During the middle of last year we were approached by a well established engineering company to help with the performance of their organisation. The business had some ambitious objectives such as entering new markets and diversifying their product range.
The CEO had been brought in to drive this change, having a terrific track record of achievement from adjacent markets. More than that, he had a real determination to build his senior team from the bottom up. He wanted our help to create a common language and set of behaviours that would contribute to the overall business objectives.
Our work started with some very simple behavioural profiling, that gave each person perspectives on themselves, as seen by others. This looked at their strengths, and also highlighted their blind-spots, those facets of their behaviour they were unaware of.
What this created was a dialogue between team members. It changed the dynamic because it gave the permission to provide formative feedback to every member of the team. Dialogues such as “you’re powerful when you…” and “it’s not so helpful when you…” drove a fundamental change in the way the team operated.
By looking at behaviours we changed behaviours!
The second piece of work looked at the behaviour of high performing teams, introducing five focal areas that teams need to obsess about. This all starts with TRUST, so the open dialogue had been a starting point and subsequent workshop activities deepened that understanding and uncovered a few vulnerabilities.
It’s hard to trust someone who won’t open up, so facilitated conversation encouraged each person to share their vulnerabilities, and as soon as guards were dropped the trust soared.
The final piece of the jigsaw was a strategy workshop to create real clarity around the what and how! Using our nine-step strategy model, we drove them to key decisions in three days.
The killer piece is the translation between business theory and jargon, which is the actionable part of strategy development that our nine-step model allows. We’ve done the translating, gathered the best ideas and formulated them in a way that non-strategists can use.
If business success is ten percent inspiration and ninety percent perspiration then our inspiration has paid dividends in measurable results. The renewed energy, focus and commitment has driven an improvement in overall business performance, and ambitious targets are being exceeded.
In reality there’s nothing spectacularly clever about what we did but like all things, it’s about knowing what to do and in what order. Through our focus on self, team, strategy and then implementation we helped deliver strategic clarity and from that operational excellence became inevitable!