A more effective executive team to lead for pace and delivery

The company

Topaz, a global professional services company, had grown very fast, partly by acquisition. As a result the top team was a mixed bunch with limited shared interest.

The CEO’s problem

James Teal wanted to sustain rapid growth, particularly in Brazil, India and China. This required new approaches to services, pricing, knowledge sharing and cross-border client management. He saw that executive team meetings were long, unfocused and poor at making decisions. They were also not very focused on where the market was going.

The work

By interview, observing the team and in their meetings, and reviewing agendas, minutes and key documents, we identified the areas for change. Based on this, we proposed to CEO Teal: some changes in the roles in the executive team, work by the team to refresh their common purpose, goals and success measures, introduce a changed executive agenda (with more on sources of growth and integrated client services), new ways of working as a team, and new terms of reference. This led to a series of working sessions with the executive to create and agree the practical detail for all these changes.

Making it stick

We coached Teal, the executive team, and those supporting the executive. The key supporting arrangements, processes, agenda-focus, terms of reference and timetable for the executive sub-committees were also reviewed and agreed, to align them better with the growth strategy and its requirements. Within six months their meetings were shorter, faster and taking tougher decisions. The executive shared more problems and the new collective pace could clearly be seen in accelerated business performance.

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