Our series continues with a post on Executive Coaching for teams . Something Impossible?
Enjoy The Inside View with Barry Pogorel
What happens after a merger takes place?
That’s when senior executives are left with the often daunting task of making the merger work in the real world, with real people.
This case study may surprise you as Barry’s executive coaching for teams set about creating a new context for formerly very competitive foes.
Post-merger, what these new teams faced: Something Impossible
Post-merger, the new company was disjointed. The newly formed executive teams in the various regions of the world were made up of executives who had previously been fierce competitors.
Overall, the company’s performance was impacted by all this and in a declined state.
I worked with one region of the world as a pilot to see if we could transform it into a high-performance team/culture in a short time frame and produce a breakthrough in results.
I began working the regions executive team in a “leadership intensive”: 5 days in one month, and 5 more days a month later. We began by creating a “safe space” in which people were encouraged to be candid. The president promised this.
We examined, person by person, their strengths and defenses: we looked at each person’s formulaic ways of winning—their personal strategies.
Then we looked at each of their typical responses to threats. After a while, everyone saw that underneath the variations, there was a kind of template—something very human and universal.
A note here: my work is not psychological—but rather ontological. That is, having to do with being (ontos in Greek means “being”). And there is a generalizable “being” of being a leader. A fundamental structure that has to do with certain habitual ways of thinking, communicating, relating, and acting, like a piece of software that reliably repeats itself.
Was is the real challenge in executive coaching for teams ? Could they let their guard down?
We went around the room, person by person, exploring her/his “ways of being.” It became apparent to everyone that, although they had different variations on the theme, there in fact was an underlying theme as to how they succeeded and how they responded to threat or danger that was universal.
Everyone increasingly let their guard down, as they saw the common humanity in the room.
The president proposed, in this new-found collegiality and partnership, that they take on something big together—something impossible: a breakthrough in market share throughout the entire region.
They asked if I would train the various local executive teams in the same material and get them all on board, which I did.
A Revolutionary Result:
In a year when the region was experiencing a recession, they produced a breakthrough in market share and surpassed every crucial financial measure.
The corporate president acknowledged them for not only their superb performance beyond any other region in the world, but also for having become a seamless team.
The executives not only made something that had seemed impossible happen, but also had real breakthroughs in their own development as leaders.
Your comments and questions are invited. about this post or any issues you’d like to see in the series.