This North American leading service provider to the oil and gas fields identified a need to develop leaders within their organization to support its history of steady growth and financial discipline into the future.
The executive management team realized that in 5-7 years many key members of its core management team would retire and there was a need to develop new leaders into these roles in a short period of time. Succession planning and leadership development was becoming a critical agenda item.
Communication within the organization was ineffective partly due to a history of numerous acquisitions made to drive growth.
Silo thinking and divisionally focused operating practice was strongly evident. Many managers failed to reach out to their peers in other parts of the company. The organization did not work like a global enterprise but more like several small acquired companies that had not been properly integrated.
In addition, international divisions felt that the executives in the corporate office did not fully understand their business and were reluctant to work within the structure outlined by head office. Divisions would use system and process “work arounds” resulting in trust issues across the organization, worldwide.
Many executives and managers had moved up in the organization as a result of their technical expertise rather than their leadership or management skills. Prior attempts to develop a Future Leaders Program had achieved mixed results, lacking any process to evaluate leadership skills or design individual development plans.
Tough conversations were often avoided. Management throughout the organization were resigning and were often reluctant to speak up in front of their senior colleagues. There was a perception that lower and middle management was beaten up in the past and they were not going to let themselves be vulnerable in the future and preferred to stay under the radar.
A Performance Leadership Program was designed and implemented. The program involved four offsite sessions and one-on-one coaching of participants during the weeks between the offsite sessions. In addition each participant was enrolled into one or more Action Teams focused on determining solutions to critical business issues within the organization. These teams were specifically structured across divisions and across multiple age groups to assist in driving broader communications throughout the organization.
The offsite sessions introduced leadership traits and tools. Participants were able to use these in practical real-world situations while working in the Action Teams focused on solving real-life business issues..
Initially, work focused on 30+ members of management from various levels within the company and of varying ages and experience levels . Participants were selected from all divisions to help break down silos..
One-on-one coaching was structured around the learned concepts introduced in the offsite sessions and putting these into practice.