Case Study – Cigna

case study - cigna

Healthy & Grounded and Healthy & Conscious at the center of Cigna’s New Leadership Model

The Challenge

Cigna is a global health company dedicated to providing health care services and solutions. With 74,000 employees and 2021 revenues of $174B, their mission is to improve the health, well-being, and peace of mind of those they serve.

As with most companies today, Cigna has gone through tremendous change, even before the pandemic began and before their merger with Express Scripts in 2018. After the merger, their highly engaged and committed workforce was intact but their leaders knew they needed to rethink their business models and the leadership capabilities required to sustain the company’s success.

Key goals included:

  • Developing leaders who are agile in the face of change – Healthy & Grounded and Healthy & Conscious leaders – to navigate and lead the organization
  • making change agility a core Cigna leadership capability
  • Advancing a ‘Whole Person Health Strategy’ for its 8000 leaders to achieve better health, greater resiliency, and higher productivity. 

Cigna was looking for a partner to help develop these leadership capabilities to fulfill the company’s mission. Out of 21 potential vendors, Cigna chose Healthy Companies as their long-term partner. Cigna’s leadership efforts have historically focused on leadership competencies alone – actions and behaviors. The Company believed there was a missing link in their leadership model – and the Healthy Companies’ Grounded and Conscious capabilities filled this void. 

The Solution

Healthy Companies  collaborated with the Cigna team to provide more than a “programmatic” experience as a learning  ecosystem that offers leaders the opportunities to engage with Healthy & Grounded and Healthy & Conscious content, experiences, and practical application.    

Cigna rolled out the first of a series of Virtual Instructor-led Healthy & Grounded and Healthy & Conscious sessions in 2021 as part of their new Leading With Excellence program for leaders across the company. In using the VILT approach they were able to deliver a high impact leadership experience despite the constraints of COVID and social distancing. It has recently expanded its offering with different solutions, in different formats, including online, digital learning modules incorporating our award-winning Healthy Leader portal, for different populations to maximize impact and drive sustainable behavior change at all levels.


Over 100 leaders participated in the Healthy & Grounded and Healthy & Conscious Essentials program in 2020 and 2021. 

Comments from participating leaders included:

  • “I’ve been at Cigna for 20 years and have been through numerous management/leadership trainings. This by far is the most encouraging and hope this reflects Cigna’s direction.”
  • “The course was fantastic and I’m hopeful this will continue to be rolled out across the company.”
  • “The experience was most valuable because not only did it focus on improving my leadership skills, but it also helped me on a personal level.”
  • “I am a new people leader and can utilize a lot of the tools that were discussed to be a more effective leader.”

Building on its success, the company is expanding the Grounded and Conscious program for access by leaders at all levels in 2023 and beyond.


“Healthy Companies’ approach to change leadership and change agility was different from the other vendors. It was clear our philosophies were aligned. At the core of Cigna’s success is our ‘Whole Person Health’ strategy, inside and outside the company. Health must be our organizing theme for developing healthy leaders, people and teams.”

Hollie Ward, Vice President, Talent Development, Cigna