The Client A global oil and gas exploration and producing company.
The Challenge The opportunity to develop reserves in an international offshore location created the need to blend the needs and interests of several investment partner companies with those of developing nations. The company needed to design and manage a project organization and develop project teams and project team leaders to ensure that all parties would be focused, aligned and committed throughout the life of the project.
Our Role We provided consultation to the Project Leadership Team along several key dimensions:
- Provided assessment and feedback through the Project Team Excelerator
- Designed the project organization
- Defined the structure, staffing, roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities
- Defined a competency map for each critical position
- Designed a succession planning process to ensure that critical positions would have qualified people ready as rotational assignments occurred during the project
- Provided ongoing consultation to the project team and executive coaching to individual Project Leadership Team members
- Measured and tracked development of the project team and the key project leaders throughout the life of the project
- Facilitated the completion of a complex package of commercial agreements through collaboration and teamwork
- Achieved agreement on structure and staffing of the Operating Company ahead of schedule
- Resolved significant governance issues without disrupting the project schedule
- Achieved increased levels of growth and development of the project team and its key functional leaders to meet project performance targets
International Professional Medical Association (80,000 members).
Throughout changes in organizational leadership, complexity, and external economic and political pressures, this member-focused association has maintained a commitment to the quality of the employee work environment. The challenge has been keeping the lines of communication open for identifying areas of opportunity and taking effective action.
Tercon has worked closely with this organization for over 15 years, providing organizational assessment and consulting, executive coaching and staff training:
- Work Environment Survey: In 2003 we conducted the sixth customized Work Environment Survey (conducted every three years, since 1988). This on-line survey assesses organizational and inter-departmental communication, supervisory practices, and other key culture indicators. Follow-up interviews probe deeper.Findings are reported at the organizational and departmental levels, and broken out for tenure, exempt, non-exempt. The reports highlight strengths, concerns and recommendations. Current responses are compared to past data.
- Department Meetings and Team Building: Follow-up meetings are held to discuss the Work Environment Survey Results and to begin addressing issues at the department level. For example, a facilitated conflict resolution session may clear long-standing tension, or the development of department ground rules may set the foundation for improved interactions.
- Conflict Management Training: Tercon has conducted conflict management training with all employees.
- Executive Coaching: Tercon has maintained long-term, coaching relationships with Association leaders to support their personal effectiveness as change leaders.
- Supervisory Training: Topical supervisory training is offered, as identified.
- Overall job satisfaction has maintained high levels, which is considered a positive result, given structural and environmental changes.(Average job satisfaction rating on a 7-point scale: 1996 = 5.48; 2003 = 6.59)
- Satisfaction with supervision has increased following supervisory training. For example, ratings to the item “my supervisor trusts me” increased from 5.68 in 1996 to 6.07 in 2003.
- All employees are trained in conflict management and a conflict management system has been integrated into the organization’s culture. All new hires are trained in its use.
- New or continued areas of concern have been identified and addressed at the organizational and department levels.
- Communication between departments has improved in some areas, with additional needs for improvement targeted and interventions initiated.
A Fortune 100 global petrochemical company.
The Company needed to accelerate the transition of successful scientists and engineers into vital, often informal, leadership roles. Effective transition would enable them to leverage their impact on a broader set of business functions. This goal was accomplished through a highly interactive leadership training and coaching program delivered with worldwide consistency.
We worked with a design team of senior technical leaders from the company’s major technical communities for one year to:
- Identify required competencies
- Develop course content and instructional methodology
- Pilot-test the course in North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe to ensure global applicability and relevance
The course was then rolled out on a worldwide basis and has a track record of being one of the most-requested courses for this organizational leadership segment.
An analysis of participant feedback at the end of the course and 3 – 6 months later indicated that participants gained valuable knowledge and skill that they were using on the job. These include:
- Practical techniques for influencing people over whom they have no direct authority
- Methods for constructive conflict resolution, including resolving conflicts rooted in intercultural differences
- Facilitative techniques for leading focused and productive meetings/work sessions, including virtual meetings
- Guidelines for providing value-adding informal mentoring to less experienced technical colleagues
In addition, course participants continue to report that they are taking more responsibility for their own career development and identifying more opportunities where they can impact work prioritization, decision-making, and project performance.
Global Execution Consistency
A global organization in the oil industry.
To ensure that a globally negotiated contract for a new POS/BOS system in a retail environment would be accepted by geographically dispersed subsidiaries and implemented uniformly across the world without local amendments.
We designed and ran workshops in each country as the project rolled out. The participants were the global project teams from the company and the supplier together with their local counterparts. We coached leaders as needed to ensure uniform implementation.
Each process produced a charter for managing the project in that country. The charter included such things as early warning understandings, shared understanding of decision making to smooth implementation, conflict resolution protocol, and agreed reporting between country and global partners.
A mid-size City Government organization.
Like all municipal organizations, this City Government relies on individuals at all levels to provide exceptional public service with unquestionable integrity and accountability. The challenge was (and continues to be) creating an organizational culture in which employees at all levels recognize their leadership opportunities and providing a leadership development process for building the skills and attitudes that support this culture.
Using our integrated approach, we worked with the client to create a leadership development strategy that placed individual development in an organizational context, including:
- A separate and ongoing process for executive team building to support the envisioned leadership culture and leadership development program
- The development of a working Vision and Values statement
- A Leadership Competency Model that represented core leadership roles and behaviors required of leaders at all levels of the organization
- A six-month leadership curriculum integrating 360-feedback and coaching, experiential classroom sessions, assignments, action learning, and informal learning group discussions
- Two versions of an online leadership 360-feedback instrument: one for participants in management positions and one for “peer leaders”
- Administration of Tercon’s Organizational Performance Survey to provide data for integrated action learning projects and a baseline for assessing organizational impact
- The integration of the Leadership Competency model with the organization’s performance management system
After two years of successful implementation:
- We are enthusiastically heading into a multi-year program with a more fine-tuned process, including more individualized coaching.
- The Leadership Competency Model is still very much alive. The full-color model is posted in offices throughout City Hall and continues to define the dimensions for developing and evaluating the effectiveness of leadership practices.
- The Executive Leadership Team has a more clearly defined mission in the organization and a more active role in the leadership development program.
- Past participants are experiencing greater personal impact in their areas of responsibility. They report greater skills and confidence as they step forward as leaders.
- Decisions are being made at lower levels in the organization and people at all levels are more engaged.
Spread Best Practices
A global organization in the petrochemical industry
In a mature industry where cost containment is an essential part of maintaining competitiveness, and where markets have operated with considerable freedom, we were challenged to find best practices and to spread them fast – even though they “weren’t invented here.”
Our role was to work with a global project team whose role, over a period of five years, changed from discovering best practices in a particular area of the business, through designing a common practice that could be implemented globally, to primarily maintaining and updating skills. To add to the challenge, the team had a changing membership drawn from many different countries and often based in more than one country at a time.
Our initial brief was to set them up for success. We ran an upfront intervention to:
- Synthesize the perspectives of Sponsor and Stakeholders
- Create a team charter, covering internal processes of decision making, objective setting, work monitoring, communications, conflict resolution, giving feedback and celebrating success
- Clarify expectations between team members and their leader
- Agree to a team development follow-through process that included meeting every six months to review not only task progress, but also team dynamics and learning. It also allowed for a complete review every time there was a fundamental purpose change and every time there was a change in Team Leader.
- A team that delivered throughout the period. It still exists as a Skill Centre some five years on.
- Higher capability to deal with remote working, including a better understanding of cultural differences.
- Faster and more productive problem solving.
- Several Team Leaders have gone on to run bigger projects in the organization.