This global financial institution was embarking on some innovative strategies in Asia. The Regional Team had differing opinions on the strategies, KPI's and how to implement the plan for the year. With the matrix of functions and geographies, a level of complexity was evident. There were strong personalities and much history, which created barriers to alignment. The Regional Director clearly needed to create agreement and encourage the Regional Team to speak with one voice.
It became clear that team members held varying views and positions. In order to ferret those out, individual interviews were conducted with key team members, after which a report was made which clearly outlined areas of agreement and disagreement. A one- day Strategy Day took place with all Regional Team members. Initially, areas of difference and agreement were discussed and validated at the team level. Areas of agreement were recognized and appreciated. Subsequently break out groups, comprised of members with opposing views, examined the more challenging areas. After reporting back, many of the issues were aligned. For those, which were not, large group facilitation took place to get all the positions out on the table and negotiate agreements. At the end a balanced scorecard approach was employed to create clear accountabilities and measurement.
The Regional Team achieved alignment on all major strategic areas. They also came up with some innovative new approaches. A key aspect of the facilitation was allowing all team members to participate and express their views, as well as being involved in the final outcomes. The Regional Team discovered that they CAN work together successfully as a team to achieve outcomes, and that its OK to have varying positions, while still being open to compromise and creative solutions. Another key outcome was the encouragement of all key members to work together, releasing the Regional Director from the burden of doing all the alignment and decision-making.
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