Team Development Case Study 1

team development case study graphic 1This team development engagement included Leadership Coaching with the President who was the founder and business owner of a recently acquired company. In addition to Executive Coaching engagements with the President and select team members, AJO was also asked to support the President in building a cohesive team of nine existing direct reports, while effectively integrating new team members into the operation. AJO congratulates this team for its remarkable commitment and accomplishment. 

Team Development Goals

  1. For the President to modify his leadership style to embrace differences between being an owner and a President of a division of a larger firm, without eliminating positive entrepreneurial qualities. 
  2. To build a cohesive, effective executive team focused on productivity. 
  3. To increase awareness and execution of the requirements of corporate citizenship.

Organizational Challenges

The President is a true entrepreneur with a fierce sense of ownership in the success of the business. The new corporate owner valued this commitment but required a different leadership style, including a keener sense of when and how to speak his mind and when to delegate to his qualified direct reports. A person of great accomplishment, it was important for the President to operate differently in this new environment.
 
Because several Executive Team members were newly appointed, they needed enculturation into the firm and an increased awareness of how best to work together. Each team member, no matter his/her tenure with the organization, had to fully understand the President’s expectations and to build trust with him and other Executive Team members. While they worked toward establishing trust, they had to create effective decision-making and governance processes essential to increased productivity.

Approach

  • Initial consultation with corporate CEO and VP of HR to establish goals and define expected outcomes.
  • Executive Coaching. Ongoing coaching with the President began by establishing an environment of respect for past achievements. Collaborating to list twenty differences between the roles of an owner/entrepreneur and a corporate division President. Continuing discussions addressed personal branding, establishing goals for his Executive Team, refining behaviors and evaluating progress. In addition, leadership coaching engagements commenced with other Executive Team members to refine leadership styles and work through personal challenges to success.
  • Two Executive Team offsite sessions. The objective of the first session was for team members to get to know one another. The assessment, 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team was used to enable team members to understand each person’s behavioral and decision-making style. The goal of the second session was to review progress to date and to work through pending issues. 
  • President Vision and Goals. In a personal presentation, the President shared his vision, his expectations and his goals for the firm, allowing all team members to understand their roles and to be in alignment with their leader with respect to culture, behaviors, and productivity.
  • Action Learning. Using an Action Learning format, the Executive Team established the framework for their business rhythm and governance processes. This included budgeting, strategic planning, regular people review and monthly meetings to focus on the business results/dashboard. This was to be facilitated eventually by the Head of Human Resources.

Outcomes

  • Improved Team Meetings. More productive Executive Team meetings focusing on issues at hand. No meetings for the sake of meetings.
  • President Leadership Growth. The President exhibited growth as a leader, delegating more readily when he is confident that his Executives will perform well. The President has elected to continue Executive Coaching for another 6-month engagement with a focus on cementing behavioral changes, assisting with personnel decision-making, and refining the composition of the Executive Team. Furthermore, the Corporate CEO and HR leader recognized and commended the visible progress toward achievement of coaching goals.
  • Executive Team Growth. The Executive Team built trust, increased collaboration, and established clear operating principles and processes.
  • Business Growth. The business grew 20% via increased productivity and through strategic acquisitions during the year of the AJO engagement.