Charting a journey for the regional leadership team to help build a bond between each other (strengthen team effectiveness) and align the larger team towards a single goal
The team had a new leader who had just returned after a stint overseas. Some of the team members had also joined the team recently from various parts of HUL. There was a clear need to bring the team together and strengthen alignment.
Working closely with the HR Business Partner and the Leader, we first agreed on a few things:
1. Bringing the team together would not happen through one intervention. We agreed that this would be a “Team Journey” to be done through a series of interventions spread out over a period of time.
2. The journey of aligning the entire team should start from the top
The first workshop was a 2-day intervention done in an informal setting. The journey was kicked off with a session using the MBTI tool – since every journey starts with a better understanding of self. The tool also helped in understanding team dynamics, blind spots, conflict zones, communication preferences. All this is a safe, light atmosphere that encouraged exploration. This was followed by a self-disclosure exercise using the Johari construct. The intent was to build trust based on vulnerability. The session was kicked off by a truly authentic and heart touching sharing by the leader – who put forward his vulnerabilities in a candid manner. That set the tone for the rest of the day, with each story coming from a similar authentic core. By the end of the day – a web of connections had been built between the team members, without them even realizing it.
The next day, the team was introduced to Lego Serious Play. Through the immersive methodology that lends itself to stories and conversations, the team talked through its challenges and strengths. By the end of the day, they had arrived upon a 2 year vision for the team and also a guiding mantra and inspiring identity for themselves. The foundation for the team to succeed was perhaps set firmly on that day.
Through the next two years, we conducted a series of 6 different interventions. These included team cascades, further interventions with the RLT, cascading these team connect interventions deeper down into the managerial team, fun team experiences to create shared memories and team feedback sessions. To be with this team through their entire journey of Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing & Adjourning has been one of our most satisfying experiences as Facilitators.
The first intervention we conducted was seen as so impactful that internally, for the next two years, those days were referred to as, “Historic Thursday- Friday”. It makes us blush but it makes us extremely proud too.
The team had a dream run of achieving outstanding business results and a complete turnaround in execution metrics for all functions across the region. They also picked up a majority of the internal awards across the organization.
Here is what Aanchal Grover, the HR Business Partner of the team had to say about the whole intervention, much after the journey: “This definitely has to be the most fulfilling stint of my HR career till date. Using people engagement, leadership and team effectiveness to fuel business turnaround and results upped my faith in the power of the ‘more human approach’ that I have always believed in.
That ‘historic Thurs-Fri’ truly created magic for us! That web of deep connections that we established then grew over time, and we saw what a group of united, committed and intelligent individuals can achieve as ‘One Team’. The FocusU team were true catalysts in this journey, they made a huge difference without making their presence felt. Their support, understanding of our requirements, empathetic approach and deep desire to make a real difference to us sets them apart and makes them truly unique players in their field. They are crusaders for the ‘more human approach’ in everything that they do which the world so needs at this point in time.
Most of us have moved on from that stint now, but the web of connections still holds strong, beyond roles, organizations and even country borders! We are proud of what we achieved together and to me personally, that’s a demonstration of the power of a truly engaged and connected business unit.