PeopleAssets Case Study
"Building the Executive Team"
Peter Chesterton was clearly a successful businessman. As C.E.O. of the US operations for a major foreign corporation, he had a string of business success stories to point to. In the US, his success continued. That was his problem.
With the U.S. operation in great shape, he now had to turn his attention to expanding the business world-wide. To make the deals and ensure that new acquisitions were off to a bright start required a lot of Peter's time. His problem: getting his US-based team to function smoothly without him. He needed help to define what processes to put in place so the U.S. business would thrive while he attended to globetrotting. To do that, he needed a clear and accurate picture of his own impact on the group.
One of the toughest parts about being the C.E.O. is the difficulty of getting straight feedback about your shortcomings. Managers prefer to praise their boss. It takes a brave person to tell the C.E.O. he is off base and needs to change. Peter recognized the challenge and knew he had to confront it.
He engaged PeopleAssets* to conduct an executive team review. He began by telling his team I want to get better. He wanted specific, anonymous feedback from all his senior managers to clarify what he did well and what he needed to do differently. His agenda included getting his entire team engaged in a process of looking at their own strengths and shortcomings. He knew that some members of the team needed to adapt to changing conditions and work together better in his absence.
Every executive team member participated in a thorough self-assessment and then, generated specific, structured feedback for every other member of the team. The data were organized and profiled graphically. Each team member met with a PeopleAssets psychologist to interpret the data and plan for a team meeting.
A group meeting provided an opportunity for each person to review the feedback he or she received, clarify its meaning and articulate two or three development goals. Laughs are a big part of the process, as each individual acknowledges their own foibles. Specific issues regarding interaction of various groups were tabled and discussed. Each person walked away with unmistakable direction about how to improve their effectiveness.
In the most recent fiscal year, Peter's organization was ready to contribute as much profit to the corporation's bottom line as the home based operation with an organization 100 times the size of Peter's.
*PeopleAssets' predecessor was Organizational Transformation Systems (OTS).
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