Case History: Team Building for an Organizational Change Effort

ISSUE:

The division is undergoing a mandatory restructuring and decentralization, anticipating personnel growth of ten-fold in the next 12-18 months. The senior team wants to meet the challenge by laying a solid foundation of principles which will guide them in working together during this period of rapid and dramatic changes. The senior executive of the organization wants to self-assess his skill-set for the leadership tasks ahead.

INDUSTRY:

Information Technology, Federal Government

SIZE:

Senior Management Team for Telecommunications Division

CLIENT:

Five Senior Managers and Nine Direct Reports

SOLUTION:

In conjunction with the client, a series of steps were designed to analyze the individual players and their respective roles in the existing and desired organizational structures. The first effort was to guide the leader and the team through a three-day, remote-site exercise that would result in a set of operating principles by which the organization and its people would undertake the change process.

Demographic data along with background information and a questionnaire informed the design of a series of team-building, immediate feedback, and trust-building exercises. The three-day working sessions were built on small group work, and reviewed in a facilitated plenary session. Two coach-facilitators, a woman and a man led separate portions of the group work. After completing a full day of team building exercises, the next two days were filled with intensive “outcome” oriented processes. A healthy set of operating principles resulted from the exercise.

Two week after the off site working sessions, interviews were held with three people whom the senior executive identified as “believer, neutral, and non-believer” regarding the implementation of the change process to be guided by the operating principles developed and unanimously adopted by the senior management team.

RESULTS:

The coaching assistance to the senior executive was fruitful and reassuring in that the skill-set that included leadership, loyalty, vision, communication, and dedication, were self-assessed and group assessed with high marks. The senior management team ended the three-day working sessions with a renewed sense that they “are a team, and we can do this together”. A well conceived and unanimously adopted set of operating principles will serve as a guide to all of the division’s employees as they carry out their responsibilities, whether serving customers, developing internal relationships, or engaging in problem solving. Clearly understood action items were assigned to each member of the senior management team, and a “process-overseer” was identified by the senior executive to hold each member accountable. At the conclusion of the three-month process, the levels of cooperation and optimism had never been higher.