Elevating team performance

Type of Client:
High performing virology team at leading pharmaceutical company

Engagement

Three month program focused on self-leadership and high functioning teams

Approach

This high performing team was delivering strong results for the business when people challenges emerged in mid-2020. Magnified by COVID, the situation created a level of tension and dysfunction.

Not one to let issues grow, the Business Unit Manager got on the front foot by engaging Yo&Co to surface and shift the frustrations that were holding individuals and the team back.

This work coincided with some key appointments and a business strategy review. To achieve their challenging market share target for the 2020 calendar year, it was essential that everyone felt valued and included, and onboard with the overall strategy.

We ran coaching, workshops and an interactive communications campaign exploring:

The beliefs and behaviours that were undermining team cohesion

The power of self-awareness and personal responsibility to shift unhelpful behaviours

The natural strengths everyone brought to the team, and how these strengths get overplayed to create tension 

How to adapt communication styles to get the best out of your colleagues

Individual changes each person could make to improve team performance, with practical tools they could use to achieve their commitments.

We ran coaching, workshops and an interactive communications campaign exploring:

  • The beliefs and behaviours that were undermining team cohesion
  • Effective communication that influences others and builds support around new ideas
  • Being open to new ideas and perspectives; challenging the status quo
  • Being flexible and adaptable to different styles of working

Outcome

In the words of participants:

“This program is a great way to realign your priorities and capture a new energy in bringing your best self to your team and work”

“A great program for our team at this time with some real breakthroughs”

“I learnt what my colleagues from different teams saw in me, my strengths, what they valued, what they thought I could improve and how this would in their opinion be best for the team”

What the numbers revealed:

The team smashed their market share target by year end.

Business unit head received a 100% engagement score from their direct reports.
Participant feedback was at 4/5 or greater for the key measures of “worth my time”, “overall quality” and “confidence in the team’s ability to deliver on our strategy”.

Improving decision-making and team cohesion

Type of Client:
Not-for-profit peak industry body

Engagement:

Completion of the Squadify team acceleration platform to identify challenges and opportunities, complemented by two full day workshops developing solutions.

Approach:

This team of eight is a collegiate, cooperative and purpose-driven. When the new CEO joined the organisation, she was keen to tackle the attitudinal and behavioural challenges that often emerge in long tenured teams that are deeply passionate about their work.

She engaged Yo&Co to focus on:

  • Barriers to team performance across three core areas clarity, climate and competence
  • Effective communication that influences others and builds support around new ideas
  • Being open to new ideas and perspectives; challenging the status quo
  • Being flexible and adaptable to different styles of working

Outcome

Using the Squadify platform, we achieved broad support for several process improvements and agreed the behavioural shifts that would make the biggest difference to team dynamics. The team was able to see how they were showing up in critical conversations that frustrated collaboration and decision making. Each senior team member articulated the specific change they needed to make and how they would achieve progress. These insights opened up new thinking on a contentious topic that had been bogging the team down.

Creating a one-team mindset

Type of Client:
Boutique global equities fund manager

Engagement:

Initial team effectiveness program followed up by targeted workshops and ongoing coaching.

Approach:

Yo&Co started working with Munro Partners in 2019 when they were a team of 10. They had experienced exceptional growth in funds under management and knew investment in their culture was essential to ensure their ongoing success. While they were a tight team of high performers, individualist thinking, getting stuck in ruts after making the wrong call, and a tendency to defer to leadership were among the mindset and behavioural challenges the three founders were keen to address.

Our engagement started with 1 on 1 interviews to identify everyone’s perspective on the team’s greatest growth opportunities. From there, Yo&Co developed a workshop series targeting self-awareness, other-awareness and adaptability.

The team has grown to 18, FUM continues to grow and investment performance is strong. Yolanda continues to induct new team members in key adaptive leadership concepts, and provides ad-hoc support to the leadership team and 1 on 1 coaching on an as needed basis.

Outcome

  • Supported the investment team to shift individualistic decision-making and tap
    into their collective intelligence
  • Provided a shared language for owning unconstructive, threat-based responses
  • Helped team members shift long-held insecurities, improving their productivity
    and well-being
  • Reinforced leadership commitment to team culture
“Yolanda gets to the heart of issues that are holding individuals and the team back from operating at their best. She has become a valued extension of our team and sounding board for me on people issues as we’ve grown.”
Ronnie Calvert, chief executive

Elevating leadership impact of newly appointed partners

Type of Client:
Leading insurance law firm

Engagement:

Our client was keen to support its newly appointed partners in their transition from being an individual producer to a people leader.

Approach:

As any professional services firm knows, time is money, so these 2-hour sessions needed to be highly targeted and on point to have an impact.

Functional leaders were also developed in separate sessions focusing on how they can have more impact across the firm.

The sessions targeted the one big mindset and behavioural shift (i.e., adaptive challenge) participants could make to improve their leadership effectiveness. 

Some of the challenges the participants took on included:

  • I commit to delegating more effectively by releasing my need for control. 
  • I commit to leaning into difficult conversations, particularly with colleagues who used to be my peers. 
  • I commit to being open to other people’s perspectives by letting go of my need to be right. 
  • I commit to switching off from work more so I can be present for my family and for my own wellbeing.

Outcome

  • Achieving an adaptive challenge always involves identifying and unpacking the insecurities and assumptions that drive existing behaviours.
  • By using tools and concepts that make this discovery playful and non-threatening, participants were able to gain new insights into their existing behaviours and what they need to let go of to change.
  • Having this conversation among peers also strengthened relationships and support networks during the lonely lockdown months.
“Developing the leadership impact of new partners is critically important for the firm’s ability to attract and keep top talent, and develop their potential. The sessions were a key component of that program. The team loved working withYolanda and were able to work on some really meaty challenges.”
Odile Shepherd, People &Culture Director. 

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