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CEB Insight Generation Case Competition 2016: Preliminary Case Proposal Round

Case Background, Deliverable Details, and Submission Timelines

You are a consultant on a CEB research team whose clients are CEOs and Function Heads at
Fortune 500 firms. Your clients are concerned about their ability to compete in a tepid and
uncertain economic environment, while operating under significant cost pressures. They know
they need to increase employee productivity to achieve their business objectives but dont
know how to do so in todays new work environment.

These organizations have traditionally driven productivity improvements by automating or

simplifying work processes to help employees increase their output while driving down costs.
They incentivize employees to work as hard as possible, and reward them for the quality and
quantity of their output. These firms invest significantly in attracting and developing employees
with strong technical skills and depend on line managers to motivate and drive employee

Increasingly, however, employees in these organizations find that their ability to do their work
well depends not only on their managers but also on their co-workers. After years of cutting
out layers of management, the typical manager has 50% more direct reports than just 5 years
ago and is able to provide only limited attention to each employee. This structural change
coupled with evolving job responsibilities means that employees have to increasingly interact
with more co-workers and with individuals outside of their immediate teams. Fortunately, the
proliferation of social networking tools in the workplace has enabled employees to collaborate
and exchange ideas more than ever before.


Shift toward greater team-based work structures and matrixed working relationships,

Shifts in the amount and type of knowledge and information employees must use,

Changes in the skills and behaviors of the highest performing employees, and

Changes in technology that enable greater collaboration in the workplace.


You are working on an initial case proposal for your client. The success of this proposal depends
on your ability to demonstrate a keen understanding of your clients problem(s), uncover its
likely root cause(s), and present your solution hypothesis(s) supported by observations from
other organizations. Your case proposal should address your clients key questions listed below.

How enduring are these changes in the work? And, which of these trends are most likely to
significantly impact how employees do their jobs?

Of these changes, what are the top three you believe merit an immediate response, and

In your opinion, what should companies do to ensure they meet business goals despite the
challenges posed by the new workflow dynamics?

Participating teams must furnish a MS PowerPoint presentation detailing their findings. The
presentation should not exceed 10 slides, and include a 1-slide executive summary. All entries
will be evaluated by CEB on the basis of the judging criteria listed in the rules & regulations
Team captains must email their final presentations to
along with a signed copy of the rules & regulations sheet, latest by 11:59 pm, Sunday, 21
August 2016, with the subject line <Campus Name>:<Team Name>: Preliminary Case

CEB will NOT consider any presentations submitted after the deadline.

More information will be sent to participants as the competition progresses. For any questions
in the interim, please e-mail us at, with the subject line
<Campus Name>: <Team Name>: Preliminary Case Proposal Question.