Integrating to form an effective team
Success story: Reconciling different leadership styles
The newly-appointed head of a fintech firm decided to merge four separate businesses into a new, single brand with shared group-wide functions. The merger was a bold move that had understandably been met with major resistance from the four companies’ CEOs, who up until this point had been operating successfully and independently. To be successful, these CEOs needed to put their feelings aside and become an integrated management team that could provide collective leadership.
Redesigned business processes, repositioned strategies, and rearranged reporting structures – while essential to the post-merger process – are not enough on their own to ensure that synergy will occur between entities.
Although the firm initially considered a leadership development programme, teamGenie® showed them team coaching would be more suited to the task at hand. However, it wasn’t going to be easy: the first team coaching session brought out widescale disagreements. Using our award winning team effectiveness diagnostic tool, teamSalient® the team discovered their conflicts arose from an unclear organisational purpose, lack of a common drive, and eroded trust. Our bespoke team coaching would use these insights to help them become one, collaborative team.
To build psychological safety and a working alliance, we interviewed each CEO separately, asking them to describe a great team. We used this to create a shared language and set a positive tone for the coaching. We encouraged the CEOs to create a procedure for working through conflict before it occurred and taught them skills in giving and receiving feedback. This approach helped them acquire new skills and build new, shared norms. By asking them to identify and share what worked well, we helped create a more upbeat climate. We also had them reach a working agreement charting how they would behave together, finding a balance between being outspoken and being supportive.
While the coaching is ongoing, this group of four individuals has been transformed into a team that acknowledges its combined talents and strengths and leverages those to perform effectively.
“We were delighted to work with teamSalient® to provide insightful leadership development for our Senior Leadership Team. The analysis facilitated team discussion and subsequent learning led to key actions to further improve a high-performing team with collaboration, innovation, and team ethos. Declan is a thoughtful and impressive leadership coach and hope to work with him again”.
Chief people officer, Fintech organisation.