Leadership Program at a Multinational Food Company
Situation: We were called in to help a board team and the large group of managers who were working directly with them. The two groups were having issues in clarity of the responsibility, communication, entrepreneurial-ship, and the development of leadership skills. Also there was fear in the organization which limited open communication.
Actions: As a start we executed interview sessions with the members of the board to find out where they believed the most critical points in the organization were. We conducted these interviews by following the principles of The Balancing Act; this approach helped us quickly identify the most important needs in development of the board team itself and the need for leadership development of the management group.
In a one and half year period we worked with both groups. Our approach included individual coaching, team and consultancy sessions. Starting point for each person was to find out where they contributed to the existing problems and why nothing had changed so far.
With the members of the management group we delivered a pragmatic leadership program that especially focused on their personal leadership strengths. Here we made use of the Leadership Balance Profiles, which we continued to discuss in one-on-one coaching sessions throughout the year.
The mix of practical dialogue sessions with leadership skills training, group discussions, and teambuilding events and the use of a buddy system made this program a very challenging and transformative one.
The 3 day team event on the Island of Vlieland was a particular breakthrough for the whole group, in part because it helped them to get to really know each other and improve their working relationships. During this event the group was able to physically experience the different energies of the Elements of Success; in turn, this gave the members of the group in-depth insights about how they operated in the context of the team.
Results: There were many different and lasting results from the program:
For the board of directors there was more clarity in their own performance and a realization that they had been delegating too much responsibility to their managers. They also made significant improvements in personal leadership strengths and business skills. As a result of this intervention, there were also changes in the staffing of the board team.
The large group of managers made significant improvement on their leadership strengths. Overall, they were gained 2 points on the leadership profile scales. They also discovered that a team of 18 people never can be a real team, so they created more practical ways to work together; they also drew on their leadership strengths and entrepreneurial-ship to make things happen.
The biggest, sustainable improvement was made on their personal strength; that is, they reduced the amount of fear in the group, which lead to more confidence and willingness to take risks and speak openly about issues with the board, their management colleagues and their employees.