Worldwide Retailer Partners with McKinney Rogers to Achieve Unprecedented Employee Transformation Through Integrated Business Leadership

One of the world’s most admired companies, this organization is considered to be a leader in its field.

The company employs more than 2 million people across its operations.

Early in the company’s history, managers were culled from those who started at the register or other entry-level positions. With little formal training and a reliance on an apprenticeship model, they slowly moved their way up the corporate ladder. This informal system rewarded tenure over talent and often overlooked junior managers with strong potential.

However, with nearly 9,000 retail units today, the demand to open new stores has outpaced the old system’s ability to produce qualified managers. According to the President and CEO, “It takes two years to build a store, but up to seven years to create a store manager.” Recognizing the need for talent to fuel growth and the huge untapped potential of his employees, the CEO committed to finding a way to identify talent faster, compress the time it takes to train them, and produce higher quality leaders.

The company enlisted the help of business execution experts McKinney Rogers to design and direct a comprehensive leader development system that identified high-potential employees and transformed them into exceptional managers. In the process, the two organizations created a unique, groundbreaking leader development system that generated unprecedented career opportunities for the company’s rising talent while cultivating world-class managers for the business.

Leveraging the Mission Leadership philosophy, McKinney Rogers created a customized leadership development system for the company, known as Integrated Business Leadership (IBL). By synthesizing development, training and educational activities in the context of the company’s day-to-day operational needs, IBL was far more relevant and impactful than generic management training.

The program takes each participant through a number of developmental, training and inspirational experiences that cause them to think of themselves as leaders. It includes master classes, on-the-job experience, cross-functional collaboration, expert guest speakers, self-paced study, student-led activities, experiential exercises, service projects, blended learning and small group discussions. The outcome is a network of graduates who identify themselves as leaders, rally high performing teams, and continue to develop while leading in a rapidly changing environment.

In its third year, IBL has transformed the company’s top talent training program into a cross-functional, multi-dimensional talent development system. In addition to store managers, the system has expanded to develop market leaders, senior merchants, and executives. It’s producing both the quantity and quality of leaders needed to sustain and drive growth.

Not only have 74% of graduates been promoted one, two or three levels up within just 18 months of graduation, but they’re outperforming their peers and producing real business results. Stores and markets led by IBL graduates have posted higher sales growth numbers than the rest of the company every quarter since entering their position [typical store revenue is around $100 million and markets bring in up to $1 billion]. In the last 6 months alone, while the company has posted an average loss of -1.3% in sales, IBL grads have produced a +2.1% gain in sales for their stores and markets.

IBL has emerged as more than just a program for advancement. It has achieved the holy grail of development programs: true behavioral change. Graduates have testified to their personal and professional transformation—some with words, but all with enhanced performance. Today, entry-level employees aspire to be selected to the program while graduates aspire to return to teach.

IBL’s unified solution to leader development is truly unique. Businesses around the globe are starting to recognize it as the best solution to rapidly flood their organization with quality leaders at every level.