Sometimes it is about the money...
The cost of replacing the team would have been horrendous.
I wanted to save that cost.
— President of Advertising Division
The Problem: The leadership team of a midsize company had gone through tough economic changes, doing more with less, low to no salary increases for their teams, record low bonus pools. The succession plan rested on the shoulders of some very hard-working stars. They had some highly visible wins and a competitor started aggressively campaigning to hire them away. The CEO and Chief of Staff wanted to find a way to keep the talent but weren't ready to cut into the financial reserves.
Neustadt Consulting worked with the group as a whole and in individual sessions, to identify what motivated them, what they felt was most important to make it worthwhile to stay. There was a general feeling that it would be years before the reigns of leadership would be given over but the team also wanted to find a solution. Flat compensation and higher stress levels were only a small part. The team wanted more responsibility, more decision-making power.
Fortunately, the CEO was receptive. Emily gave the feedback to him in a way he could hear it, without any attribution to who said what. The CEO worked with her to craft a responsive action plan. He asked his team to come back with their own plan, as a way to let them know he was open to giving them greater decision-making powers. They put genuine time and effort into the plan. Emily acted as a support to them. When they presented to the CEO, he accepted their plan. The results exceed what he and they thought was possible.
I wasn't sure an external consultant could really help us. But I decided I had to try something. My stress response was always to take charge. I thought I'd outgrown that behavior but once the feedback from the team was given to me, I could see I had more growing to do.
Emily delivered the feedback in a very fact-based way. She didn't make it about personalities. I think that made it easier for me to hear it differently, respond appropriately. She's well worth her fee. She saved us much more than what she charged.
— President of Advertising Division
American businesses are facing a huge crisis with the economy as well as baby boomers walking out the door, taking with them all their years of wisdom, long term relationships built over time. Are your leaders grooming the next generation? Or are they alienating them? You've never seen mentoring like this.
Group mentoring creates small dynamic networks enhancing both peer mentoring and vertical communication. Virtual mentoring the way Neustadt does it is exciting and right on time.
Problem: transferring the knowledge and wisdom to the new leaders...
Global, fast-paced organization has cut back on training, reduced staff overall and though business is down demands on the existing team are heavy.
Solution: Neustadt Consulting was hired to come in and work with the CEO, HR SVP to find solutions to keep information flowing from long tenured senior executives to new leaders. Three key mentoring programs were formed. We matched small groups of high potential professionals with a senior level mentor to meet monthly to discuss key business challenges, trends and changes. We launched an open mentoring program for all motivated employees to select their own mentors. Using the corporation's intranet site we provided guidelines, assessments and ground rules for forming successful mentoring relationships. Then using short video clips and on-line wiki type technology, we're rolling out a virtual mentoring program that supports development despite travel restrictions and time zone issues. Our next phase will utilize those at the end of their careers, facing retirement, hiring them as mentors, matching them in one-on-one relationships as well as large group speaking appearances and web-enabled conversations across the businesses.
By combining coaching and team development, productive changes can be made. If you believe in your team and want to find a way to work at a higher level this can be a real solution.
Problem: Fortune 100 Company: the client is a very senior leader—a major revenue generator, innovative and entrepreneurial, breaking new ground in profits, developing sustainable streams of revenue and growing new business across the globe. But he often works like a single contributor. Cultural and communication style differences limited the executive’s potential within the organization, thereby limiting the organization surrounding him.
He requested coaching but asked after a few sessions that Neustadt facilitate a discussion with his team to accelerate the process and up the accountability for his behavior changes.
Solution: Neustadt Consulting delivered an off-site that resulted in a clear statement of the group’s strategic plan. Individuals and teams planned out their implementation strategies as well as communication. They prioritized their work.
The group head committed to support work and communication to make sure the message got out to his peers and levels above. With six months of coaching and follow up, the group’s level of engagement improved so much that they doubled their revenue in a down year. Taking a positive approach with team members and peers enabled sustainable change to occur. Team members stepped into critical leadership roles where there had been a serious gap. Clients, colleagues, senior executives all noticed the difference even before the revenue numbers went up.
Checking back with the team a year later showed a steady upward and outward trend. Better results, better relationships, better place to work.
Executive Presence and Leadership
Problem: The CEO was known for his exceptional decision making ability, deep knowledge of the business and a way of shutting down dialog, limiting the problem solving ability of his top tier team. He was at risk of losing top talent and producing inferior business results. He thought that's what leadership looked like.
Solution: Working with the Neustadt Consulting team we assessed the leaders' strengths and areas to develop, looked at the ways he was comfortalbe and credible and ways he wasn't. We worked with the CEO to connect with his appetite new ideas, bigger strategies and more interesting challenging ways of using meeting time. Working in a focused way on his presentation of ideas, questions, stating unknowns in high level meetings, we started to see real progress. Others started to sit up and take notice as well. His team started to interact differently and the Board of Directors started to notice the results. The CEO and his team created an agressive strategic plan that could only be acheived with all the players bringing their best to the table. They continue to challenge each other to define their core issues and give each other truthful feedback and problem solve together.