The Center at IHPMEvents/RetreatsWisdom BookBalance Book

    with Joel & Michelle Levey, InnerWork Technologies, Inc.
    and The Center for Corporate Culture and Organizational Health at Institute for Health & Productivity Management

    Paul Vaillancourt, Vice President, U.S. Customer Support, Intuit, Inc.
    Lorraine Whittemore, Transformation Program Manager, Intuit, Inc.

    Program Overview: A case-study presentation of this work will be presented at the Systems Thinking in Action Conference.

In 1998, Intuit Customer Support embarked on a change program that would transform our technical support operation into a fully profitable strategic business unit for Intuit, Inc. The program we are using to deal with the involvement and innovation issues this complex rapid change requires is called CS2000.

The CS2000 program incorporates three components:

  1. Engaging all of our employees through a shared vision and providing approaches and tools for change.
  2. Developing our leaders so that they can create the change and provide leadership in our desired future state, and
  3. Designing the new organization: the systemic analysis of our current state and the creation of the desired future state through tools, approaches, and thinking practices.

This case study will focus on the leadership development component of CS2000 and in particular a program called “The Leader’s New Work,” which helped our leaders better understand and integrate the 5 disciplines into their work through a focus on leadership and personal mastery.

Intuit, Inc. is an extremely value based organization. “It’s the people” is a core value and Intuit’s culture has succeeded by focusing on valuing, developing and enhancing employees’ abilities and dreams.

As we developed the curriculum for “The Leader’s New Work” we knew and believed certain things:

  • We believe excellent leaders, are so, because of a level of mindful, self-awareness, the quality of attention, and the discipline of innerwork, the degree of balance in their lives, and their commitment to their own vision, values and truths.
  • We knew in order to implement this change, we would have to dramatically shift mindsets, models and identity, from a cost center to a profit center model, increasing revenue and reducing expenses.
  • We knew this shift would require different systems of work and relationship, improved processes, and customer partnership. Systems that support service partnerships with customers as opposed to one-time, one-call technical support.
  • Developing the individual and collective skills necessary to deal with the complexity of running the current business in parallel to creating the new one.
  • A shift in leadership style that would emphasize employee involvement, rapid decision making, innovation and creativity, as opposed to the call center model that is our current mode of operation.

We needed the courage and clarity to approach our work in a dramatically different way.

From experience, our senior leaders had the vision and belief that the most direct path to our success was to invest in supporting our leaders to develop their capacity to apply the 5 disciplines by focusing on their own level of personal mastery, knowledge, and skill. We felt strongly that the development of the capacity of our leaders was a path to business success and accelerated organizational change.

Our intention was to provide an intensive and on-going opportunity for our leaders to increase their capacity to be mindfully present and attentive, to think in complex systemic ways, to work with a higher emotional intelligence, develop quality working relationships, master stress and find balance in their whole lives. Although this probably couldn’t be measured in a direct way, we felt that this would reap huge business benefits during a time when we needed rapid, dramatic change.

We decided to invest in a program to invite our leaders into an inquiry and training process regarding this “new work.” In our search for the best partners on this project, we discovered Joel and Michelle Levey, of Innerwork Technologies, Inc. and the Center of Corporate Culture and Organizational Health at the Institute for Health & Productivity Development. They partnered with us to develop “The Leader’s New Work” for our leaders and to support our CS2000 initiative.

The basic curriculum of “The Leader’s New Work” is:

  • Building a learning organization from the inside out: the role of inspired leadership
  • Increasing the capacity of our leaders: introduction to personal mastery knowledge and skills
  • Mindfulness and the mastery of attention and intention: choice and change follow awareness
  • Cyber-physiology and strategies for mastering stress, enhancing performance, and working in the zone
  • Tapping the power of guiding values
  • Personal and organizational visioning
  • Strategies for keeping the learnings alive and ever deepening

The first group of leaders approached this work with a healthy blend of skepticism and excitement. After the first couple of sessions, attitudes and expectations quickly changed to generate a waiting list of leaders wanting to sign up as soon as possible. The leaders initiated many additions like, coaching sessions, study groups, and screen savers of the tools learned.

Our first survey reported high marks in areas like:

    80% of participants reported being somewhat skeptical to open minded about the course before taking it.
    80% reported being excited to extremely excited after taking it.

95% of participants rated agree to strongly agree in areas like:

  • I believe I’m a better leader
  • I have enhanced my ability to develop relationships
  • I am more aware of my choices and how they affect my performance
  • I live more in balance
  • I have better listening skills
  • I have a better ability to manage my emotions
  • I have a better ability to focus my mind
  • I can recognize and release stress
  • I now challenge and clarify my mental models.

Additionally, we have had results in work improvements and bottom line impacts that we believe are directly related to “The Leader’s New Work” program.

A Dynamic Case-Study Presentation of the Intuit Work
at the “Systems Thinking in Action” Conference

San Diego, October 23–25, 2000

We will offer a glimpse of both the process and results — qualitative and quantitative — of our work at Intuit. We will also share with participants some of the experiential learning elements that were vital to this work. The audience will experience the value and efficacy of this work for themselves as leaders and as stewards of culture in the complex systems of their own organizations. Click here for an overview of the program.

Find out more about the Systems Thinking in Action Conference at the Pegasus Communications web site:

Insights on Organizational Learning * Travelers Insurance * Ultimate Warrior Training

CONTACT US by phone at (206) 632-3551, by email at

or write us at InnerWork Technologies, Inc.
5536 Woodlawn Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103