Investing for maximum ROI
Picture the scene: you have ambitious business targets to achieve and need to ensure your organisation can deliver. But those targets are driving increasing cost-sensitivity in your organisation. Where do you invest to get results quickly?
It’s not an uncommon situation – and it’s one that the UK Managing Director for a global corporate gifting company found himself in not too long ago. “In that kind of environment, every pound you spend has to make a demonstrable difference,” he observes.
The MD realised that his senior leadership team represented the greatest risk and opportunity to achieving the business goals that had been set. The team was made up of a variety of personalities, some of whom were new to the organisation – but if they could work together effectively, the benefits would be felt across the organisation.
“One of our strategic pillars is to build high performing teams – and that really drives the success of the rest of the business,” he explains.
Bringing in the experts
The MD’s first port of call for support was Connor. “I’d previously used Connor in another role, so I was confident of the quality and passion they bring to these sorts of challenges,” he recalls. Once he’d made contact, Connor worked with the MD to plan out the most effective solution.
Together with Connor, he identified some key areas to focus on:
- Embed positive behaviours and camaraderie in the team
- Help the team understand their different communication and leadership styles, and how those impact on others
- Showing the team how they can work together to be greater than the sum of their parts
Quick action, as a team
Connor designed a half-day session designed to help the senior team explore ways of working more effectively together. Led by Sue Macmillan, the first step was to hold calls with each of the senior team to understand their goals and perspectives.
“The themes that came out of those calls really helped us to tailor the senior team development session to make sure it was as useful as possible,” Sue comments.
“Those conversations also really deepened the impact of the session itself,” The MD adds. “You could see that everyone had already built a level of trust with Sue, and everyone was more aware of their own strengths and gaps – which put everyone in the right frame of mind for the session itself.”
Connor also carefully timed the session to directly precede the company’s senior manager meeting. Sue explains, “timing the session to happen right before the meeting gave the team a fantastic opportunity to put into practice the things that we’d just discussed as a group.”
The session covered various topics designed to help the team become high-performing. They came away with some simple tactics to help resolve conflict, such as the Drama Triangle, and learned behaviours designed to boost their productivity and performance. “There were some great lightbulb moments,” Sue adds. “Watching people realise small but vital things – like the impact of being on your phone during a presentation, for example – was great to see.”
In fact, the team enjoyed the session so much that they chose to revisit it on the second day of their meeting, to recap what they’d learned.
A firm foundation for future growth
The MD noticed the impact of development session on his senior team straight away. “I saw people being more open, honest and positive with each other. It was plain that people were making a conscious effort to implement the changes they’d seen in the session.”
As a result, he is confident that the senior leadership team will be able to operate with more agility, empowering them to achieve the goals set by the wider business. He also has more time to spend focusing on the business instead of resolving team disputes.
“The team is much more aware of their diversity, and how to embrace the strength that brings,” The MD comments. “For me, Connor has absolutely hit the spot.”
The senior management team have all expressed a desire to share the powerful concepts and learnings with their own teams. “It would be great for us to build a common language around teamworking in the business, and spread what we’ve learnt across the entire business,” says the MD.
As for the senior leadership team, he plans to continue developing them further, too.
“I’m keen to review my team’s progress three months’ time,” he says, “and then plan out what interventions will be most effective to continue to build the team up. It’s great to know that Connor will be available to help me on that journey as and when I need them.”
"For me, it absolutely hit the spot... If it had been too corporate it wouldn’t have worked, but the session was really practical and excellently facilitated." MD, Global corporate gifting company