Operating as a high performance team is critical in many business situations. A team approach is beneficial if not critical in:
- Running an efficient business process since they are typically cross-functional
- Problem solving because that requires different perspectives to determine a root cause
- Executive levels to ensure an organization operates consistently focusing on the goals and objectives for the enterprise (and not on one function/division/executive’s interest)
While teambuilding typically brings to mind ropes courses and other games, we structure our teambuilding around solving common business issues as a collaborative, well-functioning team guided by our experienced facilitators and coaches.
We share two scenarios in which a client team needed to operate as a collaborative, cross-functional executive team.
A healthcare company had an executive team who were challenged with growth in a low margin business in an industry that was in a state of perpetual change. The CEO was quick to personal attacks and others followed that example. The choice for the executive team was to perpetuate or translate what the CEO was saying and stop the negative influence on rest of the organization. Our objective was to contain and explain how the CEO was operating. It was important that each executive understood their unique style and how to interact with the other team members. We used the Birkman as a behavior profile tool for increasing self-awareness. Once the executive team started dealing with each other as a colleague and team member, the growth issue was resolved with everyone contributing to understanding the cause of the situation and options to improve. The results were
- a more effective executive team who learned to communicate with themselves and their organization
- a growth plan that the team and ultimately the organization implemented
An aerospace organization was developing a strategic plan. However, one of their challenges was that there were many different disciplines which had to be involved from the organization itself and many of its contractor firms. The contractor firms had a coopetition situation, in which they competed on some contracts and partnered/cooperated on other contracts. The organization had to perform with zero tolerance for mistakes. They had to be a high performing team to perform their jobs. By all firms contributing to a jointly beneficial strategic plan, they reinforced the high-performing team mindset that had to exist to conduct their work.
The results were:
- a strategic plan that was approved by the aerospace organization and their contractors
- an implementation plan that was achieved by the joint organizations
- Team Consultant – Responsible for understanding the situation, defining a team building approach, executing that approach and refining it as the client team progresses
- Executive coach – Responsible to work with each executive and provide confidential, candid input as to observations and recommendations; also, to facilitate each team member receiving and hearing candid feedback from other team members