Building Top Team Cohesion and Performance


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After hiring three new CxOs, a leading infrastructure company partnered with RRA to build top team cohesion and performance—for today and tomorrow.



The leadership challenge

After recently making three new hires to its executive team, the CEO turned their attention to C-suite performance. There was not a particular problem to tackle; the company continued to perform strongly. But amid the disruption of the global pandemic, the CEO wanted to ensure the top team was pulling in the right direction and that every CxO had what was needed to succeed in a fast-changing world.

At the same time, the CEO was mindful of ensuring the business had a robust pipeline of future-fit leaders who could secure long-term business continuity. With the organizational context quickly evolving, the CEO recognized that future CxOs would need an entirely different set of skills to their counterparts today and wanted to be ready.

The RRA process

Over the next 18 months, RRA helped the C-suite improve its team dynamics and completed a robust succession process to assess and develop future leaders within the company’s ranks.

The first step was to look at the existing C-suite, with a goal to build cohesion, common purpose, and improved performance. To do this, RRA ran a series of discovery discussions and off-sites focused on four key areas.

01. Reconnect the team: Build trust and connection among the existing C-suite and new CxOs.

02. Build team alignment: Define a team charter, norms, and standards.

03. Promote CxO awareness of their role as leaders and torch bearers: Build self-awareness, and deepen the CxOs’ understanding of their peers and the impact they have as enterprise leaders.

04. Connect culture and strategy: Define the culture of the organization and identify the shifts needed to deliver on the business strategy.



Once the team dynamics had been fine-tuned, RRA began working with CxOs on an individual level. The aim was to help everyone build awareness of their leadership strengths and development areas, so they understood what they needed to do to stay ahead of a fast-moving business environment.

This was achieved through a highly personalized development journey for each CxO, anchored in their own needs, as well as those of their team, and the organization. The development process was based on a deep exploration of each CxO’s career so far and their future aspirations, and set out the actionable areas they would need to focus on in the coming two years.

The final piece of the program was to invest in the development of internal successors for each CxO role to ensure long-term continuity and sustained C-suite success. RRA worked with the company to develop a success profile for every CxO leader, which set out the experiential, leadership, and behavioral requirements they would need in the future. Once the company had identified its rising stars, RRA ran a development and assessment program to evaluate these future leaders against the success profiles.

The assessment process combined deep interviews, psychometrics, and 360-degree feedback. Key to this was RRA’s proprietary Leadership SpanTM model, which looks at how well leaders can flex their approach in different business situations. For example, do CxOs know when to take risks and when to be more measured? Can they lead from the front while also having self-awareness and the vulnerability to listen? Do they know when to galvanize actions through energy and inspiration and when to connect, collaborate and promote the success of others?

Each high-potential successor emerged from the process with a deeper understanding of the strengths and development areas they would need to focus on to one day step into the C-suite. For the organization, this enabled a more strategic and systematic approach to succession planning, providing objective insight to ensure the group of potential CxO successors was future-ready.




The resolution

Any analysis of top team performance will uncover insights that at times can be confronting or challenging. But the company’s C-suite had a collective desire to learn and was keen to understand how they could better secure success—at the individual, team, and organizational levels. The outcome was a more connected and cohesive top team, aligned in their desire to drive growth, deliver on the strategy, and develop themselves and their successors.

Meanwhile, the systematic approach to succession planning gave the CEO an accurate lens on the long-term potential of future C-suite leaders, and a more objective approach to building bench-strength. For the first time, they had an accurate picture of top-performers within the company ranks, and the confidence to know that whatever the future would bring, the C-suite would be ready.





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