A conversation between two people is easier than with a team; so how do you create the right conversation with an organisation and when would you do this?
Bringing the ‘right conversation’ to the surface for an organisation is about helping the whole organisation to engage with the key issues, empowering them to take action and ensuring that action has focus.
Case Study 1
As a major player in the international extractive industry it soon became clear that the business faced some critical threats: a failing business model, squeezed profit margins, Third Sector moral and social challenge along with increased market localisation.
Faced with a perfect storm of threats our challenge was to gently ‘hold up the mirror’, help people to face a new reality and drive that in to new behaviours and new skills. Through deploying a range of tools to accelerate the process, such as ‘future search’ conferences, 360 degree feedback and psychometric tests to provide personal insight, team and leadership development we were able to help the organisation to successfully define and deliver a new future.
A key leadership intervention was the creation of a shadow Executive Team in order to help the organisation develop new leaders fit for the future and to rehearse the new leadership conversations need to be successful in a new world.
Case Study 2
British manufacturing industry has an undeserved reputation; helping a traditional business with average staff tenure of 15 years to reinvent itself to compete in an increasingly competitive world brings you face to face with both opportunity and challenge. The path of least resistance is to change staff and ‘buy in new blood’; as a traditional employer this is not what they chose to do.
Working closely with staff from exec to the frontline a new sense of purpose and urgency was created; managers recognised their new role as leaders and the importance of every interaction and conversation, everyday, as a way of sharing anxieties, modelling new behaviours and building hope, energy and inspiration.
The business went on to become a successful, profitable business without the need for compulsory redundancies and with a new sense of purpose.
Executive teams hold the hopes and aspirations for an organisation; they shape the vision and empower people to achieve. Often their development is neglected or consigned to ‘doing more team building’. Creating team conversations helps the team to define its shared compelling picture of the future, develop its shifting role from team to executive leadership and inspire those around them to achieve more than they believed possible.
Case Study 1
Fundamentally changing the business model in retail is a bold challenge. Our client changed delivery partner, suppliers and created a new buying company in order to better serve its customers. This on-going conversation has lasted a year and has helped the Executive Team to create an inspiring vision of the future, understand itself better and feel confident and credible to lead the organisation.
Case Study 2
Any organisation that includes ‘social justice’ as one of its values has to be worth working with; as one of the UK’s largest Further Education Colleges, the Executive Team are responsible for the education of over 15,000 young people and 3,500 staff against a context that is constantly increasing the desired level of educational attainment, whilst decreasing the level of funding from central government.
Our conversations with the Senior Management Team have helped them to re-frame the purpose of the College to deliver a new promise to its students; to initiate and sustain change and build wider commitment to leadership across the organisation.
Case Study 1
It started with exploring aspirations and how individuals and organisations can make a difference in the world; it ended with a successful new business committed to deepening economic empowerment across Africa. The assignment was to work as an executive coach; however the journey was one of support, questioning, insight and challenge.
Over the space of a year a series of one on one conversations, sometimes face to face and at other times by video or audio conference helped create vision, energy and passion; but more importantly a ‘cause’ to enlist others in.
This is not a ‘soft’ altruistic charity, but a hard edged business that knows its place in transforming lives and is today having a profound effect across Africa. PSA are proud to have been part of that journey and creating the space for amazing things to happen.
Case Study 2
What is the value of just one conversation?
Raising capital for an expanding business is always a challenge that few like and most fear. When you are a business that is in the public eye, the stakes are high. When you are leading the investor presentation team all eyes are on you. A powerful and convincing slide deck and a sharp turn of phrase seem to be the most important weapons in your armoury. But how do you prepare yourself for the ‘role’ you are about to play and how do you shift the presentation to become a powerful conversation?
This single conversation created the space for the team leader to understand the role he needed to create and to rehearse the shape of that ‘powerful conversation’. It unlocked a level of understanding that is sometimes only accessible after the event, when the learning is learnt but cannot be applied. This insight accelerated the thinking and resulted in successfully bringing in several millions pounds of investment.