UNUM Corporation is one of the oldest and most well-established insurance companies serving businesses and individuals in the United States. In the face of increased competition and a rapidly changing market, the company realized that it had to continue to demonstrate sustained growth and a solid return on equity to ensure its future.


While company leaders realized the critical need to build a competitive edge in order to maintain market share, a keen awareness of that challenge had not yet taken root throughout the organization. For many, a predictable and consistent work ethic seemed sufficient to get the job done. While solid, routine performance had been adequate in years past, it was no longer enough to secure the future that UNUM leaders envisioned.

Vanto Group consultants were charged with establishing a clear and fully aligned commitment among UNUM staff to the company’s key objectives, and with introducing practices that would both elevate performance and enhance employee morale. In short, their task was no less than a transformation of the culture from one where success was taken for granted to one of a dynamic and eager organization, where each member of the workplace was productive, satisfied, and inspired by a direct connection between their own accountability and the competitive strength of the company as a whole.


A two-year initiative began with a cross section of employees participating in a leadership-training program. Sessions focused on specific issues such as:

  • What is required for a team to function effectively together, and what currently stands in the way? How can those obstacles be overcome?
  • How do perceptions of others in the organization — managers, executives, colleagues, or staff — affect our ability to perform?

By exploring these and similar issues, participants gained insight into their culture and practices as well as freedom to act in ways that depart from established assumptions or norms. They gained the ability to continue this learning and exploration on their own as well as to innovate and act in response to a changing environment – not merely to follow an established path, or wait for others to lead the way.


Vanto Group’s initiatives became immediately evident in employees’ performance and attitudes toward their work. Participants consistently reported that since the initiative began they were able to take responsibility for issues that had seemed beyond their control, and able to achieve results that seemed unlikely or even impossible before.

"The breakthroughs our clients have enjoyed in transforming their corporate cultures are a product of Vanto Group's new paradigm that provides direct access to the causes of corporate culture.

Utilizing this new paradigm, the transformation of a corporate culture is reliably doable in a short time frame, while being built to last."

Steve Zaffron
Founder, Vanto Group