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11 February, 2013 by

The Capstone of Our Values: Member Impact

CEB Values: Member ImpactThis is the fourth and final blog post in a series we’re doing to look back on 2012 through the lens of CEB’s four core values.

It is fitting, perhaps, that “Member Impact” comes fourth in the series because the other three values only have meaning if they support the fourth.  We don’t generate ideas for ideas’ sake.  We don’t collaborate in a generous spirit merely because we are good people, and we don’t aggregate exceptional talent to win quiz shows.

We embrace these three values because they are vital to achieving member impact.  This is the value most tightly linked to our mission – and frankly most tightly linked to our success as a company.  Our ability to grow profitably, to generate capital to sustain and expand the company, and to create compelling careers for our high performers is linked directly to our ability to create concrete business value for our member companies.

The frustrating thing about our business – frankly about most businesses – is that we don’t measure what we want to, we measure what we can.  We’d prefer to measure total member cost saved, risks avoided, growth enabled – ultimately the total potential of 10,000 companies unlocked.

To the good:  We measured two things: (1) the building blocks of this impact; and (2) the commercial decisions that companies make to initiate, keep and grow relationships with us.  On the first, as previous posts pointed out, we had a strong year, creating great content that targets the levers of value and effectively connects members through powerful advice and creative technology. This was coupled with inspired sales and service to drive demand and use of our resources.

On the second, we saw strong returns as more companies chose to do business with us than ever before.  Our global member network crossed six thousand for the first time, and our existing members and clients chose to preserve and grow relationships at levels that met or exceeded historical trends and industry norms (we saw wallet retention for our major business lines land at 102% and 97%).  Nearly one thousand companies sought our help to inflect the careers of more than 14,000 rising leaders and key professionals – another all-time high.  Our business grew at a healthy rate – more powerful evidence of the impact we had on many, many member companies.

Work to be done:  Even coming off a strong year, a clear-eyed review suggests that we still have much work to do.  We can always get better at targeting our deep research assets on the highest-value decisions companies make – to accelerate this evolution, we are building larger, more usable assets targeted at high-value moments like functional budgeting and planning, employee skill and productivity gaps, and leadership transitions.  We often anchor too much on usage of our products, rather than being able to ensure concrete value, so we are arming our teams with an array of new tools and technologies to link our account plans, service and content ever more tightly to the most important decisions that a single member makes.  Finally, we support more executives and teams across more companies (10,000 and counting) and countries (70 headquarter nations) than any other organization we know of.  We are investing to ensure that our cross-functional breadth and scope delivers concrete business value on each the member priorities we support.

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