March 2017

Case Study: Analytical Graphics Inc. (AGI)

By Bill Blackburn

Each year Academy Leadership presents our Leadership Excellence Partner Award to client organizations that recognize the importance of leadership development as a key resource for continued outstanding performance and bottom line results. We are proud to announce AGI as one of our 2016 award winners.

Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI), headquartered near Philadelphia, PA, develops commercial modeling and analysis software for land, sea, air and space systems. AGI also operates the Commercial Space Operations Center (ComSpOC), which provides unprecedented space situational awareness data using a commercial sensor network. AGI is also the founder of Cesium; the leading browser-based, open source 3D globe. Since its founding in 1989, AGI has enjoyed strong growth and has been named to numerous prestigious lists, including the Inc. 500, Military Training Technology's Top 100, and Space News' Top 50.

AGI first found Academy Leadership when their HR Manager visited the Academy Leadership booth at the annual international SHRM Exposition. She explained that they were a high tech software development company of just over 200 people that did not currently have anything in the area of leadership development for its managers and executives.

This began a dialogue that ultimately led to two of their executives attending an open-enrollment Leadership Excellence Course (LEC) in Philadelphia. Shortly thereafter, we began a conversation on how we could shape a partnership to have approximately 50 of their top managers attend this program in-house over a 6-month time frame.

In a one-on-one conversation with the CEO, Paul Graziani, he said "we have some of the best software development people, aerospace and astrodynamics engineers in the world. Up to this point, we have built our company on that incredible technology strength. However, as an executive team we realized we didn't understand the discipline of leadership and management. Luckily we found Academy Leadership and put together a program that has started to change the game for us."

Five different Leadership Excellence Courses were held using a one day a week for 3 consecutive weeks format. Each group intentionally contained leaders from various levels in the organization, from the CEO on down, to encourage an openness of dialogue, improve collaboration and to build on their already strong "one-team" culture. Three half-day follow-up Coaching Workshops were held over the 90 days following each program to address current issues in the business and challenges in implementing the learnings from the program.

Participant Feedback:

"You think you already know what it means to be a leader, but the class helps you critically look at how you really are as a leader and see that we all have room for improvement. It gives great real-world examples of how to apply the concepts."
"A very helpful, concise, effective, and hands on training based on the concept of establishing a Personal Leadership Philosophy and military principles applied to the business world: know yourself, know your people, know your stuff."
"The program provides tools and resources to improve as a leader. The Leader's Compass and Energize2Lead profile are eye-opening and invaluable to anyone working with a team."

All participants created and shared their Personal Leadership Philosophies and Enegize2Lead™ Profiles with each other. This practice has improved communication, increased collaboration and enabled them to better leverage each other's strengths. As Paul stated, "we now have a common language and foundation upon which we can build and that will allow us to lead the company forward to a much bigger and brighter future."