Executive Teams must be aligned with one another and with the organizational strategy to lead effectively. Alignment at this level acts as a force multiplier – it will ripple throughout the organization, galvanizing employees and generating previously unexpected results. Too often, executive teams are mired in ineffective meetings, unclear decision-making, poor governance and role ambiguity. Strategic priorities are unclear and end up being driven by individual priorities. We work with executive teams to create the type of alignment and energy that lights a fire throughout the organization.
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Executive Team Alignment
Deming once famously said, “Pit a good person against a bad system, and the system will win every time.” Organizational design happens over time, in response to a myriad of emergent needs. It can quickly become flawed, producing unintended and unhelpful results. We assist with designing your organization’s structure and systems (particularly your people systems) to support your strategy. At times, this is done as part of a merger between organizations, other times it is in response to shift in strategy or because the current design is simply no longer workable.
We provide you with a guided process to complete the work, rooted in best practices and applied research, and we bring a high degree of expertise to the table to supplement your own knowledge of organizational design.
Executive and Manager Coaching
Promotions and increased responsibility often lead to less frequent and productive feedback. Executives especially can live in an unwelcome bubble, not clear on their blind spots, limitations and, most importantly, the strengths they should be amplifying and harnessing to strengthen their contribution. We provide customized individual coaching that focuses on specific developmental areas. Coaching combines feedback with practical tools to further equip people to meet their daily challenges.
Organizations often invest significantly in a change, only to see it sputter or fail outright. Even with effective project management, change can still be hard to instill and sustain. We use Prosci change methodology, and our proven tools and methods work with enterprise-wide, large-scale changes as well as smaller changes affecting 1-2 work units. We’ll help you clarify the purpose of the change, identify impacted groups, develop communication and resistance management plans, and sponsor the change. These tools are so effective that we’ve had employees thank leadership after a staffing reduction for managing the change so well.
We care deeply about helping individuals be successful in their work. Developing people to be successful in a leadership role also leads to happier, healthier employees, because they are getting the leadership they need to be successful. Leadership development can be customized to an individual, provided in a training setting, or delivered in short bursts during a regular leadership team meeting. Our topics cover the gamut of critical leadership skills, including self-awareness, motivating employees, interpersonal skills, communication skills, decision-making (and decision-making bias), delegation and developing employees.
Culture, “the unspoken way we do things around here,” determines the type of discretionary effort employees give to their organization. We help leaders in organizations intentionally establish and sustain a culture that provides that edge that allows them to beat the competition, excel in their service and draw talent to work for them. Culture work involves large scale change, sometimes using a bottoms up approach, cascading, or guerilla – pockets of adopters. The tools are highly customized for each organization, and include artifacts, behaviors and work processes and talent systems that reinforce the desired culture.
Team development is often reduced to a series of warm and fuzzy icebreakers. Team members enjoy the experience, but it rarely leads to sustained change or increased productivity. At Clarity, we provide three types of team development experiences:
- Fundamentals: Like sports teams need to know the basics before they can run plays, workplace teams need to know their purpose, how to meet productively, how to make clear decisions, and how to communicate with candor and leverage conflict. Our fundamentals work provides tools for teams to apply immediately.
- High Performance: Teams that have the fundamentals in place often want to generate the type of teaming called “high performance teams.” This requires a superior set of interpersonal skills, a different role for the leader, and a deep commitment to one another. Teams that are ready to take it to the next level benefit from our coaching and workshops.
- Addressing Dysfunction: Sometimes, teams fall into true dysfunction. This experience is different than simply a team lacking in skills or experiencing natural conflict. Dysfunctional teams may or may not drop in productivity, but usually will be detected through individuals – a troubling pattern of absence and illness, complaints about morale, turnover. Sometimes it is caused by the team leader and team members may be uncharacteristically hesitant to discuss the team or the leaders’ effectiveness. Addressing dysfunction requires coaching for the leader, a discovery process to learn the roots of the issues, and then difficult work to equip team members to create new patterns of behavior and establish relationships with each other based on a hope for the future vs. wounds from the past.