Aligning Business Strategy and Team Performance - Case Study
The Business Need
In Vubiquity, a global media and entertainment company in the UK, the management team and the company structure had changed considerably and there was opportunity to strengthen the leadership team performance. The team needed to have a shared understanding of the International business goals and priorities in order to move from matrix-working, to have stronger bonds and a new story. They needed to bond as a team, which created a reason to have a ‘Primary Team’, which wasn’t needed when they worked as a matrix.
Why did they approach ndc?
The management team wanted to hold an off-site as a first step towards building a clear, compelling strategy and to become a high performing team, exemplifying desired behaviours through the business. Then a second offsite retreat, in order to focus on turning ‘Strategy into Action’.
The objectives of the first retreat were:
- To have fun together as a team whilst bringing personal and interpersonal awareness of how mind-sets and behaviours impact their performance
- To have robust and engaged conversations
- To begin defining a strategy for the business that they could all align with
- To engender trust and safety as a group
- To establish behavioural standards consistent with a high-performing team
The ndc Approach
We gained a comprehensive understanding from the Director of HR and the MD of their needs and what they hoped as an outcome.
Our suggestion was to create shared mindsets and standards which reflect the patterns of behaviour consistent with high performing teams. We proposed that we design their executive ‘retreat’ in a way that would create the time and space necessary to reflect as a leadership team whilst stimulating open and frank discussion. We began with dinner the night before to ease into the retreat.
Pre-work to get a shared understanding
We used Lencioni’s team development process examining the ‘five dysfunctions of teams’ as a framework to uncover the critical elements to focus on for team performance. .
Each participant received a 37-page highly personalised report with individual feedback, tips and strategies for improving teamwork effectiveness and an opportunity for building an action plan.
First Retreat – ‘Time to Reflect’
- We used a simulation exercise that helped immerse the team members in their ‘normal’ ways of working, in order to raise awareness of patterns of behaviours and productive working.
- To help the team give feedback openly to each other, we introduced broad classifications of behaviours and mindsets as Constructive, Aggressive or Passive.
- Each delegate provided a self-assessment of their behaviour in the group simulation against this framework.
- They each developed a personal plan to increase constructive behaviours to promote a culture of accountability and empowerment.
Second Retreat – ‘Strategy into Action’
- We introduced the team to a simple technique to identify what is the important truth they need to express. This approach made for a faster more honest and effective conversation than would otherwise occur.
- We concentrated on helping the group to get clear on what their personal challenges for decision making, prioritising, communicating, what to say no to etc.
- This created a strong agreement about ‘How’ they would deliver the strategy together and so that every employee receives continual, consistent messages (spoken and unspoken) that motivates and aligns them.
- Increased trust and understanding of each other to support the strategic direction of the company
- A clearer understanding of their respective roles in the business
- Enhanced depth of communication between and among team members leading to enhanced mutual support
- A shared language identifying the behaviors of high-performing teams
- Highlighting of hidden strengths and expertise
- Greater comfort in maintaining depth of honesty, transparency and holding