Following a period of significant restructuring and a reduction in funding to deliver a turnaround strategy for the division, the team were working as individual contributors rather than a collective and operating without reference to a shared vision. The objective was twofold: to facilitate a process for the team to set a bold strategic intent and define several workable strategy scenarios; and to engender collaboration across their respective areas of expertise, strengthening their relationships, and becoming more trusting and inclusive towards one another and as leaders.
Approach: Prior to designing any offsite agenda, I always recommend holding short calls with each team member to establish rapport, understand a range of perspectives and identify areas of conflict. My co-facilitator and I explored their views on strategy and operational issues, as well as how team members were experiencing the current relationship dynamics and team culture, and what they considered to be the teams’ strengths, challenges, and crucial development areas. We designed the 2-day offsite on the principles of an inclusive Thinking Environment, integrating strategic, operational, and relational elements so the team would see the connections in everyday leadership.
Impact: Over the two days the team expanded their capacity for high-trust, honest dialogue, and were able to safely explore areas of conflict and tension. This allowed them to consider a more diverse set of perspectives on their strategic and operational challenges and they were quickly able to co-create and prioritise a set of scenarios to develop further. The team agreed clear and tangible actions to power the progress of the business strategy, as well as to hold each other accountable for sustaining a positive, inclusive, and productive team culture. Months on, the team had maintained their commitment to regular informal meet ups in addition to formal management meetings. Relationships had improved dramatically; the team was collaborating regularly and actively supporting one another, which sustained a positive cycle of trust and morale.
“Our leadership offsite was designed to set our vision and draw up an actionable plan to deliver on our strategy, as well as build a leadership team that could trust one another, collaborate effectively and lead inclusively. The two days were expertly led by Cara and her co-facilitator, who struck the perfect balance of vision, strategy, inclusive leadership, and team bonding. The team arrived as individual contributors and left as a collective ready to forge ahead to deliver the business strategy and become inclusive leaders.”
Executive Team, Global Banking Group, UK Wealth Management division