The Enneagram in Retail

Here is a compelling example of using the Enneagram for culture change in a large, international luxury retail company. These changes include: helping the managers and leaders to be more responsible; fostering better communication between managers and staff, as well as between and among staff members; and helping employees and managers feel more effective, efficient, and comfortable in their jobs. The big picture is to build up a culture of solidarity and courage!

One of the leaders of this company asked for help with her "grands vendeurs" to enable them to cope with "the most difficult year they'd ever lived and not going to pieces at the end." These grands vendeurs are their best salespeoples who live, think, and dream for their clients; they are so devoted to their clients that they do not take their holidays. They come from many different countries and backgrounds (Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, France, and Serbia) and compete hard against each other. They are used to living and working in a very competitive, dog-eat-dog, Red Ocean (rather than Blue Ocean) world in which they focus on the customer to provide value and open up market space for new customers. These grand vendeurs are considered "divas" – both rich and smart yet unreachable. Consequently, they had not benefited from any specific training yet!

Because they control themselves and do not trust each other, the Enneagram was introduced and mixed with bodywork inspired by theater techniques. Not only did they relax and enjoy themselves, they soon discovered how different they were and yet how they could support each other.

For the first time in their lives, these grands vendeurs reflected on themselves and realized that they could depend on their skills and have access to far better balance in their lives, and that they could become more self-confident and efficient. The final exercise, the integration walk on the Enneagram symbol, had a strong impact: it was spectacular for all of them and their bosses as well! In addition, they discovered and fully tasted the richness of being so different and having so many different perspectives – nine, to be exact. A third benefit has been the discovery that consideration and even affection existed among them, and therefore they could trust each other and begin to build up a collaborative culture.

Last but not least, the direct managers of these grands vendeurs from different countries all called the coordinator of the session to ask her what she had done to their grand vendeurs: since their return, they were so motivated, full of energy, upbeat, and happy.

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In her work as a consultant, trainer, and coach for individuals and groups in large, medium, and small size companies and non-profits, Benedicte provides customized services that use the Enneagram combined with a variety of other approaches depending on the context - for example, creativity, bodywork, coaching, change management, non-violent communication, NLP, and the MBTI. The purpose of all her work is to develop consciousness within organizations, encourage aligned leaders, and develop collective achievement.

She believes that the development of every person is the heart of shared success. Organizations are most effective and efficient when both staff and leaders are self-aware, know well how they function, are continuously engaged in self-improvement, understand their company's issues, and feel comfortable and love their work. She also experiments with using the Enneagram to help companies create innovative and cooperative cultures that then lead them to success. All this is especially important to achieve success in the 21st century.