Our first move was to develop a bespoke 3-day workshop format – that we later called the leadership wrap – to simultaneously engage with ELT and the LT (second line of managers).
For the LT, the session was an opportunity to reflect on how to deal with uncertainty and embrace upcoming changes in order to minimise the impact of the transition period and possibly turn it into an opportunity. We created space for a collective dialogue to express doubts, fears and questions, and progressively reach a shared understanding of the context and the opportunity.
For the ELT, this was a real-time ‘leadership test’. We helped them verbalise tensions or contradictions, acknowledge the impact of language and reach a new level of awareness of their individual and collective behaviours. Humbling, physically tiring and mentally challenging, these three days effectively re-set the interaction patterns between ELT members and with their teams. As a tangible outcome, the ELT produced nine leadership principles they aspired to embody and that would inform further work on the four-year strategic plan.
For the following two years, we monitored the subtle changes in behaviours and practices and designed appropriate interventions everytime required. This included individual coaching of ELT members, facilitation of some LT weekly meetings, co- design and facilitation of small, medium or large problem solving workshops, storytelling and visualisation, co-design and facilitation of offsite to pause, reflect, and course correct, etc. As the new patterns started to crystallise, we facilitated a 3-day co- design session with ELT and LT to consolidate the emerging culture and translate it in a new version of the 4-year strategic plan and operational priorities of the organisation. (illustrate with front-cover.psd)
Over the entire period, we consistently nurtured the emergence of new behaviours and created a context for over 40 people to question themselves, support each other and hold each other accountable through their own change journey. Over time, the emerging behaviours started being reflected in some of the more structural component of the organisation like the governance model, the strategic plan or the HR processes. This is when we knew that change had become sustainable.