Helping a struggling senior team launch a new technology
The Lime Group | Case Studies
They were struggling to define “what’s next?”; in particular, they were struggling with the decision of whether or not to pursue a risky but potentially game-changing innovation.
Aligned leadership was more critical than ever, but the senior management team had been operating as individual high-achievers, not as a strategic leadership team.
Individual executives were acting according to personal agendas, often undermining each other’s efforts. With trust and dialogue skills low, important business decisions languished; most being left to the CEO.
THE CALL TO ACTION: STEP UP AS A UNITED TEAM SO THE ORGANIZATION CAN PROGRESS
In-depth diagnostic interviews, observations and a survey made it clear that executives needed to start seeing the senior team, not their functional/division teams, as their “First Team”. Their loyalties were in the wrong place. They also needed to reorient their thinking and values to those of a commercial enterprise, not a scientific or academic one. These factors had led to a lack of alignment on strategy, alliances among small groups, lack of transparency, fragmented decision-making and execution optimized to meet individual agendas. The diagnostic also indicated a set of supporting mindsets and behaviors that were fuelling the unproductive dynamic, enabling it to persist.
OUR CONTRIBUTION, OVER 18 MONTHS:
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A PALPABLE SHIFT IN LEADERSHIP AND A SUCCESSFUL NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH
Through the course of our work we saw a gradual yet significant shift in the effectiveness of the senior team. The CEO stopped dominating decision making, small factions reduced in strength and the quality of participation in senior team meetings improved dramatically. Furthermore, not only did the senior team increase their own effectiveness, interviews indicated they were also able to truly motivate and inspire the organization at a critical time in their business. The team was able to decide on and pursue the higher risk and higher reward innovation. The market-changing product was launched in early 2009, beating all competitors to the market, and spurring a new phase of growth.