The CEO and founder of a rapidly growing technology company with approximately 3000 employees in locations throughout the UK and Europe wished to develop his team’s resilience, mental strength, and tenacity. The organisation’s growth in people, profit and market share were rapid and not without challenges – principally as a result of the leader’s capability and energy to lead high performing teams in a volatile and changing landscape.
The primary objective was stated as:
“I would love the team to develop real resilience, mental strength and tenacity. We operate in such a tough, fast paced environment where the rules haven’t always been written…” CEO and Founder
Following an in-depth diagnosis phase, the overall objectives were:
- Understand and benchmark current leadership capabilities.
- Design a leadership framework to grow with and guide their organization & team.
- Design and deliver a series of individual and group development programs for all top tier leaders, including outdoor experiential learning & intensive dialogue sessions
- Facilitate modules so the team appreciates and builds upon their existing, unexplored resilience as individuals and a group. This approach has the added benefits of helping them get to know each other fast, increase psychological safety, and support collaboration and productivity focused on shared understanding and goals.
- A combination of ethnography and psychometric tools were deployed across the organization to identify strengths and areas for development for individuals and leadership teams, in addition to being benchmarked globally.
- A series of custom modules were designed and implemented, some experiential and co-delivered with specialist facilitators and coaches from the worlds of sport and the military.
- Modules were created to develop all participants’ capabilities through positive habits, social networks, and learning the optimum strategies for managing (& being) high performing individuals and teams.
- Personalized executive coaching packages were available for all leaders, both between program modules and as ongoing development activity.
The in-house ethnography and psychometric tools provided invaluable data to support what the CEO suspected. The design process added value by requiring the team to articulate vision and direction for leadership now and in the future. The outdoor experiential modules and intensive dialogue approach helped the team gel and build trust quickly so as to become more effective overall.
Feedback from participants has been remarkable, even when faced by an ex Special Forces soldier briefing them on what appeared at first to be an impossible mission. The experiential modules provided opportunities to learn first-hand what it’s like to lead in a highly volatile, fluid, and rapidly evolving situation – they were especially valuable for the team and CEO.
For the Future
Resilience is a key theme as leaders grapple with developing individuals, teams, and organizations for future readiness. Some organizations prefer to highlight toughness and tenacity, others system and process resilience, still others rest, communication, and bringing people’s personal resilience to their work in ways that strengthen the whole. We work with leaders to design an experiential approach that works for their unique culture and goals.