post workshop they have incorporated agile ways of managing projects that increase the flow of ideas, prototypes and products for their customers.
The potential for a group of entrepreneurs is limited due to invisible group norms
“Group norms holding back potential”
A group of food entrepreneurs were on a year-long journey intended to support them in discovering breakthroughs in food related production, science, business and sales. However, certain invisible dynamics and norms within the group were holding them back from reaching their greatest innovation potential.
“Revealing the limiting underlying dynamics
MOVE engaged the participants in a day of introspective reflection in order to understand existing culture and beliefs within the group. As a result the community began to see itself and its behavior patterns as if from the outside. These experiences allowed them to safely speak about the opportunities and challenges of the group. At one point, one member shared that during the movement exercise she noticed a tendency to shepard back to the group anyone who strayed too far away. She realized that in their daily work this unchecked behavior was actually preventing members from experimenting with new terrain and ideas.
“Empowered with new practices”
As a result of their insights the group has continued regularly using tools from our session during every one of their meetings. They have become committed to surfacing and dealing with any limiting mindsets or behaviors. This has allowed the group to share and connect more openly with one another, raise concerns when necessary and maintain a field of open curiosity that stimulates innovation and creativity in their work.
A European banking institution's lack of transparency causes insecurity and isolation
A critical European banking institution brought together its top executive leadership team of 30 people to explore its strategy over the next 5 years. Through administering a set of psychometric assessments we learned that major information-sharing gaps existed between the top 5 managers and the rest of the leadership team. This resulted in insecurity and distrust throughout the larger leadership team.
“Breaking down barriers, building up mutual respect”
In partnership with Hendrik Backerra Consulting, we realised that before the team could talk strategy, they first needed to feel safe with one another. Our methodologies allowed the group to discover that some leadership qualities of the upper management team were coming into conflict with other qualities common to the larger leadership team. The findings and experience of this interactive session proved to be the turning point in bringing the entire team together.
“A willingness to openly listen and share”
The subsequent participation, sharing and openness noticeably improved throughout the rest of the off-site. The energized team was now ready to move forward into the strategy portion of the off-site with an open-mind and an eagerness to listen and respect one another. Since 2012 we have continued working with this same top leadership team with offsites every 6 months as well as 1-on-1 coaching. We have used a variety of creative, experiential and deep-dive transformative approaches to address their most difficult challenges. At our most recent off-site one participant summarized their journey when she said, "The progress we have made towards a more unified, aligned and connected leadership team has been incredible. The way we offer honest feedback and make decisions together would have never been possible 5 years ago when we first started this journey."
A multinational energy company announces a merger and incites fear and distrust among employees
A multinational energy company announced its intention to merge 3 of its country business units under one operational unit. Almost overnight the company was plagued by mistrust and fear as employees worried about the merger and possible related layoffs.
“Finding a common language through non-verbal exercises”
In partnership with Hendrik Backerra Consulting, we designed an off-site that brought 150 employees from 3 different countries together in Berlin. Since the participants lacked a common verbal language, our challenge was to first establish a baseline of trust and connection before developing adaptation and resiliency skills for dealing with the merger. Our interactive and movement-based session broke the ice, allowing the participants to have fun together and explore existing communication and trust-related issues within the company culture. We then employed supported the company in entering into deep dialogue between employees and their leaders where both sides could share their concerns and ideas.
“Becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable"
Our off-site workshop allowed participants to temporarily leave their concerns aside and try something new. Despite the prevalent tensions, several minutes into the workshop the participants could be seen entering curiously into a space where becoming “comfortable with the uncomfortable” was encouraged. In this space laughter and fun made way for deep sharing and exchange around the real issues that were worrying them. The conversation was then able to shift towards a creative exploration regarding how the company leaders could support everyone affected by the organizational transition. This workshop was a significant milestone in the ultimate success of the merger.
A national police force realizes that the quality of how it pays attention is a vital capacity
We met with the senior leaders of a national police force, including the heads of officers, counter-terrorism, secret service, mafia and gang control. Although they all agreed that gut instinct played a major role in their work, the challenges of their jobs required that they tap into that intelligence capacity in a more fine-tuned, conscious way.
“Mindfulness and awareness based exercises”
Using a variety of movement-based methods, we explored how voices of judgment, cynicism and fear can get in the way of making better decisions. Embodied peer coaching then supported the leaders through situations where they were currently stuck. They experienced and practiced how shifting their attention capacity had the power to dramatically change outcomes.
“Tapping into our full body of intelligence”
Participants shared at the end of the day a profound sense of shock and at how much insight they received from the movement peer coaching, even though the methods didn’t require them to reveal any confidential or personal details about their situations. One participant captured this by saying, “I experienced a total shift from complete skepticism about the power of embodiment to being completely convinced of its relevance. We need to be present in meetings and conversations from the whole body, and not just the mind."
A new team in a key financial institution is missing its identity.
A key financial institution underwent an internal restructuring with several departments now organized together under a new team name. Besides working for the same company, the departments had very little to do with one another. As a result the staff of 60 people reported feeling more loyal to their individual departments than the larger team, creating silos and disconnect within the company.
“Common learning as common purpose”
In partnership with Hendrik Backerra Consulting, we designed and facilitated a 2-day offsite that weaved together learning, development and high-energy fun. Outdoor activities on the first day brought the group together to find its common purpose. Bonding and friendships emerged between individuals who had otherwise rarely spoken to one another. On the second day we tapped into the collective wisdom of the group. Through simultaneous break-out labs, participants learned, role-played and embodied skills around more efficient decision making, increased high performance in teams and how to use storytelling as a method for better presentations.
“Coming together as one”
As a result the various departments found their new common identity. Silos were broken down and channels for communication opened. One participant said, “I realized that we all share the same struggles and can really benefit from reaching out to one another.” Another participant shared that, “I feel so much closer to the team and realize now that we are all working towards the same goal. Our top priority should be the success of the company and not that of our individual departments.”
A international commercial bank needs to integrate a new leadership model
The Paris headquarters of one of Europe’s largest commercial banks developed a new leadership model. However, it wasn’t adjusted for cultural differences and consequently met with initial resistance in Germany and Austria.
MOVE Leadership was brought in to help customise the program design so that participants could engage to their fullest. Working with videos and other highly-engaging formats, we were able to squeeze the essence out of the leadership model while fully integrating it within the local German and Austrian context.
“Embodying the model”
The series of workshops in both Germany and Austria engaged the managers intellectually and emotionally. They developed an understanding of how to use team spirit, role-modeling, ethics, communication, customer-focus and vision to deal with team challenges. The workshop pushed them to develop their own leadership style and left them inspired and connected to the larger leadership team.
A global strategy consulting firm's leaders need to learn how to work with their strengths and weaknesses
A group of up-and-coming leaders within a large international strategy consulting firm joined us for a 2-day leadership development workshop. While many of them knew how to develop their strengths, they nonetheless struggled with how to improve the weaker sides of their leadership.
"Embodied leadership as a fundamental skill "
The workshop used a variety of solo, paired and group embodied methodologies to create space for greater awareness, presence, groundedness, and listening capacity. Participants used insight from the movement practices to coach one another and brainstorm solutions to their leadership issues.
“Concrete take-aways and learning”
- Participants walked away with many insights and next-steps regarding their leadership approach towards topics like team motivation, values, delegation, and time-management. One participant’s take-away was that, “This workshop allowed me to rethink why I am so concerned with ‘looking busy’ rather than necessarily doing what’s best for the team and project.” Another shared that, “When exploring how to stay, relaxed, present and aware during difficult conversations, rather than getting stressed as I usually do, I realised that I can use silence to keep mindful of my own inner condition.”