The Challenge                                                                                        (download the pdf)

An established Executive Team of twelve including two new members was struggling to reach agreement on several major strategic initiatives.  The decision making process was being negatively affected by interpersonal communication styles and political agendas. Due to diverse interests and personalities, major strategic projects were being stalled. The situation was affecting the performance of the Executive Team, was poor role modeling for the rest of the organization and increased the costs associated with the stalled projects. The organization was engaged in several significant change projects and the inability of the Executive Team to “pull the trigger” would affect other projects and company confidence.

The Client

ASCI was appointed by the CEO of a large multi-national insurance company to work with the Executive Team. The team consisted of the CEO, CIO, CFO, Executive VPs from regional areas and market segments, Legal Consul, and the Chief Commercial Officer. Behavioral analysis (TAIS) of the team revealed that the dominant attentional style was Analytical/Conceptual combined with a relatively slow decision making preference and a very low propensity to risk.

Objectives

  1. The CEO wanted the team to work closely together and demonstrate cohesiveness to the rest of the organization.
  2. Create a method for dialogue and decision making that accounted for the behavioral preferences of individuals and the team so that the team was not constantly stalled and diverted.

 

Strategies

ASCI created a Team Dynamics Program that included:

  • 1 day intensive workshop that explored the behavioral interactions of the team that leveraged:
    • TAIS
    • NeuroLeadership (SCARF)
    • Individual coaching sessions
    • Two ½  day follow up sessions

Process

  1. Each individual on the executive team self-administered TAIS online. TAIS (The Attentional and Interpersonal Style inventory) measures attentional preferences, interpersonal characteristics and performance under pressure. TAIS helps identify the types of situations and conditions under which highly effective individuals are more or less likely to perform up to their potential. It is successfully used in coaching, teambuilding, and management development.
  2. As pre-work each individual received a one on one debrief of their TAIS results and was coached on behavior issues regarding their performance under pressure, their interactions within the team dynamics and day to day challenges and opportunities they faced as part of the Executive Team.
  3. The team was brought together for a full day workshop where they explored their behavioral preferences using TAIS and an ASCI facilitation that encouraged discussion and creativity. Specific challenges and opportunities revealed during the discovery and coaching sessions were addressed in context to the team’s TAIS attributes.
  4. The interactions and team issues were further explored using the NeuroLeadership SCARF Model. SCARF is a brain-based model that enables investigation of core social domains that drive human behavior. SCARF is an acronym for Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness and was developed by the NeuroLeadership Institute. The workshop became a very ‘real’ discussion of the challenges facing the Executive Team in context with their behavioral and interaction styles. Several critical issues were resolved and the conversation shifted to longer term strategy initiatives.
  5. Each member of the team continued one on one sessions as required to assist in ongoing issues. The coaching sessions also served to develop strategies for each team member to pass on the learning of the Team Dynamics Session to their team.
  6. Two ½ day sessions were conducted to follow up on the results and tasks from the Team Dynamics Session. Individual behavior and interactions that challenged the trust established from the first session where identified and discussed. Strategic initiatives and decision-making conflicts were also explored in the context of TAIS and SCARF.

 

Next Steps

The team realized the value of intervention. It helped them gain a full understanding of how behavioral preferences can obstruct initiatives and collaboration. The company plans to implement ASCI’s Team Dynamics Program in the Sales organization to help with revenue generation and in the Human Resources area to help with team building and new hire selection. The most significant next step was the commitment to contract ASCI to implement the use TAIS and SCARF with the next generation of team leaders.

 

Feedback

 

“The process was intense and yielded results that we can really work with.”

 

“TAIS was a great way to expose how each of us thinks without judgment. Although we tackled our most serious issues, we ended up having a lot of fun in the process. The ASCI facilitators made all the difference.”

 

I was worried we would be wasting time with another off-site, but this was great. To the point, no BS allowed.”

 

“I continue to use TAIS and ASCI’s behavioral coaching model for my team now”

5 Responses to “Team Dynamics – Case Study”

  • Raj:

    Enjoyed this article, i really like the idea of reinforcing the learning that costs us a lot of money with something fun and challenging. I would like to experience this, I will send an email to get more information. R

  • Debbie Mcoy:

    Really glad I found this, been looking for information for our team for awhile. Thanks for a great post.

  • Visual Journey:

    I found you’re blog via searching the net and I have to say. A Massive Thank you very much, I thought that the post was incredibly educational I will come back to see what more great information I can recieve here.

  • [...] An established Executive Team of twelve including two new members was struggling to reach agreement on several major strategic initiatives. The decision making process was being negatively affected by interpersonal communication styles and political agendas. Due to diverse interests and personalities, major strategic projects were being stalled. The situation was affecting the performance of the Executive Team, was poor role modeling for the rest of the organization and increased the costs associated with the stalled projects. The organization was engaged in several significant change projects and the inability of the Executive Team to “pull the trigger” would affect other projects and company confidence. Read more on Team Dynamics [...]

  • Within the top five of the favourite posts,
    thanks!

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