© 2019 Sherry Essen

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Aligning leadership to transform the business model and drive change

“This is the kind of meaty project I love to sink my teeth into.  To help the organization shift from fear and overwhelm to clarity and new enthusiasm in a matter of months was a truly collective effort—and accomplishment."
- SE

Nonprofit health and retirement benefit organization serving 15,000 members, $10B assets under management, 200 employees

Declining membership, a changing marketplace and the risk of losing key talent created an urgent need to transform the business model and explore new markets to grow

  • Need to align and innovate as a leadership team after functioning the same way for decades

  • Need to get leaders from across the company talking to each other to envision a new future and solve critical business problems

  • Need to roll out a program, plan and narrative to develop all leaders

  • Organization development and people strategy design / reorg

  • Leadership program design and facilitation

  • Leadership coaching & advising

Sherry’s value has been three-fold:


  1. Executive level—She formed 1:1 relationships with the C-Suite and became a trusted advisor.  She challenged their thinking when nobody else was in a position to do so.

  2. Small groups—Sherry takes diverse groups of people and facilitates discussions. She teaches a new language, guides the organization in a new way and establishes internal to-dos.  She acts as a structural leader.  

  3. Larger team—Sherry helps maintain momentum; you feel safe and like she’s a trusted confidante, she provides feedback, and brings an intuitive professionalism.

  • Clear new markets have been identified and the company is re-orged accordingly and positioned for growth

  • Culture scores jumped from the lowest to highest in being a “learning organization”

  • The COO/CFO won Leader of the Year award for driving change and innovation

  • Cross-functional problem solving and collaboration in new forums is driving culture change

  • Better, more efficient communication and decision-making across the organization

  • Greater personal accountability–starting with the self as leader and change agent first, then modeling what asking from others