The Corporate Business Unit within a major insurance group completed both personal and team profiling and then applied the Achievement Process to issues affecting their business. Comments from the review meeting held two months after the workshop were as follows:-
Insight into reasons for superficial conflict and what now needed to be done to enable teams to work together more effectively.
Discovered that their real problems are most frequently caused by indiscipline, game playing and a lack of focus on real objectives.
Managers produced excellent project work addressing real issues within a tightly stipulated timeframe – something previously quite impossible and totally beyond their reach. The Achievement Process provided the framework for their issues.
Insight into how to logically go about moving a solid but unimaginative family business into a new era of more professional management and beginning a new growth curve.
Discovered they had no challenging performance goals and no management systems to enable their achievement
They now have a logical structure with clear reporting lines and fairly tough individual performance goals. Confusion around roles and responsibilities has now been sorted. The Achievement Process provided a platform for the key players to connect with their issues.
Insight into nature of problems causing two important silos in one department to constantly behave in adversarial mode and limit quality of service delivery to internal customers.
Discovered that the problems were embarrassingly straightforward to resolve.
The head of the Unit is extremely satisfied with the outcome. He is a sensitive soul who prefers to avoid conflict. He had turned to the Achievement Process in desperation. The conflict has been resolved.
Insight into the fact that an efficient business cannot be based purely on tight financial control and a 99% focus on tasks only; but that serious ‘people’ time and effort needs to be part of the plan.
Discovered that MD’s own personal management style was limiting the cohesion and effectiveness of the team. This style was identified as being far too instructive, demanding and intrusive.
The Achievement Process has introduced a more balanced and calmer working environment. It has genuinely proved that there are massive benefits to be obtained from the hard to capture notion of a ‘Team of Equals’.
Insight into recurring problems on a major project. Over-budget by 25% and rising.
Discovered the root causes…
• Communications were limited to what needed to be done. No explanations, no motivation, no engagement.
The project was massively re-energised. The Achievement Process was used to re-plan the project. Each Stage was given equal weight. The emphasis that the company had not previously given to people engagement released huge energy. The project attracted a wide range of contributions from people who had been waiting for it to fail. Project cost savings of £35,000 were directly attributable to the AP.
Insights – Top team members in about to be merged businesses began by gaining an insight into the makeup of their own existing teams in terms of 'Black Holes‘ and 'Blind Spots' . They were able to see what aspects and behavioural elements of their working together needed to be better and more thoughtfully managed.
Discoveries - Team members in both sets of teams realised that a significant degree of disagreement and disaffection (existing and potential) could be understood in terms of their differing perspectives and preferred approaches to getting things done. This was of critical importance (see 'benefits') because the one-sided (more 'takeover') nature of the 'merger' meant that there existed a fairly deep-seated and totally understandable atmosphere of suspicion and distrust that could prove disastrous.
Merged functional teams were given practical merger subjects and tasks to address prior to reporting back to the plenary group. The disciplined use of the Achievement Profiling insights and the application of the Achievement Process during their deliberations ensured (1) that they stayed on track in most cases most of the time, (2) they were able to mostly avoid falling into the typical human nature traps of runaway emotions, bias, subjectivity, power and personality domination, frustration and disinterest, (3) they had a new and simple language on which to base their report-backs to their colleagues - a language now equally understood and accepted by those colleagues, (4) they had real plans ready for immediate implementation, (5) they had a common management language for moving forward, and (6) they had easy reference to useful templates when the going got tough.