How newly merged senior leaders moved toward trust, teamwork, and collaboration.
Rick, the CEO of a biotechnology firm that was growing through acquisition, was frustrated as he failed to get the “horsepower” out of his leadership team. The team hailed from different companies and were experiencing a “tower of Babel” syndrome: poor integration due to different ages and generations, differing levels of experience, and multiple cultures of origin. While the executives articulated a coherent strategy, the disparate leaders were inconsistent in interpretation and execution.
Rick wanted to improve three aspects of leadership impact: collaboration, culture and consistency. Collaboration was the backbone of maximizing the investment in acquisition. Culture issues overshadowed the strategy (“This is how I did it at my old company,” was far too common a refrain). The firm was lacking consistency as the leaders reinvented ways and means to accomplish goals. People, processes and profits were being pursued in different ways at different divisions. The cumulative impact was inefficiency in the best cases and out-and-out disruptions in the worst cases.
We recognized that a onetime event and individual executive coaching weren’t sufficient. The fastest and most impactful forward step was the Team Genius ™ – a facilitated leader-to-leader team coaching process. This process provides a pathway to establish an efficient, pragmatic and impactful ongoing leadership dialogue.
25 leaders were divided into two groups, each facilitated by a Sagatica Coach for two hours per month over 12 months. Sessions focused on real-world, real-time issues and opportunities. We identified priorities for each meeting, and engaged in real-time agendas that provided insights, problem solving, team building dynamics, and strategic thinking.
Our skilled Sagatica Coaches ensured active participation by all leaders in the conversation. This created cross dialogue and directed the team wisdom toward the desired outcomes. The Coaches also successfully managed the process of maximizing input and learning while minimizing dominance by strong characters or outspoken leaders.
Results and Value
After some jockeying for position and getting accustomed to working together, the teams fell into a pattern of integration. Specifically, they accelerated results by correcting cohesion, collaboration and communication.
- Cohesion: after months of working together to solve problems and understand one another, the leadership team emerged as an intact trusting collective.
- Collaboration: leaders across the organization recognized one another’s strengths and contributions and naturally gravitated toward the resources they needed from one another.
- Communication: the left-hand finally found out what the right hand was doing! As leaders were communicating, departments became aligned and client messaging became consistent and reliable.
- Results: the organization improved its efficiency, reduced its operating costs and increased revenues by 35% over the course of that year.
This leadership team overcame the “tower of Babel” syndrome and clutched success out of the hands of chaos.