Priyanka Ghosh shares a case study on the strategic alignment of leadership teams.
In the course of driving a growth program for a family-owned European industrial manufacturer, it quickly became clear that the dysfunctional leadership team was a bottleneck to progress. Although the team was composed of capable individuals with impressive track records, the ten team members were unable to agree on a coherent strategy and continued to revisit the same issues. The various departments seemed poorly informed about business activities outside their siloes and they were particularly confused about how cross-functional decisions should be made. Gonzalo, the CEO, found himself in constantly firefighting to solve operational issues and placate disgruntled workers. Gonzalo approached ProMelior to bring order and efficiency to the leadership team before the growth program could go ahead.
ProMelior began by building a fact-base on how the leadership team was interacting. We explored three key questions:
How often did the team meet and what was the nature of the interaction?
The team was spread across several geographies and rarely met in person as a full group. In the scheduled twice-monthly meetings, there was frequently more than 30% absenteeism, even among phone participants. When the meetings did occur, they were mostly used to resolve operational issues that involved 2-3 groups but which were irrelevant to the majority of participants.
How were key decisions being made?
Important commercial decisions were usually made by Gonzalo, the CFO, and the Head of the largest Business Unit in ad hoc meetings that Gonzalo would typically convene. Decisions regarding operations, HR policies and other functional matters were usually made by the CEO and the relevant functional leader. Once decisions were made, they were rarely communicated in a structured manner across the leadership team, let alone across the organization.
How was strategy developed?
Most of the leadership team believed the company had no strategy. They understood a clear imperative from the top to growing existing revenues streams to achieve aggressive annual targets. However, there was no common understanding about how the organization was going to achieve these targets.
Access the case study, Strategic Alignment of Leadership Teams, on Promelier.co.uk.