Leadership Arising From Every Level

Services Used: Gallup’s BP10, Gallup’s CliftonStrengths, TeamAcumen Framework (Global Builders’ Consortium), Pretotyping (Alberto Savoia), and Conversational Intelligence (The CreatingWE Institute)

For this company, the original engagement was for Gallup’s BP10 training and was to develop the entire company to access their Builder Talents to build the company faster, better. Starting from the leadership team and then on through the functional departments of the company, we worked for one week a month for six months, with five different teams. For each team, the learning was structured such that the team was together for one entire day that week.

We added in new learning when it became necessary to accomplish their goals. This assignment was for a 6-month period. The entire organization was already Strengths-based and had been using their CliftonStrengths Talents for about four years prior to our involvement. They saw BP10 as the next level of their evolution as a Strengths-based company. They were correct!

However, as we got into the additional development, it became obvious that there were other problems inside the organization. As we progressed, we suggested that we reorder the way we were going to work with the team, bringing some of the learning modules forward faster at Months 4 and 5 in extended learning instead of during Month 6 in a mini-module. These newly constructed modules became key to the transformation of the organization.

Months 1-3: Gallup BP10 – The entire organization had been through CliftonStrengths training, but not to a very extensive depth. Still, the employees understood the concepts of a Strengths-based organization. We decided to incorporate CliftonStrengths as well as BP10 in the mix of our Months 1 and 2 learning, leading to better outcomes because we could pair both assessments together to infuse learning which was more intensive than BP10 alone.

Month 3: In the middle of the learning modules for this month, major shifts were made to accommodate role changes at the executive level. This necessitated the use of Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ) principles within the teams. During continuation of their normal modules, we introduced some C-IQ concepts to help the teams manage the major changes in their leadership’s evolution. We helped them open up conversations even in the midst of disruption and became advocates of helping them navigate during this high stress time.

Month 4: During Month 4, not only did we have module learning for all the departments, but the executive team had individual coaching sessions on their own BP10 Talents. During these sessions, executive team members were given their CIR Reports charting each of their Talents’ and Alpha Builder Roles’ intensities. We used the intensities as the starting grounds for discussing how they could access their Talents or Roles to develop themselves to build the company. The report also helped them understand who to seek out as appropriate partners within the company or executive team to build development into their functional teams. We discussed our developmental findings of the team in closed discussions with the CEO, who received a unique report outlining the whole executive team.

Months 4-6: The teams separately took the TeamingAcumen Framework assessment in each functional department, which identified multiple places of disconnection in some high-impact areas. The results of the assessment were the catalyst for moving learning modules around. All of the teams had the same problem areas in one Element, which was a critical piece of information for this organization’s success. At Month 6, we brought in a complete ½-day Pretotyping learning module for each team. The teams learned Pretotyping principles and then constructed a full hypothesis testing Pretotype to verify market/concept fit of their existing flagship product.

The concern was that the business was not marketing in the correct place for the product: a better market fit might exist by pivoting the product in a different direction. This problem was common between all departments and was evident to every employee. In readjusting the scenario for marketing the product, the company was, in essence, re-positioning the product for better and wider acceptance. And every employee understood that. Many of them said, “This, this was what we had been missing!”

Outcome: This company found that leadership and the talents that led to great accomplishments, existed at every level of employee. They started to lean into each other, asking people with specific talents and expertise to weigh in before making decisions and changing directions that affected the whole company. They became highly honoring with each other, willing to have feedback about initiatives or even about their behaviors so that they could grow into better teammates together. The employees loved being seen for who they were, and what kinds of thinking they brought with them into collective decision-making. Teams became more collaborative and worked at strengthening ties with each other. They took charge of developing their teaming abilities, noting when they had slidden back into Storming Phase behaviors (Tuckman, 1966) so that they could get out of it more quickly. 


Of note: During the second month, we were approached by one of the team members who said they were skeptical about BP10 and the other things we were teaching. They had taken part in other team workshops like this and wanted to deliberately sabotage the efforts in the workshops. They took the assessment by marking every question with a “midline” answer, right down the middle; they didn’t care about the results of the assessment at all. They came to every meeting with arms crossed sitting back in their chair as if in a “I dare you” attitude, ready to never engage in the activities. By the time Month 2 sessions were finished, this same employee pulled us aside and told us that they were very excited for the upcoming months’ learning sessions and had never thought they would have learned so much about themselves and others. They couldn’t wait until Month 3 came along to learn even more. They apologized for purposely trying to sabotage our efforts and wished they could have taken the assessment over (we gave them the ability to do this).