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Transleadership Case Study

The Organization

The Situation - New Division President

    A new Division President was hired from outside the organization to head up a global team over the above-mentioned countries. Originally from the United Kingdom, the new President had worked in the U.S. for a number of years. He came from a corporate culture that was less interactive than that of his new company.

    The members of his team were primarily Europeans and Americans. They were seasoned and experienced professionals with more technical experience than their new boss. Team members had a reputation for being independent and competitive while functioning in renegade silos.

    The new President was also a member of the Executive Committee that consisted of the CEO, COO, CFO, CIO, EVP HR, Legal Counsel and three Division Presidents. In the new corporate culture, visibility and being seen as a true team player and contributor were dependent on being heard often.

    Perceptions of New President

    Team Members Executive Committee
    • Quiet, reserved
    • Does not share a great deal
    • More task-oriented than people oriented
    • Dry, often misunderstood sense of humor; sometimes viewed as humorless
    • Accused of micro-managing

    • Quiet, reserved
    • Does not share a great deal
    • Unsure where he stands on the issues
    • Questions regarding his credibility

    • Has not made his mark as a strategic thinker

TRANSLEADERSHIP, INC. listens to your concerns and goals and analyzes your organizational needs before suggesting any course of action. Our focus is always on providing practical solutions with measurable results.

 

The Solution

    TRANSLEADERSHIP Service Utilized: Executive Coaching

      1. We began with a battery of assessment tools to understand the new Presidentís interpersonal style, leadership strengths, and development needs.
      2. We held structured interviews with the Presidentís supervisor, the CEO, his direct reports and his peers on the Executive Committee. All interviews took place in-person or by telephone.
      3. Once we evaluated the feedback, we worked with the President to develop strategies for increasing credibility in Executive Committee meetings; improving connections with Team Members; and decreasing his tendency to micro-manage.

      Through this process, the new President discovered how his new companyís corporate culture required him to move out of his comfort zone, becoming more vocal and less reserved in his behavior. His new strategies:

      1. In Executive Committee meetings, he increased his comments and offered his point-of-view more often. To increase his visibility, he volunteered to research and offer presentations on topics relevant to the Executive Committee. This helped him to be seen as a strategic thinker and it also allowed him to show his stance on issues.
      2. We developed a formalized method for the new Presidentís immediate manager, the CEO, to offer feedback and recommendations in a private setting after the Executive Committee meetings.
      3. The new President also became more cognizant of when and how to connect with his team and how to better utilize their skills and talents:

        • He discovered who could do what and jointly agreed on strategies for keeping him informed and helping him to learn the new technical knowledge without micro-managing his competent staff.
        • He began delegating strategic level activities to team members. This level of participation energized the team and increased employee buy-in.
        • Since he freed up his time by choosing not to micro-manage, he was also able to take on some key strategic activities important to his team and their future success and visibility.

      4. We created a procedure for his team members to informally give him feedback during and outside of meeting times.

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The Situation - The Team

    In meetings, team members had a tendency to all contribute at the same time, talking over each other, not listening and rarely building on each otherís ideas. Because of the many locations, they campaigned for policy exceptions that would benefit their own countries. These ďturf warsĒ gave the impression that team members had no consideration for other members or for the greater good of the division and company. Yet these highly competent individuals had the greatest respect for each other and were quite amicable. They were also well liked within their own regions.

    Team Strengths Team Weaknesses
    • Compatible values and attitudes
    • Have motivating tasks
    • Appropriate team composition
    • Acceptable team outcomes

    • Understanding how to create and sustain a high-performance team
    • Providing each other with feedback on team-related variables
    • Having a reward system in place for team functioning as well as for individual contributions

The Solution

    TRANSLEADERSHIP Service Utilized: Executive Teambuilding Retreats

      1. We thoroughly reviewed criteria for high performance teams and discussed specific ways to apply these criteria.
      2. We discussed the results of a team development survey taken by participants to discover the effectiveness of their team functioning.
      3. We engaged in an Action Learning Process requiring practical application. Team members were able to apply new communications skills while working on actual business issues. This allowed them to evaluate their skills, individually and collectively, while also addressing their day-to-day work.
      4. We led the team in developing their own strategies for:
        • Improving listening skills
        • Improving the groupís problem-solving and brainstorming style
        • Increasing their ability to work together as a senior leadership team
        • Decreasing silo functioning
        • Capitalizing on the team's strengths and increasing team communication skills in areas previously seen as development needs.

      5. The team created its own system for communicating that included nonverbal feedback signals and cues. Team members also established a foundation for overall team operations.
      6. The team also identified some creative and innovative ways for the company to better reward team performance and they passed this information forward to the relevant company departments responsible for these kinds of changes.

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The Situation - Team Diversity

    Another company issue was the need to increase team diversity at the next higher level of management. Although local nationals worked at lower level jobs, few senior staff members came from the ranks of the local countries. The company tended to operate with an Americentric or Eurocentric view. This hindered its effectiveness primarily in Tokyo, Singapore and Mexico. This viewpoint, as well as overall customer perceptions, resulted in the company losing market share in these three countries.

The Solution

    TRANSLEADERSHIP Service Utilized: Creating Inclusive Environments

    We developed customized training for two levels of division senior management:

      1. We helped the Global Team identify the business case for creating inclusive environments in the individual countries. Regional Senior Team members implemented the details relevant to their specific countries.
      2. We tied diversity concepts to creativity and innovation. Diverse viewpoints resulted in more originality during processes such as brainstorming, problem-solving, and new product development.
      3. We led the team in developing strategies for recruitment and retention of a diverse Senior Staff; utilization of diverse viewpoints and ideas; and improving the companyís reputation in Tokyo, Singapore, and Mexico.

      Through this process, the new President discovered how his new companyís corporate culture required him to move out of his comfort zone, becoming more vocal and less reserved in his behavior. His new strategies:

      1. Focus groups were held with local employees to better understand culturally relevant issues impacting the business.
      2. Efforts were increased to inform wider circles of company leaders about the need to hire locals in senior staff positions.
      3. More local employees were hired at the senior level.
      4. A new Global Team member was hired from one of the target countries to increase the teamís diversity.

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The Situation - Current State

    Another company issue was the need to increase team diversity at the next higher level of management. Although local nationals worked at lower level jobs, few senior staff members came from the ranks of the local countries. The company tended to operate with an Americentric or Eurocentric view. This hindered its effectiveness primarily in Tokyo, Singapore and Mexico. This viewpoint, as well as overall customer perceptions, resulted in the company losing market share in these three countries.

    This case is typical of our work in that a variety of services are utilized to properly and thoroughly address the leadership challenges. In addition, we leave the client with tools to independently address new issues. Also, we remain a goal partner for whatever level makes sense for the client's situation. Our objective is to help the client to make long-term sustainable changes that effectively address their concerns.

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