The Challenge


Experiencing exponential growth and evolving from a start-up into an industry-leading multinational corporation within a short time frame is certainly a cause for celebration. Yet, it also presents substantial challenges. Our client organization underwent significant shifts in terms of employee numbers, departmental structure, and client demand. Consequently, it was time to pause and re-evaluate the core of the business.


One key challenge was the need to improve intra-organization communication, foster collaboration, nurture trust, and ultimately, shape high-performing leadership teams capable of delivering extraordinary results. Further complications arose due to a lack of awareness about the power of culture. The leadership team was spread thin over numerous strategic initiatives, often overlooking the fact that culture could either enable or hinder their execution. There was also a lack of alignment on the cultural archetype that would deliver the desired strategic priorities.


Our Approach


We followed a top-down approach. We initially worked with the top leaders, intending to create culture carriers whose actions could provide a model for the rest of the employees.


Once the strategic priorities were streamlined, the leadership team aligned around their cultural archetype of choice, the best asset for effectively executing the business strategy. We expanded culture awareness through participative masterclasses with the leadership team and its members’ respective teams, as well as with leaders hired over the pandemic in a custom onboarding and upskilling program.


We worked with representative business units’ leadership teams, making up approx. 90% of the business, transforming them into living, breathing examples of the desired culture and high-performing, cohesive teams. We drew a baseline through both an internal survey and a self-assessment of the team based on Patrick Lencioni’s “Five Behaviors” model, and crafted a roadmap for one to two, 90- or 100-day sprints.


These sprints focused on building trust, managing conflict, making commitments, embracing accountability, and focusing on shared results. Between sprints, we paused and learned, revisiting the assessments to gauge progress. We tailored our roadmap based on these results, providing a collective track where the group received team coaching on the back of their regular business meetings facilitated by their head coach, and an individual track where each leader had a set of coaching sessions with a supporting coach to work on their particular development needs in service of the team goals.


As the roadmaps were being executed, the strategies deployed varied depending on the unique needs and baselines of the different groups. For instance, some focused on establishing or refining their team’s purpose, vision, and mission. In contrast, others worked on managing the false polarities and trade-offs inherent in their organizational matrix. Furthermore, a third subset spent time learning how to express difficult truths to each other in a way that was both honest and respectful.


The common thread through all these approaches was the application of basic conscious business principles, mindsets, and behaviors. We encouraged shifting from a blame culture to one that embraced responsibility, promoted systemic thinking, and practiced skillful inquiry and advocacy. These actions fostered an environment that nurtured open dialogue and a sense of shared accountability.


As the leadership teams (LTs) began to make progress, they garnered traction within the broader organization. Seeing their evolution, other teams—both their peers and their reports—requested their own sprints to work on their issues, too. To optimize resources and align with the overarching business strategy, we prioritized support for these additional teams based on the specific strategic priorities each team was serving.


Furthermore, as the LTs began demonstrating the new behaviors—or at least showed proof that they were working on their own gaps as individuals and as teams—they started to reshape the organization’s culture at a more profound level. The rest of the organization received the beta version of their evolved culture narrative, providing them with an opportunity to understand where to focus. This was not just a document to read; they could actually see their leaders walking the talk and holding themselves accountable for the declared standards of behavior. This was most prominently displayed at the annual summit, where leaders pledged their commitment to the new culture in front of the extended leadership community.

The Impact


After working directly with 7 leadership teams over two years and indirectly influencing the top 350 leaders of the 16,000-strong workforce, our coaching sessions facilitated significant achievements.

  1. Provided a structure and methodical approach for building high-performing leadership teams that “carried” the desired culture.
  2. Crafted and guided the team with a set of operating rules, principles, and values, underpinned by a unifying purpose.
  3. Encouraged open discussions about different issues and provided solutions.
  4. Promoted the idea of “one team, one voice.”
  5. Recognized the importance of conflict management and its potential to improve workplace dynamics dramatically.
  6. Consolidated effort in priorities, with one of the top LT members even sacrificing his hiring to serve the greater good and ensure sufficient resources for the priority project.
  7. Improved their offerings by working as a unified team, providing more integrated service/experience to customers, hence strengthening their business strategy.


As one leader put it, “You enabled us to build a solid vision & strategy for the next few years. The work with you has accelerated what I wanted to do with this organization. (...) you made it a much deeper, more transformative, more authentic and connected journey for us.” He went on to describe the impact of this work with Axialent: “Our engagement scores are massively up. We have talked about purpose before, but it didn’t have the same concreteness, the same connection and depth. Your work is (...) more personal to this team. I’d be surprised if any of the LT leave for the next 2-3 years now because they are so invested in this journey, so excited to get the org to the next level, and much better equipped to do it.”

The challenge

A multinational technology company, with 71,000 employees worldwide, was having trouble retaining top talent and ensuring that its leaders were equipped with the mindsets and behaviors needed to lead in the 21st Century VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) world. With the aspiration to become the No. 1 information technology company in the world, they realized that gaps existed in mindsets and skillsets across multiple levels of the enterprise.


The approach

We developed a program whose purpose was to create agile leaders who could shape the company’s future for the next 15 years. The program aimed at the top 2 percent of high potentials with certain future leadership characteristics and a willingness to lead from right where they are, rather than waiting for title and position to influence the organization positively. The program included participants from more than 40 different countries.

Our partnered solution

  • We co-designed a two-year learning journey for the individual contributor and first-time manager population. The program included three five-day residential events for more than 250 participants.
  • We leveraged expertise, research and thought leadership on sustainable behavioral change, adult learning, human-centered design and the neuroscience of change.
  • Each participant went through a process of a 360° assessment and thorough debrief, six application coaching sessions and bridge activities in between residential events to deepen impact and apply learning within their day-to-day rhythm of business.
  • We leveraged technology and other creative solutions to ensure that each and every touch point with participants was creative and meaningful.
  • The program included insight on deep self-awareness, effective teaming, innovative thinking, business acumen and inclusive leadership, among other topics.


The impact

  • The company reported that the mindset focus and the facilitator style of embodying what was being taught created the most powerful leadership program in many years and the first ever globally focused program.
  • Sixty percent of the program participants were promoted throughout the course of their leadership journey.
  • The company now embraces its people and culture as its key differentiator, rather than its technology, and has a cohort of more than 250 leaders who have the mindsets, commitment and skills to embody this new strategy.


The sessions, the learning and coaching — over time — truly transformed the way I think about working, the way I manage my team, and the way I adapt to changes. My coach opened up life-changing perspectives. The entire Axialent staff was incredible…. Today, I am more involved in team leadership, trust-building and collaborative cross-organizational activities than I imagined I would be, and I must recognize and thank the program for opening me to these.
Program participant


The challenge

In order to increase its competitiveness in the market, a leading software multinational company initiated a major restructuring from a geography-based structure to a complex, three-dimensional matrix of geographies, segments and product groups. This transformation shifted the levels of power within the organization and added greater complexity to decision-making, planning and execution across the organization. The management team needed to improve its operating efficiency and goal alignment, and create a culture of accountability in the context of cross-group dependencies.


The approach

  • A leadership team program was developed to rebuild the team’s trust and level of commitment in the midst of changing roles and shifts in the power structure.
  • The program taught conscious business skills across the organization to support the transformation needed.
  • A five-step planning process was designed for existing business cycles in order to minimize redundancies.
  • An Axialent consultant facilitated all key business meetings to ensure focus and accountability:
    • Leadership team meeting to set company goals.
    • Cascading to the next level: four-day planning meeting with business areas ensuring cross-collaboration.
    • Three-day meeting with more than 250 managers from the region to align on direction defined and share best practices.
    • Developed subsidiary planning kits to deploy a similar strategic alignment exercise in the five subsidiaries.
    • Worked with human resources to ensure goals and strategies were mapped to the existing commitment-setting process.
  • A performance tracking process was designed, which included a scorecard, staff meetings and connection points within the field.
Axialent has been a true partner in our efforts to build a conscious organization, helping us to move from aspiration to implementation. Axialent’s advice is never easy but always worthwhile
CEO Latam subsidiary


The impact

  • The region’s planning process has become a company best practice. The corporate COO recognized the Latam leadership team as “the company’s most aligned and focused worldwide.”
  • After the severe financial crisis in early 2000 in Latin America, the region has recovered and surpassed their historic revenue figures, growing 49.7 percent in four years.
  • The region achieved the highest score worldwide in the internal climate survey, and the cross-group collaboration indicator increased 1,200 basis points over two years.
  • Participants have consistently praised the increased accountability and focus the process has driven. Satisfaction and impact surveys throughout the process averaged at 9.3 out of 10.
  • The partnership with Axialent continues after four consecutive planning cycles.
  • The success in Latam has sparked a global partnership between Axialent and other global divisions such as Online Sales Business, the Global Field Operations and the Worldwide Partners Group, which manages one-third of the company’s overall revenue.
Best part? Process for getting from goals to strategies especially forcing people to narrow their lists.
Business Unit Manager
Alignment all the way! This has been great for the field to accelerate execution.
Product Manager