Our global mining client’s new operating model was taking three times longer to implement than projected. While investigating the cause, the company discovered that its 25-person implementation team, whose members originated from 10 countries, was deeply fractured. The team members worked well within their four sub-groups but failed to understand why they were organized the way they were or how they related to each other or the company at large. Cultural differences among the team members often led to varying approaches to the work and contrasting work behaviors, resulting in inefficient processes and inconsistent outcomes. Furthermore, the team did not understand what was expected of them because they had limited communication with management. As a result, the team members were confused and distrustful, and morale was low. Our client brought in Haley & Aldrich for our ability to foster trust and collaboration by helping people from all organizational levels understand the big picture, break down silos, and discover a common purpose for advancing true collaboration.
Haley & Aldrich knew the collaboration and operational changes our client was seeking would only succeed if the team members understood their purpose and role in the organization. To help our client with their challenges, we developed and facilitated a three-day workshop to:
Create a common purpose. The members of the implementation team did not fully understand how they contributed to the big picture, resulting in their low morale and feeling of isolation. So, we led workshop participants through exercises that allowed team members and leadership to openly discuss the team’s roles and responsibilities and the company’s expectations of the team. Through an iterative process, participants brainstormed about the future they envisioned for themselves and the team and developed a thorough understanding of the group’s purpose and organizational structure. Once the participants saw how their responsibilities connected to the company’s needs, they were able to define behaviors and strategies they could use to support the company’s success.
Improve team effectiveness. We helped the participants overcome interpersonal barriers so they could share what prevented them from connecting with each other. To create a unified team, we guided the participants through exercises to:
- Identify the strengths and weaknesses of both the individual participants and the sub-groups and discuss how this affected their work behaviors and team effectiveness
- Understand how each team member’s personal background influenced work perspective and communication
- Examine the different types of barriers they were experiencing — those caused by processes and those related to trust — and how they could remove them.
Improve the operating model implementation through process improvement and group problem solving. After coming together as a cohesive unit, the participants were now able to dissect the implementation process, when and how it was breaking down, and how it could be improved. Haley & Aldrich led the group through exercises to examine what was actually happening versus what they expected to happen and challenged participants to see things from each other’s perspectives to create informed approaches and improvements. Participants then identified action items, complete with accountable persons and a commitment-based schedule for implementing improvements.
- The team immediately revised and improved the operating model rollout process.
- The workshop helped participants identify implementation delay root causes, brainstorm solutions, and communicate with company leadership, making them feel heard and valued.
- The team’s morale improved significantly because:
- Discussing their struggles and envisioning their desired future state brought them together as a team, working collaboratively towards the same goal.
- They now had a thorough understanding of their common vision and a feeling of belonging.
For more information, contact:
Program Manager, Senior Lean Practitioner