The SVP of a newly formed strategy unit of a $26 billion corporate spin-off that included the strategy, technology, marketing, and licensing functions, needed to add value and create synergies quickly. 90% of the unit’s members had not chosen to work there. The employees were confused about why the unit included all four teams, and were skeptical about this strategic unit’s potential for impact, since there was no defined need from or credibility with the four operating companies for whom this unit was to provide services. To make matters more difficult, the unit was geographically split between the US and Europe. We consulted with the SVP to simultaneously build the leadership team, the individual teams, and the entire unit.
We began by working with the SVP to develop his LT by first focusing on unifying the four team leaders to create synergies by leveraging each other’s expertise. We also worked individually with each team leader to build his/her team.
Within the first month of organizational startup, we worked with the leadership team to design a meeting that would engage all 55 members of the organization to understand the purpose of the organization. The team needed to create a clear vision for success, set cultural expectations, and identify and design the processes needed to run the organization effectively.
The leadership team built on and supported this work. Monthly organizational conference calls focused on highlighting organizational accomplishments with particular emphasis on how the teams drew upon each other’s expertise.
By continuously emphasizing how the four different teams were drawing upon each other and creating cross-team value, the leaders quickly began to see how their “whole” was greater than the sum of their parts. A key aspect of the unit’s culture was focusing continuously on accomplishments which accelerated progress and reinforced what was possible through collaboration.
Within nine months they had become an integrated unit where people understood when and how to draw on each other’s capabilities. Their expertise was sought out by the operating companies and their counsel on high profile projects was called upon by the CEO. Employees were pleasantly surprised at their visibility and success as a unit.