The Vice President of a large division of a Fortune 500 company was concerned that, in spite of frequent staff meetings, “siloism” was impeding organizational focus and success. Team leaders focused on what was best for their teams, instead of considering how they could contribute to the Division. Morale was low. Although many people worked long hours to ensure the delivery of high quality services and products to the company, many felt that their contributions were not appreciated and that their Division lacked prestige. There were problems retaining young talent, and there was a lack of succession planning. The accomplishment of long-term strategic goals was frequently interrupted by “putting out fires.”
The Barthwell Group Solution
To develop a better understanding of the organization and its challenges, The Barthwell Group first conducted an assessment by interviewing a cross-section of the Vice President’s direct reports. We then organized a retreat with all of the Division’s senior management, and facilitated discussions where the assessment results were reviewed. To build stronger team spirit, we included “getting to know you” ice breakers which made the experience interactive, engaging, and fun.
Stakeholders identified six key areas where improvements needed to be made to improve the productivity of the Organization. After a series of meetings facilitated by The Barthwell Group with a Steering Committee comprised of senior management, three priority focus areas were identified with problem statements and preliminary milestone actions. We then worked with the Steering Committee to develop a comprehensive action plan to achieve enhancements in supplier productivity and accountability, teambuilding and team engagement, and brand enhancement and strategic alignment.
In addition, Cultural Change teams were developed which engaged stakeholders at all levels of the Division. They developed many solutions to the organizational challenges, including new tools and programs designed to improve supplier performance, ensure greater consistency and efficiency in the procurement process, increase retention, implement effective succession planning, articulate the Division’s brand internally and throughout the company, and increase the effectiveness of new business capture, among others.
The Barthwell Group worked closely with these teams to devise action plans, test concepts, develop the tools, and develop communications to share progress with the Division.