Developing leadership at National Transport Insurance

Business overview

NTI is an Australian-based transport insurance company started in 1971, as R&G Insurance Consultants, that has grown to become the country’s leading specialist insurer.

National Transport Insurance Limited (NTI) was formed in 1986 with local insurers AMP, Sun Alliance, General Accident and QBE as equal joint shareholders. This allowed the business to expand nationally.

NTI became a joint venture in 2001 between its shareholders. Today those shareholders are IAG’s CGU and Suncorp’s Vero, which combines the strength of two of Australia’s largest general insurers with NTI’s specialist knowledge and expertise across the transport and logistics industries.

In 2015, it was announced that the heavy motor and mobile plant and equipment portfolios from Lumley Insurance would be transferred to NTI. Further change came to NTI in 2017, with IAG and Vero agreeing to create Australia’s leading marine insurance specialist – Marine Protect.

In 2017, NTI launched its first retail brand – Truck Assist with roadside assistance and truck insurance available to customers directly online. This built on the success of NTI’s existing Truck Assist roadside service which began operating in 2006 through participating manufacturers. Today, every second new truck sold in Australia comes with a Truck Assist roadside assistance package.

The business challenge

NTI staff and leaders had performed well in its people engagement surveys but the organisation wanted to improve those results. NTI’s leadership saw correlations between the engagement survey results that could be improved and areas of the business they wanted to improve.

The business is also undergoing a program of incremental and major technological innovation that places new expectations and demands on its leaders and frontline staff.

The solution

NTI first engaged Executive Central to implement a tailored leadership coaching program. Executive Central Managing Director Rob Balmer led the program, which worked with NTI’s executives and senior managers.

NTI CEO Tony Clark said: “We put our executive leadership team through Executive Central’s Superior Team Performance program. We knew if we were going to build our culture and improve employee engagement, we needed to start at the top, come together as a team, embrace the diversity in the team, and really get comfortable with being able to constructively challenge each other.”

The Superior Team Performance program utilised a combination of group coaching workshops and follow-up individual coaching sessions with each member of the executive team. This was designed to ensure the team’s and each member’s specific development needs were met and they each knew what role they needed to play in taking the team’s performance to the next level. The program gave NTI’s executive leadership team a common leadership language and a number of key frameworks that enabled them to address leadership challenges in an engaging, inclusive and pragmatic way. This was then cascaded throughout the organisation via numerous follow-up workshops with functional teams throughout the business.

This led to improvements in all areas of NTI’s staff engagement surveys.

The success of this work led NTI to engage Executive Central further to deliver a program to develop the coaching skills of its leaders at all levels of the business. A number of senior executives, including CEO Tony Clark, have completed the Executive Central Coaching Academy, which has enabled them to use cutting-edge coaching methods and leadership tools in their everyday roles. After completion of the Coaching Academy, participants are formally certified as Accredited Executive Coaches and have at their disposal structured and pragmatic skills and tools to use as coaches who drive their organisation’s success.

NTI has now engaged Executive Central to run an internal version of the Coaching Academy for managers throughout the organisation.

Tony said: “We’re using Executive Central to develop coaching skills of leaders at all levels of NTI because we want our people to be coaches who can bring along the next level of leaders. Rather than saying ‘you do this my way’, we want our current leaders to coach their people to get the desired results using their own strengths and skill sets.”

Business outcomes

NTI CEO Tony Clark said that all staff engagement survey results had improved since Executive Central was first engaged to work in the business, and so had all financial results.

“When we started doing staff engagement surveys we were good, but we wanted to be better. That led to the leadership development we’ve done with Executive Central, and through that, all of our financial results improved over that period and our service levels improved.”

Contact Rob Balmer to discuss a leadership and coaching solution for your organisation.