Client Projects: The Situation, Opportunity, and Outcomes
National Health Care Organization HR Team

Situation:  A geographically dispersed HR team hired a new leader from outside the organization and doubled the size of its staff. Half of the team had been in place for 10 or more years and half were new to the organization. The new leader’s communication style was different from what the veterans on the team had been used to, creating some trust issues. One of the longer term team members had taken actions related to the decrease in trust that led to their termination for cause. A few of the new team members had viewed this person as a mentor and were shaken by the sudden change. 

Opportunity: I was brought in to design and steward a “first ever” face to face team meeting at their corporate headquarters with the goal of processing in open discussion the recent changes, laying a foundation for building trust and candor and clarify all team member needs around communication and decision making.

Outcome: The work required a particular challenge in creating a safe “container” for a group of people who had never all been in the same room together, to openly discuss their feelings and concerns regarding the abrupt departure of a colleague and their own relationships.  Additionally, the team had a need to establish shared norms and develop a process for governance, communication, and shared goals.  Everyone in the group was able to candidly express their thoughts and feelings and the impact of the changes on themselves. They were also very respectfully direct with their leadership about their needs and changes they would like to see in the way the team managed their ways of working. Several changes were collaboratively developed before the end of the meeting and a commitment was made for a 4 month follow up to review the impact of these changes and to address issues that required more work before a solution was developed.   

Multi-National Consumer Products Business

Situation: Following a major market and business strategy review by McKinsey, a multi-national consumer products business was advised to restructure and refocus one of their national businesses. In addition, all of the 5 leadership team members were replaced – one from another national market and the others locally from outside the organization. The business had just had its worst results in 5 years and was losing middle-level talent quickly. There was an urgent need to integrate new leaders, right the ship, establish stability and achieve results well above their recent track record.

 

Opportunity/Action: The organization asked me to establish and lead a change management workstream within the larger transformation effort. The primary deliverables included:  

  1. An ongoing communication and engagement strategy

  2. New leader onboarding  

  3. Sales, Marketing and Operation team quick starts

  4. The launch and re-charter of the Executive Leadership Team

  5. Universally understood “ways of working” across the organization

 

Outcomes: Within 4 months all leaders were on-boarded, teams launched, structural changes implemented and new ways of working established. The client exceeded goals for the year and has continued to exceed goals every year for the last 5.  

VP of Operations, Fortune 500 Manufacturer

Situation: The manufacturer's regional VP of operations had moved rapidly up from an individual contributor role and struggled to make an impact at the Sr. Leadership Team level. He was losing the Regional President’s confidence.  

The VP was unable or unwilling to look beyond operations to a bigger picture of the business and was too deferential to the President during meetings when expected to have strong opinions. Our 6-month engagement with VP would make or break the VP’s future with the organization.

 

Opportunity/Action: Over the course of 6 months we explored the VP’s self-perception, understanding of this new role, and how the VP imagined role performance as well as leadership participation. We focused on the impact of the rapid rise in responsibility and internal effectiveness and readiness beliefs. We helped the VP integrate values such as “success through others” and owning their own “power.”

 

Outcome: 18 months later the regional VP was promoted into the largest and most critical regional VP of operations role in the company and identified as a potential successor to the SVP of operations for the corporation. 

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