Addressing a Disenfranchised and Disconnected C-suite


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A consumer products company worked with RRA to transform its leadership team, aligning everyone around a common purpose. 



The leadership challenge 

RRA had just helped a consumer products company hire a new CEO—its fourth in recent years. 

The new CEO showed high potential. But the company’s chairman was concerned that the incoming CEO was about to inherit a top team that was disenfranchised and disconnected. 

The core problem was that the top team lacked an enterprise mindset. Every CxO was singularly focused on their own functional area or geography. There was little collaboration. And a lack of clarity about roles and accountabilities meant everyone was pulling in different directions. 

The chairman knew that these issues would need to be resolved (and fast) if the incoming CEO had any chance of succeeding in the role and securing long-term business success.



The RRA process

The company chairman, group HR director, and CEO worked with RRA on a two-year leadership transformation program, aimed at aligning the top team across functions and regions, and uniting everyone under a shared north star.   

The first step was for RRA to engage one-on-one with each CxO to create formal alignment around a “one firm” mission. It then worked with sub-groups of senior executives to formally create a set of organizational values that everyone could get behind and champion across the wider firm.   

Next, RRA carried out a leadership assessment of the entire C-suite team to understand their strengths and blind spots, as well as the areas they needed to focus on if they were to help the company deliver its strategy and growth objectives. This was supplemented with a workshop on team dynamics, which helped the top team better understand how they could work differently together.  

The assessments drew on RRA’s proprietary Leadership SpanTM and Productive Tensions approaches, which look at CxOs’ abilities to flex their leadership style situationally and work effectively as a team. This was not a case of ensuring conflict never happens. It was about ensuring that when conflict arises, the team can constructively navigate it.  




The resolution

Following the leadership program, the top team coalesced around a shared team purpose and operating model, and begin new ways of working. With a better understanding of their individual roles and accountabilities, as well as the dynamics of the wider team, the C-suite was able to pull together to drive business success.  

The exercise also identified knowledge gaps within the existing C-suite, and RRA helped identify three new business leaders to drive the business and team forward. The integration of these critical roles has helped move the culture towards being more open, with transparent feedback between CxOs and the breaking down of functional and geographical siloes. Ultimately, the top team is now well positioned for growth.  





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