The Engagement

AETHOS Consulting GroupTM specialises in talent and performance management advisory work across all levels of an organisation in order to help clients achieve sustainable alignment between its people practices and business practices.  This goal is especially critical for companies in start-up, turn-around or growth phases. In this instance, we were retained to impact a business that was facing all three phases.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE,OSE: RCL) is the world’s second largest cruise company and also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Dubai, Europe and South America. It is one of the few hospitality companies that incorporates all industry sectors including hotel, restaurant, gaming, travel and tourism and entertainment. The company owns six brands, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises and CDF Croisières de France, as well as TUI Cruises through a 50 percent joint venture. Together, these brands operate a combined total of 41 ships globally with a selection of itineraries that call on approximately 455 destinations worldwide.

Our task was to support our client, Royal Caribbean International, as it was fast growing to become of the companies leading revenue generators and a key component of the company’s corporate growth strategy.  AETHOSTM support was multi-level and multi-faceted – involving global interventions at individual, team and divisional levels.

The Outcome

The SVP responsible for the growth and success of Royal Caribbean International had leadership challenges due to many factors like quickly shifting personal and professional priorities, working style, constant travel to maintain a presence in the different regions, and splitting administrative time between the domestic corporate offices and the UK-based business headquarters. Compounding these issues was the fact that this was a new division for the company and each global region was operating in start-up mode. The SVP’s leadership challenges produced inconsistent support, and hence growth and profitability, across the global regions. We provided advisory services on many levels. For instance, based on competency testing and an in-depth 360-degree feedback, we provided ongoing leadership coaching to help the SVP clarify the personal and business priorities.

This had the impact of improving the SVP’s time management, emotional intelligence, professional relationships and the overall strategic vision. Changes in some of the reporting structures of the international team were subsequently made to reinforce time management and allow the SVP to focus best on the business priorities. The managers now reporting directly or indirectly to the SVP were also assessed on their performance and competency sets so as to provide additional clarity on the support individual managers and regions specifically needed from the SVP.  The process also contributed to important team-building among the regional managers, who now routinely leveraged peer feedback as part of their ongoing support and professional development resources.

The interventions helped support Royal Caribbean International as it stabilized and became profitable during its start-up phase and consequently became a major driver of the broader corporate growth plans. That growth and market presence continue to this day. In fact, the SVP has since received two major promotions due to the collective success of the business in the face of significant leadership and market challenges.