The client was a successful medium sized UK company providing consulting and technical services in environmental management to industry, finance and public sector clients. The entrepreneurial founder had promoted a number of people to Director level – all based on their undoubted technical expertise. In addition the company had merged with the UK arm of a larger US based company in the same field, bringing a small number of Directors on board from the merger. The result was a board with little idea of direction or leadership, except for that imparted by the founder, and limited cohesion.
Taking the Board offsite
We were asked to facilitate a leadership development programme for the Board during which they would arrive at a coherent strategy for the combined company going forwards, a greater understanding of their leadership role, both as a board and as individuals, and a set of ‘team protocols’ or ways of working to guide their development as a team going forwards. The programme began with a 2-day offsite which was also required to deliver some very specific outcomes around buy-in to the vision, commitment to what growth would mean, and the roles and responsibilities of board members.
The offsite was developed in close cooperation with the board and covered:
- A striking demonstration of the power of cooperation and what happens when it is not present
- An in-depth examination of Leadership and Decision Making style
- Work on the strategy designed to draw out each individual board member’s views and create team concepts
- The establishment of Team Building Blocks and Team Protocols
- Analysis of current roles and roles required for the future
- Agreeing the roles and responsibilities for each board member going forward
- Agreeing responsibility for specific parts of the plan together with reporting mechanisms and performance measures
- The writing of Heads of Agreement confirming each individual’s commitment to the vision and their part in achieving it