Client Stories

Management team off-sites and workshops

Increase commitment to strategy

Client: Global construction and real estate development company

Client's Challenge: How do we get more than a dozen country-based business unit presidents, recently joined to the company through acquisitions, to understand and support the roles and requirements of the corporate center, while at the same time maintaining their sense of independence and accountability for their own business unit's results? How do we build a stronger management group, which understands each others' value and collaborates effectively?

Approach: Prior to working with us, the extended management team meetings had featured one PowerPoint presentation after another, with little engagement, or support, from the business unit presidents. This time we took on the "elephant in the room," directly—what really is the value-adding role of the corporate center, and what should business units and the corporate center rightfully expect from each other? Working closely with the CEO, we designed a full day of learning, small group discussions, and problem solving, focused on this issue. We brought in Jay Galbraith as a thought catalyst, to provide common frameworks for our discussions. We framed guiding questions, mixed presidents and functional executives in small group break-out sessions, and facilitated constructive conversations.

Outcomes: Light bulbs went on. People felt heard. Understanding and empathy grew. Difficult feedback was provided. Compromises reached. Alignment emerged. What had once been somewhat "undiscussable" was now fair game, and would lead to smarter decisions that would make these businesses more valuable as members of the company than they would have been on their own. The size of the corporate center grew very little, but the perception of their value to the business, and the cooperation of the business units, rose significantly.

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