Business Improvisation for Leadership Dynamics
Situation

An established Executive Team of twelve, including two new members, from a global provider of Human Capital and Management Consulting Services was struggling to communicate and reach agreement on several major strategic initiatives.  The decision-making process was being negatively affected by interpersonal communication styles and political agendas. The team consisted of the CEO, CIO, CFO, Executive VPs from regional areas and market segments, Legal Counsel, and the Chief Commercial Officer

Challenge

Diverse interests and personalities were affecting the performance of the Executive Team causing major strategic projects to be stalled. The Executive Team was a poor role model for the rest of the organization, and caused increased the costs associated with the stalled projects. The organization was engaged in several significant change projects and the inability of the Executive Team to “pull the trigger” was affecting other projects and company confidence. The CEO wanted:

  1. To have an Executive Team that works closely together and demonstrates cohesiveness to the rest of the organization.
  2. To create a skilled team with the ability to creatively communicate in critical situations.  
Solution

Practica Learning developed a three-phase program to help the group become a team:

  • A 90 minute one-on-one telephone Performance Under Pressure debrief conversation using TAIS
  • A one day Business Improvisation & Team Dynamics Workshop
  •  one-on-one telephone practice (3 scenarios) to put the combined learning into practice.

As pre-work, each participant completed TAIS (The Attentional and Interpersonal Style inventory), a behavioral-based psychometric questionnaire that measures attentional preferences, interpersonal characteristics and performance under pressure. In order to facilitate individual behavioral awareness, each Participant was debriefed remotely on his/her TAIS results with a certified Practica Learning coach. The behavioral analysis (TAIS) of the team revealed that the dominant attentional style was Analytical/Conceptual combined with a relatively slow decision-making preference and a very low propensity to risk.

The workshop focused on using Business Improvisation as a situational communication tool within the team and in their coaching conversations.  Participants explored improvisation exercises that reinforced the skill as a process. They also explored how each participant’s TAIS results affected both the interactions and the dynamics of the Leadership Team. These results were explored in the context of the challenges they faced in delivering on LOB responsibilities and messaging to the larger organization.

The final phase of Telephone Practice provided the Participants the opportunity to practice their new skills in realistic one-on-one coaching conversations. These scenarios were strategically developed to represent realistic interactions with the opportunity to reinforce key corporate culture messages into coaching conversations. 

Results

The three-phase program was deemed a success by the Executive Team and deployed into the next level of senior leadership. A variation of the program - using Practica Learning's Business Improvisation for Sales Professionals Workshop combined with one-on-one telephone practice scenarios -  was also launched across the organization. 

Contact
To learn more about us and how we can help your employees become more effective communicators through deliberate, experiential practice, please contact us.
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