Study #1 Developing Managers for Fast-Track Productivity
Study #2 Creating Team Culture
in a Manufacturing Plant
Study #3 Tackling Globalization Issues with a
Fortune 100 Company
Case Study #4 Establishing Integration
and Trust with a Merger Team
Managers for Fast-Track Productivity
part of the never-ending quest to increase speed to market, the
senior management of a Fortune 500 corporation (50,000 employees,
gross annual revenues of several billion dollars) turned their attention
to their data management department...
department of 125 people (ranging from data entry personnel to statisticians)
maintained important contact with the governmental regulatory agencies
and had every research activity of the entire company passing through
their hands at some point in time. Senior management believed that
increasing the productivity of this department would have a major
positive impact on speed to market and the company's future success.
made the decision to focus on the professional development of the 25 managers
within the department. Most of these managers had been promoted
based on their technical excellence; few had training as managers
company wanted to create a fast-track development plan for the 25 managers
that was aligned with the management
philosophy of the company. To accomplish this, the company decided to bring in external
expertise, and the contract was awarded to CPD. The
company also placed priority on utilizing in-house organization
development resources where available, partly
for the cost savings, and partly to assure continuity between the
work in this particular department and the larger effort to build
an efficient corporate culture, so they asked CPD to partner with
suggested a three-phase plan.
Phase I — Needs Assessment
were three components to the needs assessment.
As part of the first component, we
held meetings and interviews with senior management to determine
key issues and priorities for the data management department and its
managers. We also used the interviews to define the evidence procedures
for evaluating whether managers were appropriately developed and
the department was functioning efficiently internally and with key
stakeholders. Also, we spent this time identifying 'key stakeholders'
who would be a part of a broader needs assessment process.
The second component was a comprehensive needs assessment with the
key stakeholders. We developed a questionnaire and conducted personal
interviews to gather further information on key issues, priorities,
potential solutions, and measurement of results.
third component was the design and implementation of a 360°
multi-rater for the 25 managers. CPD designed a 52-item leadership
and management multi-rater based on the input from the previous
interviews and responses from the questionnaire. This multi-rater covered the following
- Goals and
52 items and seven business areas formed the metrics used to monitor
and determine the effectiveness of the project.
phase of the management development process focused on getting procedures
and mechanisms in place to facilitate the management of a tough
workload successfully. Together, the company and we identified and
the skills needed for creating and managing
those procedures. We identified the following skills development
- Project management
and objectives setting
operating procedures alignment
- Time management
- Team building
III —The third phase involved ongoing checks on the
development process and coaching of the managers. We used feedback
in this phase both
to guide the individual managers as well as to adjust the three-year
plan as it evolved to ensure that the managers developed the
skills. We identified a second tier of skills for managers to develop
if there was time. These skills included:
- Stress management
resolution (specifically regarding dealing with
was planned as a three-year project. The project team established metrics to monitor progress on
six-month intervals. By the end of the second year, the project
that all of the goals and objectives had been met. The project was
completed in a shorter time period than anticipated and had cost
the company a 25% less than originally
budgeted. Furthermore, during a major initiative implemented by
the company a year later, this department ranked among the highest
in the company in implementation of the speed to market change effort.
Five years later, this department continues to meet its targets
in a timely fashion, and its managers receive high marks on their
in-house management and leadership 360° valuations.
Team Culture in a Manufacturing Plant
HR department of a manufacturing plant was struggling with a persistent
set of complaints. The facility employed 1200 people and annually
produced over a billion dollars of product. The plant was well-known
for being "like a family" and for fostering open, friendly
working relationships among the staff...
the inconsistent management styles of different groups within the
plant had led to mismatched expectations and
miscommunications between these different groups. There was a sense
that the culture of friendliness did not support effective teamwork
because staff were more inclined to be "nice" to each
other than to make hard decisions or hold each other accountable. Various
members of the HR team had tried to influence the plant manager
to resolve these issues, but had not yet been successful.
Director of HR asked for our assistance in influencing the plant manager
and his leadership team to address these issues and achieve two
Create and present a vision for the plant that would
give the staff a unified sense of the plant's direction and priorities
the teamwork of the leadership team itself
was expected that these two outcomes a specific vision and
teamwork behavior modeled by the leadership team would have
a significant effect on the culture of the plant as a whole, setting
the foundations for mutual accountability and a clearer sense of
After meeting with the Director of HR, CPD ascertained that the first
step was to gain the full buy-in of the plant manager.
CPD suggested carrying out an Organizational Survey to collect information
that might corroborate or further elucidate the suggestions the
HR representatives were making. The plant manager supported this
study and agreed to review the results as a guide to possible actions.
CPD interviewed the entire leadership team and a sample of other
managers from throughout the plant. The interviews not only
corroborated the conclusions that HR had been making, but also made
a compelling case for change.
survey results convinced the plant manager that it was time to
act on the suggestions of the HR director and take the team off-site
to work on these leadership issues.
facilitated a TeamWorkAbility session for the leadership team
in which we presented to them the aggregate feedback of the
Organizational Survey. They were
shocked, and somewhat embarrassed, to hear these perceptions about
their performance as a team. As part of the TeamWorkAbility
session, we also facilitated a process in which the team members
gave honest feedback to each other, and many members of the team were again
very surprised to learn of how they were perceived. The team used
the discomfort from these new learnings to motivate themselves to
create a new level of teamwork and leadership together. They used
the tools that CPD provided to them over the remainder of the four-day session to build the following:
- A new definition
of their team
- A new set
of operating agreements
- A new level
of commitment to each other's success
Back at the plant, there was uniform feedback that something
significant had changed. Staff noticed that the leadership team
actually began to act as a team, that decisions that were
formerly made by one of the directors without input from the others were now made as a
team, taking into account each other's different interests. There
was a noticeable commitment to ongoing improvement as well. The
team made a commitment to regular follow-up sessions to hold themselves
accountable for their new ways of working and shared publicly that
they were doing so.
one off-site couldn't solve all the problems, but there
was a universal sense that a key foundation was laid in place for
clarifying the direction and culture of the facility, and a long-term action plan was created for spreading the new ways of working
and communicating throughout the plant.
Globalization Issues with a Fortune 100 Company
IT division of a Fortune 100 corporation had created a very aggressive
schedule for replacing its regional structure with a centralized
organization globalizing both services and infrastructure.
The challenge for the management team was to deliver an improved
and more sophisticated service to the business while not relaxing
any of the organization's current objectives...
This organizational restructuring was to occur during a business cycle that required a reduction
of costs not only in the long-term, but in the short-term as well.
The management team's
solution was to adopt a matrix management structure in which teams
would cross functional and geographical lines.
new structure required radically different individual and team behaviors
within the 1200 person organization, and yet the reorganization had
to be accomplished immediately and fit within shrinking budgets.
This placed huge demands on both HR to design and implement
a flawless process for guiding the entire organization through the
change and on the IT managers — to achieve and model personal
change immediately and effectively. CPD had worked closely with
this HR-IT team before, and they turned to us for support in this
outcomes for the organization were very clear. Within a year they
- Have the
new organization functioning effectively within its new structure
- Deliver on
its already promised deliverables and cut costs.
The HR department was going to be very busy carrying out the
reorganization, and they asked us to be responsible for carrying
out the paradigm shift. Specifically, we targeted the top three
levels of management within the organization 70 people in
all. The objective was to have every member of this group aligned
with the new direction and exhibiting the new attitudes and behaviors
required to operate effectively in the new environment.
size, complexity, and short timeframe of this project required us to shed the
framework of an external consultancy. We joined HR as full team partners
in a matrixed project team that shared decision making and all relevant
information. This required us to live and practice the same type
of paradigm shift we were asking of the IT department itself.
The members of the combined CPD-HR team co-wrote the
project plan and assigned parallel project managers within the organization and within CPD. Ten CPD consultants
served on the project with well-defined roles. The project was composed
of several phases and concurrent streams, but the principle mechanism
for achieving the desired results was the assignment of CPD
coaches to each of the organization's division leaders.
division leader worked with their CPD coach to develop a planned
program of intentional change for their division leadership teams
within the framework of the larger team. Each coach supported both
the division leader and his or her whole team in bringing the different divisions together within
the new matrix.
designed and delivered trainings to address the particular areas
the group needed to succeed within the new matrix as well as helped
guide the individual members through trainings already available through
their HR department.
the end of the year, the organization's vice president deemed the project a complete success.
The IT group achieved their strategic
deliverables, met their goal of reducing overall costs while increasing
service volumes, and had the new organization up and running effectively
within the scope of that first year. Our partnership with the
HR team was so successful, that they asked us to stay on as virtual
members of their team for the following year.
and Trust with a Merger Team
Two international pharmaceutical companies had announced a merger. In addition to the cost savings that the merger promised to generate, senior management was intent on delivering a strong, team-oriented culture, and they wanted this culture to take root immediately, knowing that the typical expectation would be a couple years of “storming” before teams from the separate companies fully integrated. To support this objective, they created a team of managers, The People Team, from across the two heritage companies to strategize and implement an approach for quickly defining and growing this new, integrated culture. They also set aside a significant budget for the ongoing implementation of the new company culture.
THE DESIRED OUTCOME
It was clear that for the company to succeed in rapidly integrating employees from the two heritage companies into one
cohesive team, The People Team itself needed to integrate rapidly and powerfully
in order to work efficiently together as well as to model for the other teams how
the integration could succeed. The People Team's hope was to
schedule a single kick-off meeting to set the tone for the
integration and to build enough trust across the merger lines to be able to work effectively as a unified team
to guide the unification of the rest of the company. Research shows that companies
that merge are successful faster the more their leaders are integrated with the new culture.
THE CPD SOLUTION
First we interviewed all of the members of
The People Team to get an honest and accurate read of the team’s current state. These interviews confirmed that there was indeed a significant amount of distrust among team members – not only of the people from the other heritage company, but in some cases of colleagues from within the same company. It was clear that
we needed to explore the perceptions and issues related to the
employees' trust of one another – or lack thereof. These interviews, however, also demonstrated
that team members carried high levels of hope for
the integration, and the interviews gave the CPD consultants the chance to solidify the commitment
of the individual team members to do whatever was in their power to work towards the fulfillment of these hopes. After interviewing the team members and sharing the
resulting aggregate themes with The People Team’s co-leaders, we scheduled an intensive off-site meeting to facilitate a customized CPD TeamWorkAbility™ with the objectives of establishing trust and creating a beginning strategy for how the team would work together to accomplish the same throughout the new company.
Over the four days of TeamWorkAbility™
and working session, the CPD facilitators and participants worked together to create a climate of open and honest communication. Participants talked about themselves, their past experiences, their hopes and fears, and most importantly, their commitments and desired outcomes going forward. This sharing helped create the basic foundation of safety for discussing the issues at hand – the team could discuss the different issues and tensions knowing that each and every member was deeply committed to the team’s success and ready to learn, shift, or change as individuals to create that common team direction.
In addition to the open conversations among the team
members, each participant took part in coaching sessions in the evening. Additionally, we used a process called Walk and Talks to pair up each team member with every other team member for brief, focused conversations to clear up
any misperceptions about each other and to set the stage for every relationship among the team members to be productive. CPD
created specific tools to encourage productivity for the
participants as they engaged in several different types of conversations during their Walk and Talks.
Once a foundation of trust and partnership was established, we worked with the team through processes allowing them to determine short- and mid-term strategic goals, set action plans,
and create operating agreements between the team members.
The team fulfilled and
even exceeded their goal of integrating rapidly and establishing trust. By the end of the four days, there was no question that they had resolved their initial concerns, were fully aligned and prepared to take on other challenges as they came up, and had a basic plan
in place for guiding team integration across the new company. In fact, the week was so powerful that the people who were part of it remembered it and told stories about it for years afterward.
the company invited CPD to partner with The People Team as an
external partner to assist in designing and implementing similar programs globally, from the senior teams
down through the organization. The
company adopted TeamWorkAbility™ for all new teams experiencing a significant level of mistrust or conflict. CPD designed a two-day off-site New Team Alignment™ for teams that needed to integrate and create plans quickly but did not necessarily have a great deal of mistrust or conflict to work through. Over the next few years, CPD was often thanked and credited for making a significant contribution to the smooth and timely creation of an integrated culture at the new merged company.
Ongoing Learning and Research
CPD has conducted its own research on accelerating the merger-and-acquisition process through leadership integration. If you are interested in talking points from this research, please contact us. We
also have available an in-depth study of best practices, and we
highly recommend Merger and Acquisitions Integration Excellence published in 2000,
which can be found at www.best-in-class.com. The company discussed above is included in this study. Due
to confidentiality agreements, we are not at liberty to advertise the company;
however, we are free to discuss many of the particulars with you.