Case Studies: Senior Team Development

Case Studies: Senior Team Development

A large service organisation that had descended into poor performance, with a large deficit. A new CEO was appointed to lead a turn around process and bring on board a high performing senior team with top quality business experience.

Comment:‘this process has brought us much closer together and now we are a much stronger team. It is like nothing else I have ever done – totally rooted in the business, highly practical and immensely interesting.’


Step One – Coaching the CEO
Judith Leary-Joyce was chosen to coach the Chief Executive as he reached the point of changing his style of working. At the outset, he had needed to employ a more autocratic approach, giving clear instruction as to the actions that must be taken. Starting out in a company that had few people with the appropriate business experience or will and who were used to working in a ‘non-business like’ way, he needed to give clear instructions and insist they were followed.

Once he had his senior leaders on board, it was time to give up that style and move to being collaborative with his team. Having time to consider in private his behaviour and activities allowed him to make the change more smoothly and with due regard for his new direct reports.

Stage Two – data gathering for the senior team
Once the senior leaders had been in place for a reasonable length of time it became clear that they were working well in their functions, fire fighting and making the required changes. Such was the urgency, they gave little time to team building and acted purely to stop the business going into meltdown.

GCC were asked to support the development of a senior team and the first step was to gather data for the senior leaders about their impact in the business to date. Each person completed the GCC Great Leadership 360 and received an two hour debrief session with a GCC coach.

Stage Three – Team Building
The team were brought together for a two day workshop. The theme of team building for GCC is to create an environment where teams can engage in robust conversation together. To achieve this we use a range of vehicles, but are always ready to go of any plan and into what the team needs to have happen.

In this case we:

  • Studied the role of a leader at this point in a business turn around i.e. engaging people and ensuring there are high levels of trust.
  • Worked in small groups to explore in more detail the 360 degree feedback and create jointly agreed personal action plans.
  • Shared learning as a team and agreed team behaviours that would continue to drive towards them being leaders of the company as well as leaders of their function.
  • Agreed activities that would support them in holding to their learning i.e. executive coaching and regular team days where the agenda would focus on the team, business vision and culture.

Stage Four – Embedding of Agreed Changes
We met for four one-day sessions as a leadership team and each person had an executive coaching session between each session. Subject matter varied according to leadership and business need, but always focussed on them speaking openly and honestly together, in order to address the ‘unspoken’ issues in a way that brought them closer together as a team.

The team are working well as a senior leadership team. They now have the tradition of speaking honestly together, thinking as leaders of the whole and addressing issues as they arise. They need to continue building the team and the work is on-going – according to need


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