Case Studies on Team Development
Challenge: To help the president of a university re-energize his team of vice presidents and get them behind a new vision for the school.
Approach: After interviewing each team member, Exetor consultants discovered that the group of VPs had not invested enough time and energy into developing a team identity. Significant communication problems were noted (for example… they did not really listen to nor trust one another, and the use of Inquiry was very limited). The Exetor partners observed and videotaped a series of team meetings and played the tapes for the executives. No one liked what they saw, but through a customized program of meetings and retreats, the team members learned techniques for improving dialogue and began to build trust.
Result: These executives had been working together for more than 10 years reasonably effectively. After these interventions, they truly began to communicate with one another for the first time and align behind the new vision. This also resulted in “buy-in” common vision throughout the university administration.
Challenge: To help the top team of an international medical-devices company in a time of crisis. A severe lack of coordination was causing late releases of new products and services and the competition took note and began to exploit this new found opportunity. The company president had only been in office for six months and his leadership style differed dramatically from that of his predecessor. None of the vice presidents had been in place for more than a year, and as a group, they didn't know how to work with this new leader nor with one another. A crisis was building that had the potential to derail the entire company: a lack of international coordination across development sites that had the potential impact on future sales and therefore market share market share.
Approach: After conducting a series of interviews, The Exetor Group developed a 360-degree assessment process to encourage feedback. Exetor consultants also organized a three-day retreat that included facilitated discussions, planning sessions, and action-learning exercises to deal directly with the lack of coordination of research and development across international locations. Informal social time was also built into the agenda to encourage the executives to learn to understand one another better. This in turn led to more effective listening skills, and building trust.
Result: By the end of the weekend, the president and vice presidents had disclosed many of their fears and aspirations for the company. This enabled them to come away with a shared vision and action plan. The problems associated with the lack of coordination decreased significantly, and development projects got to market on time and on budget.
Case Study - Team Development
When Merck, with headquarters in Northern New Jersey, acquired Schering Plough, Rob Pizzie was made the new Head of the Global Clinical Supply organization. Rob was tasked with building and populating a world class, global organization that would benefit from the strengths of both legacy companies including the people, the processes and the cultures. The fact that the legacy Merck and Schering Plough clinical supply groups were both high performing but structured quite differently added a significant level of emotionally charged complexity and challenge. Rob knew that in order to be successful he needed to bring together a strong, diverse leadership team with members from each legacy company. Members of the team would need to build relationships and trust strong enough to address all the issues in the integration openly and honestly, and to ensure real alignment and the empathy needed to effectively lead the new organization.
Case Study - Cascading Team and Leadership Development
When Pharmacia was purchased by Pfizer the manufacturing site in Kalamazoo, Michigan became the largest manufacturing facility of the largest drug maker in the world. A changing organization and changing company structures created the opportunity for the development of many new leadership teams throughout the site. The Director of Injectable Operations for Pfizer Global Manufacturing, Kalamazoo site had the challenge of assembling a new leadership team and creating an organization that would be successful given the new business context.