Case Study: RGA

Defining a market position.

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“Dialect helped us identify our “Why?” and “How?” to be successful and “What are the most important things?”. That is the essence of strategy.”

Greig Woodring, CEO

Among Dialect’s most successful clients is Reinsurance Group of America (RGA), a Fortune 500 company and a leader in the global life reinsurance industry with operations in 27 countries.

The Opportunity

RGA decided to enhance its position as a global company and serve its global clients better by restructuring from a geographic-centric organization to a matrix organization.

The new, matrix structure was intended to build the centralized expertise and understanding needed to meet the needs of clients and facilitate more collaborative decision making. Greig Woodring, RGA’s CEO, knew that his leadership team (the Executive Council) needed to be proactive in connecting these structural changes to their value to clients in order for employees to understand and embrace the changes and not lose momentum in their ability to execute.

The Action

Dialect led a process of alignment with the Executive Council that built on RGA’s historical strengths while identifying the strengths needed in the future to adapt to the changing practices of its clients which included more centralized decision making. A draft corporate identity was created and socialized with other key leaders. This identity included the answers to key strategic questions including the following: What difference do we make in our clients’ businesses?, How are we different than our competition?, and What organizational strengths do we need to deliver our strategic value?

The end result was an identity that recognized a significant shift in how they were truly differentiated within the reinsurance marketplace and the value they bring to their clients. “This work was eye opening,” Woodring observed. “It helped us articulate changes that had taken place within our business—those things that are harder to see from one’s own silo.”

The Result

How did RGA benefit from this work? First, it gave RGA clarity and got the Executive Council on the same page. The work began with getting the Council members together in the same room for the first time.

Woodring commend that “we are now a truly global business, a global team.” Secondly, the Council used the identity as the foundation for its next strategic plan, and it is still being used as a point of reference as the strategy evolves. Finally, the work helped drive increased revenue (+7% last year) and contributed to higher associate engagement. “RGA engagement scores rank with the best in the insurance industry,” Woodring reported.

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