This story is reproduced from Crain’s Detroit Business, published 26 September 216.
More than 200 AIG executives from around the globe are in Detroit Monday through Thursday to develop leadership skills and discuss where the company, which has a worldwide staff of 63,000, is headed.
"The meeting location — Detroit — was specifically selected because of the city's transformative journey," said Peter Hancock, president and CEO of AIG, in a statement. "There are many inspiring and surprising examples of visionary leadership in action in the city today, as people from all backgrounds and sectors come together to rebuild. We will have the opportunity to engage with leaders who exemplify Detroit's resilience, entrepreneurship and innovation as we reflect on our own journey at AIG to deliver on our promises."
The senior leadership offsite was developed in partnership with Leaders' Quest, a UK-based organisation that works with leaders across various sectors to bring together people from diverse backgrounds. Leaders' Quest has organised trips to Beijing, Silicon Valley and India. Last year, Leaders' Quest held AIG's leadership offsite in San Francisco.
"We connect people and places," said Lindsay Levin, founder and managing partner of Leaders' Quest. "We help people to think more boldly, think about their role in their world and what leadership is all about."
Over the past few months, Leaders' Quest employees have spent time in Detroit, meeting with representatives from large companies and nonprofits, as well as with entrepreneurs to develop a programme for AIG.
Levin said the programme is "deliberately contrasting" and includes 36 organisations, ranging from meetings with General Motors Co. and Shinola executives to visits to Ponyride, a creative incubator in Detroit's Corktown neighbourhood, and the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program, a nonprofit that offers children boxing classes and tutoring.
"In our experience, people learn more experiencing something different," Levin said.
The week also includes a visit by Mayor Mike Duggan and a dinner at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Leaders' Quest has been organising "quests" for the past 16 years; this is the first trip it has held in Detroit. It will host another trip to Detroit in November, when it will bring executives from Credit Agricole, a French bank, to the city.
Levin said there will be more trips to Detroit in 2017, because "we've been hugely welcomed, inspired and the story that's emerging (in Detroit) is a powerful one."