Merging Leaders into one High-Performing Team

Our multinational clean-energy client was looking for a partner to support them with a major acquisition of a consumer-focused subdivision that would effectively result in doubling their customer base. To achieve this, they needed to merge a total of 10 entities across the two sides of the business under one organisation. This would require a complete restructuring of the leadership team.

They had an idea of the structure they required to shape the new team but were unsure who would be more suitable in the new leadership structure across both existing leadership teams. Therefore, they needed an independent consultancy to impartially assess the individual capabilities of the existing leadership teams on both sides of the business.

Our client had approached two major management consulting firms and one of the big five Executive Search companies. However, this didn’t seem to be the best approach for them as they wanted a more agile and engaging process, completely tailored to their strategic needs.

An initial conversation with the SVP People & Strategy gave 6 Group the opportunity to give a generic introduction illustrating our services and capabilities.

Our client didn’t have an ‘organisation of the future’ already designed to then assess the cohort against. Therefore, 6 Group designed a bespoke Leadership Capability Assessment Programme to understand how that could inform our client on who would be best placed and where within the new organisation. The outcome of this programme would also give an indication of how the new business could and should be designed.

6 Group held a four-hour workshop at the client’s head office with all senior leadership stakeholders to understand what they saw as being key behaviours that they required to be assessed, in order to help them define the new team. The purpose of this workshop was therefore to agree the ‘must-have’ behaviourial and functional competencies that would form the basis of the assessment. In addition, it also allowed us to get a full overview of the potential future organisation and to have an understanding of the functions to enable us to perform a technical assessment.

THE PROGRAMME

The Leadership Programme proposed included a combination of a:

  • Remote Psychometric & Personality Profiling – Utilised in multiple international languages, to outline each candidate’s self-perception of their strengths, motivations, needs and preference in critical work areas and to identify their individual management style.
  • Behavioural Competency Assessment –To discuss each candidate’s findings from their psychometric evaluation, including their individual motives, preferences, needs and talents and gathering evidence on their results. In addition, the candidates were asked for specific examples which best demonstrated their experience in each core competency area selected during the commencement workshop.
  • Technical Assessment – Where the candidates were asked to prepare a presentation about a specific subject to demonstrate a situation where they had to implement a technical change. Additionally, 6 Group worked in partnership with a career expert from the power generation, transmission and distribution sectors to conduct a technical questionnaire to gain evidence around the candidates’ technical capabilities.

Overall, each leader was assessed against their core strengths and development areas and key themes were identified around aspects such as culture, location, suitability, etc.

For each participant, a full report was created detailing their evaluation against the examples discussed in the assessment, including a full summary of strengths, areas for development, aspirations, leadership style/profile, their interest areas and (score) proximity to top leadership competencies/ ‘core differentiators’. Details around the examples given by the participants and an explanation on how they tie into the behaviours and functional capability and agility of the individual were also included in the report.

The individual reports were shared with both the participants and the Executive Leadership Team, to form the basis for future personal development.

6 Group followed up with individual one-hour full feedback sessions to discuss the reports compiled based on the evidence gathered during the assessment and to analyse potential development areas.

A final workshop was conducted at the end of the programme to discuss individual findings, themes, insights and dynamics across the wider leadership team. This included identifying not only the values within the organisation but also the key problems and cultural differences, whilst providing recommendations on how to best tackle them.

 THE CHALLENGES

  • Working on a strict deadline for project completion – Planning and delivery in a short time-frame was a significant challenge as the client had a very rigorous deadline established for when the programme should be finalised. 6 Group had to ensure that the project was carefully planned to meet the client’s requirement, whilst also ensuring the programme was ring-fenced and kept confidential. The project was completed within four weeks of commencement.
  • Intensive process – four to five hours were spent assessing each participant, which required careful planning and organisation.
  • Standardisation of assessment process – Multiple consultants from 6 Group conducted the assessments and, therefore, ensuring that the process and the matrix of evidence were carefully standardised from start to finish throughout the assessments as well as the final reports and individual feedback sessions.
  • Adapting to cultural differences – 6 Group had to recalibrate the findings in order to address certain know cultural traits and semantic concepts in the psychometric profiling that could be perceived as passive-aggressive.
  • Bringing together different entities into one larger organisation – A total of 10 different business entities were effectively assessed and individuals were selected to be part of the new leadership team of the merged new organisation. This posed a significant challenge given the complexity of the business and the number of participants to assess.
  • New organisation to be created around individuals’ strengths – As opposed to the standard process where our mission would be to do a capability assessment to aid a deselection programme.

THE OUTCOME

Despite all the challenges encountered, 6 Group was able to quickly understand the client’s requirements and developed a formula that would give them a clear path of understanding the strengths of the organisation that they could put into practice.

6 Group had to also adapt the scope of the roles for the new team to ensure the business had the best of the selected individuals.

Each of the 26 participants received detailed feedback at the end of the project, which was well-received overall and considered useful, regardless of being selected or not to these specific positions.

Overall, all participants were very engaging during the whole process and found 6 Group’s approach very personal and thorough and were surprised by the accuracy and speed of the programme.

This process challenged the business and the leadership team in multiple aspects and allowed the restructuring of the entire business. 6 Group managed to successfully do this by making exclusively internal appointments from a mixture of leaders from both sides of the business. A total of 10 individuals were selected to lead the new merged larger organisation.

By doing this, we were able to provide our client with a broader understanding of the strengths within the whole cohort to help them in their plan for the future.

The insightful nature of this project led our client to select 6 Group again to conduct a second wave of assessments a few months later. This time around, the business had advertised internally 80 roles to report to the leaders selected in Wave one, in order to build a new management team. Therefore, 6 Group was engaged to conduct less intensive but a higher volume of assessments to identify the best-suited individuals for these positions.

This process was done remotely to provide the client with a more cost-effective solution for the business.

Furthermore, 6 Group has been asked to conduct executive coaching for two members of the leadership team and has been introduced to a different division within the business and are currently running a search for a management position.

We have also been invited to deliver a major presentation to the top 100 leaders of the organisation, to discuss the main findings and core themes throughout this project and discuss the main areas where we can help lead the business to further development.

 


6 Group is a global leader in building truly bespoke Leadership Assessment & Development programmes to help businesses go beyond and achieve evolutionary outcomes.

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