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Consulting Case for a CEO

Ricardo is the CEO of a technology company in Portugal, and he was very frustrated when he came to talk to us. He felt that the team was not united, and they were not working towards the same outcome. There was a lot of tension within the team and the results were far from being achieved. We talked about what he could do to align the team, and we made a plan to change this situation.

The first step involved reflecting on the vision that was being shared about the future of the company. It was very focused on the company's profit, which was not very motivating for the employees. He then created a vision focused on the impact his company had on its customers. He talked to the leadership team, integrated some ideas that added more substance to the vision, and together they made it "clearer and more colorful." He immediately noticed that the team became more enthusiastic after that meeting.

Next, we worked on the objectives to achieve the vision. They already had 7 objectives, and they were all SMART. However, no one was talking about them, and each seemed more focused on their personal objectives. Ricardo decided that in the team meeting, he would ask each of the directors to write down the company's objectives. The result was as usual: each one only wrote down the 3 or 4 objectives related to their department, and everyone wrote objectives differently. We agreed that Ricardo would think of just 3 objectives in which everyone would be involved.

He shared them with the team, adjusted them slightly based on the team discussion, and they managed to come up with 3 SMART objectives. They agreed that these would be presented in a global meeting and then thoroughly explained in team meetings to all employees.

To achieve these objectives, we moved on to developing the strategy and operational objectives, as well as building a culture that would make it possible to implement this strategy. To work on the culture, Ricardo involved the main stakeholders of the company in the process to ensure the integration of different perspectives and general commitment.

We also worked on the leadership team's behaviors to ensure their alignment with the desired culture. For this, we provided team coaching and coaching to its members.

Then we prepared to share with the employees. They agreed that all employees had to know the 3 objectives, the 3 aspects of the new culture, and the overall strategy to achieve them. It was also agreed that every month all employees would know the progress regarding the 3 strategic objectives.

Everything seemed to be going very well when a change in context occurred that shook the strategy. Faced with this, Ricardo said surprised: instead of feeling fear, I'm feeling some excitement about this situation. It was natural, as we had already discussed that this could happen and what he would have to do.

Finally, we addressed management processes because these had to be aligned with the new objectives, strategy, and culture. We made several changes in performance evaluation, rewards, and employee training. This ensured that we were encouraging the desired behavior and maintaining focus on the strategy.

Ricardo was surprised at the effectiveness of the process. The effort of change had been worth it. The leadership team was much more united, and the departments were already cooperating with each other. He was confident that the results would be achieved, regardless of the challenges that might arise from the context, because the team was finally "rowing in the same direction." Strategic alignment was indeed a compass that kept the leadership team on the right track and capable of withstanding the winds of uncertainty.

Isabel Freire de Andrade - CEO Bright Concept

Published in the Leader Magazine in February 2024. Translated to english.