Professional Services, Finance & Insurance

KPMG Tax Director’s Leadership Development Program Case Study

SG - Clients - KPMG - 14 Oct 2015


KPMG used Human Synergistics (HS) Psychometric Tools to underpin a major cultural change initiative to increase the use of ‘Constructive Blue Behaviours’ & they asked Synergy Global to help them with the 360 Debriefs & Executive Coaching. This was so successful that it led on to us helping them with leadership development for the above program, which covered most of the non-partner level staff, & focused on preparing Directors for the Partner Program.


The Partner in Charge of KPMG’s Melbourne Tax Division knows that attitudes to tax are adapting, with all organisations increasingly impacted by rapidly changing local & global tax regulation. He knows his people have deep & broad understanding of tax governance, specialist skills & industry knowledge to help clients plan, comply & communicate with markets & regulators. At the same time, he also knows that people are core to all KPMG’s offerings – so he sought SG’s help with better ways to support the firm’s initiative of actively building an intentional culture, which has been identified as a critical part of how they do business.

Minimising risk by starting with an individual who had been challenged for many months with a severely dysfunctional team, he proved that in specific situations, Executive Coaching can provide fast, sustainable results. He then initiated the KPMG Tax Leadership Development Program. His aim was to run a proof-of-concept pilot, to explore how the HS Life-style Inventory (LSI) Constructive Behaviours could further be implemented & leveraged…

Executive Coaching Example Outcomes:

Engagement in LSI Constructive Blue Behaviours
Behavioural outcomes identified by participants included frequency & duration of engaging in LSI™ Blue Behaviours using individual Values & strengths-based leadership – consistently improving their team capabilities, aligned with eth KPMG Capability Framework to develop Directors who wish to become Partners. Some common examples using the 4 LSI Constructive Blue Behaviours from the evaluation report included:

Self-Actualising Behaviours
black Increasing confidence; clarity; awareness; positivity; decisiveness; knowledge of strengths & how to leverage them
black Having more of a voice – chance to explore what is ‘normal’ & expand my toolbox on ‘being myself more with skill
black Minimising self-doubt/ committing to sustainable ‘better behaviours’ e.g. becoming more agile with risk management
black Learning HOW to make changes work with my strengths, easily with far less chance of going back to old behaviours

Achievement Behaviours
black Enjoying being challenged! New tools to use with team & clients. Really simple things yielding large rewards
black Quality,  Task delivery, taking on ownership & expanding client focus,
black Reflection & application of what we have discussed behind the scenes & improved accountability
black Enhanced thinking, increased creativity, multiplying number of options available, & applying more lateral thinking

Humanistic Encouraging Behaviours
black As my style of leadership is changing others are responding positively, leading to improved team outcomes
black Confidence & ability to leverage innate positive leadership behaviours which in turn makes people follow easier
black Greater awareness of leadership weaknesses – allowing me to focus on developing these through tools & practice
black Challenging habitual/ narrow thinking patterns leading to more positive, productive, empowering thinking

Affiliative Behaviours
black Improving ability to express appreciation, easily getting everyone aligned, re-enforcing that we are on the right road
black Engaging in challenging conversations to gain deeper understanding, commitment to & use with staff
black Increasing ability to resolve conflicts quickly & maintain equal relationships (rather than command & control)
black Presentation skills. More interactive – my audiences have noticed marked improvements on how I include them

Cultural Change: As KPMG’s website states: “culture is made up of our people’s attitudes and behaviours, these reflect our shared values, experiences & aspirations”
The overall response to the Tax Program is that participants are clearer on their values & strengths, but also how these play out in their everyday engagements. They say they are consistently & intentionally building better team & customer experiences – engaging in work with more enjoyment, motivation & empowerment – with more clarity around accountability to lead change more effectively – saving energy/time/$.

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