Global Professional Services Firm

Leader Fit Assessment and New Leader Onboarding

Situation

Teamalytics was engaged by the organization’s COO to assess a business line leadership team and provide insights on potential causes of underperformance related to their operating plan and key strategic initiatives. There were several contextual factors to consider: the team was formed six months prior to our involvement by merging two preexisting teams; the team was to implement a new go to market strategy to pursue organic growth; and there were some early doubts that the right leader was selected for the role. The new team leader was brought in from another regional team and had been very successful leading other growth-focused initiatives.

First Phase Solution

After meeting with the COO and additional key stakeholders, the first step of our engagement was to have each member of the team complete our proprietary 360 degree assessment. This step only required roughly 15 minutes from each executive to complete the self-portion of the tool and add information for the appropriate 5-6 key colleagues to complete the 360 portion of the assessment.

The next step was to discuss overall insights from the team as a whole with the COO. We presented our Team Snapshot to give a quick view into the behavioral constraints of the collective team. One immediate cause for concern was that over 70% of the team was at a risk of being too low on their Need for Change, or comfort in developing and executing change initiatives. This would prove to be a challenge as this team was tasked at developing and implementing a new go to market strategy. We then presented our Team 360 Report, displaying each team member’s self and 360 scores for each of the 13 behavioral scales we measure in a side-by-side comparative analysis.

Our analysis revealed many of the behaviors that enabled the new leader to be successful in previous roles: highly relational, building deep connections with stakeholders quickly, collaborative, inclusive,intentional about empowering teams, confident, and possessing strong people skills. In addition, he had been with the company for decades with strong client relationships and deep knowledge of the business. However, the analysis also revealed several behavioral traits and blind spots that were highly impacting his ability to successfully lead this new team. These were less obvious to the COO and other executives.

The strengths outlined above that served this leader so well in previous roles, were actually a hurdle or constraint when placed in a team that is highly strong-willed, opinionated, stubborn, and change resistant. His friendly and deferential nature was not successful with a team of hard chargers looking for decisiveness and critical thought and feedback toward the solution.

The COO and executives ultimately placed the new leader in a different role in the organization, and engaged us for our insights in the selection process for the replacement. The selected replacement was an internal candidate with a behavioral profile that was much more conducive for success in this role with this team.

Second Phase Solution

As the replacement leader was on boarded into the team, we accelerated this process by discussing the results of team reports and worked with her to develop an action plan to capitalize on her strengths, and mitigate any behavioral risks as she began leading this team. We later supported her through a full team engagement in which we worked with each leader to develop action plans to address their own behavioral constraints. Over the next year, we met with the team quarterly to provide individual coaching to team members and brief team accountability sessions. We met monthly with the replacement leader to discuss the team’s progress and provide insights and recommendations as she provided leadership and coaching to team members.

Results

This team came together quickly, leaned into the coaching and behavioral action plans, and became one of the highest performing regions 18 months later. The replacement leader was promoted two years later to being the COO of the firm’s US operations.