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The Challenge

Founded in 1828 by Henry Willis, Willis Towers Watson has always maintained a leading presence in the New York and London Insurance markets. The business went through a period of evolution, growth and global expansion from 2001 onwards and over a 14 year period acquired a number of businesses including a $2.1bn acquisition of Hilb Rogal & Hobbs. 

Having also expanded into several new areas, including forming its own Research Network, providing a direct link between academia and the finance sector, the business had become widely dispersed and was showing signs of needing alignment. 

In 2016, Willis Group merged with Towers Watson to create the modern-day Willis Towers Watson. Recognising the opportunity to invest in aligning his people, Willis' CEO invited DeltaV to carry out a piece of work to align his people and form a fully cohesive group. 

The Solution

Programme duration: 12 months

Participants: 200

A DeltaV team embedded themselves amongst the senior leadership teams at Willis to gain a full appreciation of the culture that the CEO wanted to create and how best to achieve this goal.

Working with senior leaders and HR and Learning & Development teams in the business, the team designed a bespoke 'Game Plan(TM)' programme that involved the top 200 leaders in the new business to influence the strategic frameworks that would deliver future success, including vision, values, leadership and behavioural frameworks and strategic pillars.

The DeltaV team also delivered a bespoke Leadership Development programme to prepare Willis' leaders to cascade this new 'Game Plan™' to their people, forming highly motivated, engaged and resilient teams.

The final stage of the programme saw the team helping to facilitate cascade workshops that communicated this new 'Game Plan™' message to hundreds of Willis employees, as well as helping to consult on a new people and engagement strategy for the business. 

Impact

The wider process of merging Willis Group and Towers Watson was heralded in late 2016 as success as the business announced that cost-saving measures that included DeltaV's programme had exceeded expectations and created $175m in savings.

It was recognised that the merger process was greatly accelerated by its people being fully engaged in the business, understanding its core purpose and having had a direct influence in how the business would operate and behave post-merger.

The inclusion of the senior leadership teams in this process greatly increased commitment and ownership of the post-merger strategy and we're delighted to witness Willis Towers Watson continue to expand its operations as a major presence in the Insurance sector.