Matrix Recognized by Manage HR Magazine as a Top 10 Leadership Development Organization


Matrix Achievement Group - Inspire Learners to Drive Results

Todd Zaugg—author, consultant, entrepreneur, award-winning innovator, and trainer of over 48,000 people—has an interesting take on management development. He says, "Shockingly, we can land a robot on a moving asteroid millions of miles away from the earth, yet 90 percent of businesses are struggling to solve problems that prevent their leaders from driving performance while retaining top talent." Management development helps businesses gain a competitive advantage in the market by: improving the bottom line; attracting, developing, and retaining talent; driving strategy execution; and navigating change efficiently. It is these very characteristics that make management development a top priority, yet many organizations struggle with how to deliver meaningful and actionable management development. Zaugg’s firm, Matrix Achievement Group (MAG), a boutique, global multimillion-dollar management development firm he founded in 2001, has successfully thrived in this environment because of their unique tools for remote development, reinforcement, and architecting positive mindsets. 

Having successfully worked with organizations like Fiat Chrysler, Medtronic, Stryker, ZimmerBiomet, and International Paper, Matrix has learned a lot about the recipes for success. One which Zaugg shared is the need to keep up with the modern learner’s needs, something that has driven Matrix’s continuous program and technology improvements. Additionally, they know that too many programs available in the market are event-based rather than holistic; resulting in a failure by many of Matrix’s competition to truly address businesses' management development needs. Those programs engage with the leaders in one or two training sessions, limiting the ability to drive the impactful behavior change needed in today's dynamic business landscape. “It is not unusual for us to say no to a business opportunity when the client is not willing to take action to truly address the problem, because it is clear that they would rather check a box”, said Zaugg.

Adding COVID-19 to the mix, where most vendors fail to deliver virtual training effectively, is magnifying organizational challenges with balancing employee work and home life. “The modern manager must help their teams architect resilience and foster collaboration in order to compress the time to success,” stated Zaugg. Businesses are asking the leaders to develop competencies in a very short time amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic. And with event-based programs, it is like making them drink from a fire hose with no tools made accessible outside of the live session for learning reinforcement," remarks Zaugg. Matrix Achievement Group (MAG) has successfully thrived in this environment because of its unique tools for remote development and reinforcement.  "Our key mantra is to inspire learners to drive results. And our average return on investment for our clients is three to one," highlights Zaugg. 

MAG’s unique approach to management development is the result of Zaugg's three decades of experience in the leadership and talent development industry. The company looks for long-term relationships with clients where they are integrated into an organization to bridge the gaps in leadership performance through the delivery of scientifically based programs that evolve continuously. "We are not a company that does one or two training sessions and leaves. Our partnership with clients is intentional and deeper. We understand what they are trying to accomplish, and we work together to provide a customized solution," said Zaugg. Even before the world was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic, the company-built management development programs for in-person and remote delivery, with the goal of providing equal value in both settings. This has helped MAG to pivot quickly to clients' needs in the pandemic situation. "The clients who opposed remote training were forced to experiment with it and are now converts to at least a hybrid solution," says Zaugg.   

Another example of customizing and adapting to client needs is MAG’s industry-recognized employee engagement program U VIVE®: Powering You. This program synthesizes the multi-disciplinary science of creating personal energy. UVIVE® infuses leaders and employees at all levels (new and tenured) and catapults them into the next dimension of performance by helping them architect, aim and actionalize their energy which is the engine for innovation, focus, passion, and resilience. UVIVE® took nine years to develop and is based on 43 scientific data research points. The program unleashes sustainable performance by unlocking personalized fuel cells in the areas of values, strengths, positivity and mindfulness. As a result, the leaders stay focused and engaged with their teams using the management development systems, which is crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delivering Leadership Success Through Award-Winning Innovation

A team of experts assists Zaugg to deliver leadership success to the clients. The group consists of former sales executives, subject matter experts, and adult learning professionals who have deep management development experience working with both Fortune 500 and startup companies. Pat D'Amico, an executive coach, leadership developer, and speaker with nearly three decades of management development experience add stars to this team. D'Amico, a Senior Performance Consultant at MAG, says, "When the businesses partner with us, we interview the leaders and do a thorough diagnostic leveraging over 127 different data points to identify core strengths and development areas including specifics related to their culture." Then MAG uses that information to create a competency-based roadmap for the client that drives the live/remote training plan to meet their needs.

MAG reviewed and analyzed over 50 years of data and research on management and leadership development programs to develop their award-winning MX Manager tool, a content-full micro-learning platform that automates and delivers customized competency-based development to leaders. The customization might include everything from simply adjusting competency names to match the organization's nomenclature, to adding video content specific to the organization's processes and areas of focus. The individual programs are auto-populated with videos that range from competency content to interviews and even edutainment. Competency videos are focused on areas proven by research as necessary for leadership/management success. The interview videos range from NASA astronauts and professional sports coaches to functional business experts. Finally, MAG has capitalized on the new category of learning known as edutainment, where business and historical stories are leveraged in a fun and engaging manner to reinforce key leadership principles.

The content development is based on the research that indicates that more than 95 percent of all the thoughts, emotions, and learning occur before one is even aware of it. "This key aspect is invaluable in understanding how your audience will react to the information you are sharing and to adapt your delivery for maximum impact," says D'Amico. MX Manager leverages neuroscience to transform the messenger and the message by understanding the audience's motivations, obstacles, and perspective. "To our knowledge, we are the only ones with a platform for remote management development that is content-rich and based on research. Our clients told us over the years that there are tons of platforms to deliver management development, but none of them have content, so we worked to meet that need," he adds. MAG encourages clients to customize some of the content even within the platform. As a result, there is continuous content updating to suit the changing process dynamics, such as the current Pandemic situation. MAG's mission is to help companies create a sustainable competitive advantage by offering timely, customized training programs that address clients' changing needs. 

What's even more impressive are MAG's facilitators, who live, breathe, walk and talk with the leaders to understand their perspectives and challenges. It's the facilitators who engage leaders with real-life stories to help drive the message home and achieve actionable behavior changes for the participants. "The perfect combination of edutainment content and facilitators is what puts us miles ahead of our competitors," states Zaugg.  

The company's facilitators have provided over 231 webinars since the start of the pandemic and have mastered the participant webinar experience. This experience allows them to effectively close the actionable behavior change gap and accelerate management development. "You may never get to 100 percent of the synchronous (live) training experience, but I would say that our ability to master remote technologies will provide you with participant push that can reach 85 percent," explains Zaugg. He adds, "This is because coaching leadership is hugely important and can’t be done efficiently in an asynchronous-only manner, and our platform comes with content and the tools to leverage both synchronous and asynchronous training." Pull-through and reinforcement content is made available to the employees to refresh their learning any time after the live/synchronous sessions. This is another crucial differentiator for Matrix. Most of the company's competitors push their clients to have asynchronous-only training, missing the opportunity to utilize the valuable live sessions for key skill development, and asynchronous for reinforcement and lower level, but still critical, knowledge needs. Matrix’s programs and tools allow them to do this effortlessly.

Matrix has been instrumental in driving leadership success at some of the biggest brands globally, with 62 percent of the company's clients in the Fortune 500, and an additional 20 percent in the Fortune 1000. Due to its unique approach to building long-term relationships with the clients to deliver efficient management development programs, they have a 93 percent client retention rate.

In one customer engagement highlight, a client with a 26 percent turnover rate in their field salesforce approached Matrix for help. Knowing the healthy average turnover rate for that industry was around 14 percent, they worked with the company to address the management deficiencies impacting their turnover. The resulting turnover decrease from 26 percent to 14 percent saved the organization $280,000 per employee turnover by eliminating the need to hire and train new ones. "So, the saving was to the tune of millions of dollars," remarks Zaugg. 

Staying at the Competitive Edge of Management Development 

"We'll continue our tradition of innovation and of introducing new technology and programs every 18 months. This ensures we meet our customer needs and stay ahead of our competition," says Zaugg. Additionally, Matrix looks to help leaders make the transition from managing individuals to managing team collaboration. All research is showing that the marketplace is moving more towards team collaboration versus individual performers. As a result, leaders need to be more in tune with getting the most out of collaboration and then getting the most out of an individual. "And our programs will facilitate leaders to adapt to this trend and assist them in moving the needle on performance," concludes Zaugg.   

Listing Details: 

Company: Matrix Achievement Group

Headquarters: Germantown, TN


Management: Todd Zaugg, founder & CEO, and Pat D'Amico, Senior Performance Consultant

Description: A boutique, global multimillion-dollar management development firm.

Pull Quote1: “The modern manager must help their teams architect resilience and foster collaboration in order to compress the time to success,”

“We are the only ones with a platform for remote management development that is content-rich and based on research. Our clients told us over the years that there are tons of platforms to deliver management development, but none of them have content, so we worked to meet that need,"

"We are not a company that does one or two training sessions and leaves. Our partnership with clients is intentional and deeper. We understand what they are trying to accomplish, and we work together to provide a customized solution."


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