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Maximizing Growth by Developing Leaders

A Custom Leadership Program Designed to Develop Leaders Who Will Shape Brand for the Future

Taking Leadership up a Notch—Leadership by Design

Vera Bradley knows about change: From its early basement beginnings as a cottage industry selling unique luggage, to its profitable and publicly traded global retail enterprise, Vera Bradley has enjoyed colossal growth. With a vision to continue its success, the company partnered with FlashPoint to develop its leaders.

Building on a six-year partnership, FlashPoint had clear insights into the challenges Vera Bradley faced as their growth continued. Tackling these challenges, we customized a leadership development program—Leadership by Design—to be the new umbrella for all leadership programs across the organization. 

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Client Profile

Vera Bradley is a leading producer of designer handbags, luggage, accessories, and housewares. The company is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with 2,700 employees.

Challenge

Maintaining cohesion, productivity, engagement, and excellence in the midst of massive company growth and change


Solution

In partnership with the Vera Bradley training team, FlashPoint planned, managed, and co-facilitated Leadership by Design, a multifaceted and experiential 12-month program.

Results

  • Increased Employee Engagement
  • Cross-Company Collaboration
  • Retention of Key Leaders
  • Deeper Bench Strength

Program Purposes

  • Develop individuals and enhance participants’ level of influence in the organization
  • Build high-performing teams
  • Unify leaders around a common leadership model 

Participants

High-potential and emerging leaders from across Vera Bradley were invited to participate in the 12-month Leadership by Design program. Each leader had been with Vera Bradley for more than a year and held roles in which he or she had the opportunity to impact others and the company.

Program Components

  • Curriculum model: Created in collaboration with the Vera Bradley training and development team, this plan outlined all components and measurements of the program. 
  • In-person workshops: For continual learning, Leadership by Design included four workshops featuring content from The Leadership Challenge®.
  • 360-degree assessment: To measure program effectiveness, participants took a 360-degree assessment before and after the workshop. The data collected not only helped measure the program's impact but also indicated program priorities. 
  • Reinforcement: Ongoing workshops and coaching reengaged and evaluated leaders throughout the year. These exercises helped facilitate real-time feedback and address challenges. 
  • Accountability partners: Each participant was paired with a partner to promote accountability, build strong cross-functional relationships, and increase knowledge sharing. 
  • Organizational business cases: Participants formed teams to identify a business issue to address throughout the year. Employees collaborated with a sponsor and presented their ideas to senior leaders. 

Measured Success

  • 92% of all participants improved their 360-degree assessment ratings in all five practice areas.
  • More than 75% of the participants are still with the company.
  • 78% of participants have been promoted to positions with more influence.
“When participants complete the program, they commit to specific action steps. I’ve witnessed them asking for feedback, working to build a better team environment, and being focused on ways they can continually improve and influence. These concrete, real-life applications make a visible difference in our organization.”
—Bobbi Kurtz,
Vera Bradley Training Manager

Ongoing Partnership

Just as Vera Bradley is committed to growing leaders, FlashPoint is committed to facilitating transformative programs for the company. Leadership by Design continues today, yielding results that have real impact: Vera Bradley is growing effective leaders, and they are building a positive workplace environment—one that translates into satisfied and loyal customers.

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