World Food Programme

Engaging Global Leaders in the Strategic Direction

Challenge

Rein Skullerud
Rein Skullerud
This UN agency describes itself as the largest “retail” humanitarian relief organization in the world. Its thousands of employees deliver tons of food to the most vulnerable populations on the planet—often under very difficult, even dangerous conditions. Each year its 150 global leaders would come together for briefings on various programs and initiatives. Like other UN organizations, WFP is very hierarchical and these meetings were characterized by lots of presentations from senior leaders from headquarters to the field leaders. Many people found these sessions to be a waste of time. Some commented that the only meaningful conversations were the ones that occurred outside the meeting room.

A new HR director wanted to build greater dialogue throughout this leadership group. This was particularly important as the organization was changing its overall strategic goals while address more demands for its traditional services than ever before. Innovation, leadership and strategic engagement were needed more than ever to meet these changing demands. The HR director contacted the Authentic Leadership Institute for help.

Approach

Rick worked with Breck Arnzen and Susie Rheault to design and facilitate two very different Global Management Meetings in Dec. of 2013 and 2014. These meetings engaged all 150 managers in a variety of conversations and activities quite unlike their usual gatherings. All the activities were designed to build from the collective and individual experience present in the room. The first meeting built greater understanding of the direction and implications of WFP’s strategic change. The 2014 session then built the shared “mind-shift” and alignment necessary to lead efforts to accomplish an audacious new vision of zero hunger in the world.