Case Study #1: The newly formed senior leadership team
A newly formed senior leadership team was created inside of a Fortune 6 company. As a result of a recent re-organization, 5 senior leaders inside of a large reporting and analytics organization were re-aligned under a new leader spanning a broad set of functions including business development, complex project management, new client implementation, and financial planning and analysis. Not only were the functions broad, but the team was entirely remote with all of the employees working from home across the country and the senior leaders did not have a lot of experience working with one another previously with one senior leader being new to the organization. This led to an executive challenge.
In the months following the re-organization, the Senior Vice President of the organization realized in monthly business reviews that the leaders were presenting 5 different presentations on their individual organizations and were not cohesive. He challenged the senior leaders to start sounding like one team rather than five and they needed to accomplish this ahead of their presentation of their annual strategic plan. The senior leadership team decided host a strategy retreat in Los Angeles in order to bring them together and craft a strategy for the newly aligned organization and one that has one voice.
Our consultants were engaged to facilitate the development of a strategic plan focused on supporting the enterprise goals of growth and quality. While our consultants could have simply facilitated a strategic planning retreat and check off all of the normal boxes needed to craft an effective strategy, we realized this team would not be successful unless they could solve for the key challenge presented to them which was to become a cohesive team of leaders. Without being successful on that front, any strategy developed would likely not be executed effectively. As part of the retreat, our team started our first day conducting a session using Everything DiSC® Management, a behavioral assessment to help the leaders understand their own behavioral styles and that of their colleagues. To add to this, prior to the session, our team prepared folders with the results of each leaders assessments which included a 28-page report, as well as individualized comparisons of each senior leader which provided them with tips and insights into how they can each work with one another effectively given their different styles.
Leveraging the power of Everything DiSC® unlocked the insights needed for this team to learn how to be effective as one team and how to lead forward. The leader of the financial planning and analysis team had previously not understood how the work of her team could possibly align to the rest of the groups but stated that DiSC® helped her to see that and how she can add value to rest of the organization. The remaining 2 1/2 days of the retreat led to the development of a comprehensive strategic plan which was presented back to the Senior Vice President with impressive feedback – so much so that it was forwarded to the Executive Vice President as a model to use in other areas.
The Take-Away: Our consultants don’t just take the order of our clients. In this case, we recognized that for a strategy to be executed effectively, you need leaders and a cohesive team that is able to collaborate and work together effectively. To create an effective strategy, you don’t just need to know the end in mind, but you have to know where to start.