Case Study: Aligning an Executive Leadership Team

How can we create a safe environment for a leadership team that enables them to address challenges, align on solutions, and enjoy working together?    

At a Glance 

Financial Services Company

Align executive leadership team and ensure effective operations

Team Facilitation

The Opportunity 

A newly formed executive leadership team was struggling with communication, decision-making, and effective operations. The team recognized they needed outside facilitation to address their challenges, learn about each other’s work styles and expectations, and create solutions together. The situation and team dynamics needed to be handled with respect and grace in order to bring everyone to the table, build trust, and align on solutions. 

The team needed to address their challenges, learn about work styles and expectations, and create solutions together.

The Solution 

The anchor to the solution was a facilitated offsite to help the team align and operate more effectively together. Prior to the offsite, we interviewed each member of the executive team separately about company priorities, team strengths, opportunities for team improvement, challenges they faced in their role, and opportunities for the team to better support them. We also provided each team member with work style assessments to complete. 

The offsite was structured to create a safe space for the team to have productive and real conversations, better understand each other’s strengths, perspectives, and work styles, and align on strategies to work more effectively together. We shared high level themes from the interviews to show areas of alignment and common perspectives on areas for improvement. We facilitated discussions and shared the results of the style assessments to get to know each other better, understand what drives us, and how we prefer to work. We also facilitated discussion around communication norms, meeting structure and norms, and decision-making processes.  

We documented the decisions and commitments made by the team throughout the offsite. This resulted in a short set of Team Commitments for the group to follow and to support accountability. We also refreshed the team meeting and decision-making structure, communication norms (including email/messaging and meetings), and process for airing concerns and resolving conflicts. 

The Impact

The team walked away with a documented set of shared norms, more understanding and trust among the team to enable productive disagreement and faster decision-making, and practical tools and next steps for reinforcing effective team operations. The team implemented changes following the offsite that enabled the company to continue to grow its reach and impact. 

“This was very helpful for moving us forward.”

– Executive Team Member at Client Organization