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Transforming Uncertainty into Leadership Performance

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One of the largest medical devices companies in the world with over 100,000 employees, operating in over 150 countries with a turnover of 30 billion dollars, needed to address some significant challenges in one of their senior leadership teams.

The leadership team was responsible for large parts of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East with high profile clients such as Ministries of Health, major hospitals, the military and large Public Health Institutions.

The Challenges

The dual command system of the company’s matrix structure meant that functional and regional responsibilities frequently collided because of competing priorities.  Regional leaders had ambitious sales targets to meet while functional heads had another layer of targets related to their medical specialties.

The lockdown had left 15 leadership team members representing ten nationalities, stranded and working mainly online in different countries.

In addition to these challenges, a new Vice President had been brought in to head the leadership team amid the COVID-19 lockdown. 

The question on every leaders’ mind was: how does this leadership team do anything other than add more pressure to my life?

It was imperative that the leadership team work together in an emotionally intelligent way to improve relationships, accountability for managing the COVID-19 response, whilst driving forward and delivering the progressive business outcomes that had been previously set.  

The goal was to unite the leadership team with a common purpose, a clear identity and a commitment to open and effective communication in spite of their matrix management structure. 

The Solution

Firstly, secure stakeholder buy-in at the CEO / President  levels of the organisation through in-depth conversations to identify key concerns and desired outcomes to ensure the team gets the resources it needs.

Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic by designing an ONLINE programme, which would normally be completed face to face, to engage and unite the team to address key concerns of the team and the challenges they were facing.

Build trust and insight with the individual team leaders through confidential online coaching sessions using Business Emotional Intelligence Reports generated from the results of their EBW assessment.

Prepare team leaders for the high level of disclosure produced by the Team Maps generated from the EBWt team assessment (see Team Map left).

Run a 2-day Online Team Effectiveness Workshop with micro sessions, using EBWt Team Maps to identify relationship challenges and examine team performance metrics in terms of Vision, Trust, Identity, Commitment, Communicating and Working Together

See definitions and graph below right showing current versus performance target levels the leadership team wanted to achieve.

Team Performance Metrics Definitions

Vision: Level of understanding and agreement about team’s purpose and goals
Identity: The desire to be part of, and within a team that works together towards a shared purpose
Trust: Feelings of confidence about team members’ behaviour and goodwill
Commitment: The drive and belief in the team’s ability to achieve its’ goals
Communication: The willingness to collaborate, to listen, to share ideas and encourage discussion
Working together: The level of cooperation and participation within the team 

Produce the first draft of an action plan to improve leadership team performance in all team performance metrics.

Schedule a follow-up Online Round Table in 6 weeks after the workshop to iron out any challenges and ensure that the leadership team remains focused on implementing the action plan priorities. 

Run a second online workshop in 3 months after the Online Round Table to benchmark against the baseline results. 

Evaluation of the Online Experience

At EBW Global during the COVID-19 pandemic, EBW Certified Partners have been able to deliver both ONLINE LIVE Team Effectiveness Programmes and other Emotional Intelligence Workshops because we have had the experience of delivering successful ONLINE LIVE EBW Certification Programmes worldwide for over 5 years.

Here is some of what we had to do to make it all work:

  • Identify the drivers of behaviour and performance, when we are not able to work face to face

  • With a large team apply creative methods to keep everyone engaged.

  • Coordinate different time zones and have impeccable time management

  • Ensure uninterrupted internet and power supply and have a process in place for when and if these failed. 

  • Have a friendly and qualified support team to administer the online platform.

The Results
  1. Participants recognized the impact of similarities and differences in the way they managed their emotions and behaviours at work and online and developed practical actions to ensure measurable and positive improvements in their Emotional Intelligence performance.  

  2. The leadership team acknowledged that they needed to refocus on the benefits of the matrix structure in spite of the challenges it presents. 

  3. They also recognized the great value they can get and give by serving as a “Think Tank” developing strategies and sharing medical expertise, market intelligence and in-depth product knowledge to improve the quantity and quality of sales in both their specialty fields and regions.

  4. Participants committed to the follow up and bench-marking sessions scheduled 6 weeks and 3 months after the workshop, to measure progress in both financial and interpersonal performance.  

  5. Importantly, by applying Business Emotional Intelligence this team has managed to build and maintain sales 20% higher than all similar teams within the same organisation and regions.

  6. Both Fay Niewiadomski's team and the participants realised how challenging it can be to run Online Leadership/Team Programme with participants based across different time zones. Adopting the mindset of “Earthquakes don’t Matter! People Do!” they pulled it off successfully.

The Benefits 

In the words of the regional Vice President heading this leadership team:

“Attending the EBWt Team Effectiveness Workshop with Fay Niewiadomski is like giving ourselves the gifts of insight and courage to step across the bridge of fear and into the circle of trust.  My experience at the EBWt Team Effectiveness workshop was transformative because it confirmed to me that there was no topic too daunting to discuss and resolve.  

A lot of insights and truths about the team and myself surfaced into the light and I experienced tremendous learning and several breakthroughs as did my team.  Having these tools now will be very helpful going forward.  I love this process and I will continue to practice and expand my Team Leadership capabilities.  

Every Leader should come and attend this programme with the members of their team.  It will transform you and your relationships in many positive ways. 

Performance and relationship improvement through EBW Business Emotional Intelligence is the sustainable solution