An Executive Retreat Experience: Getting Up-close and Personal with Company Change

When I first joined Assured Strategy, as a new coach I had the opportunity to observe a client retreat.   This was a two-day executive team leadership & strategy engagement, led by David Chavez, CEO.

On the morning of the first day, this exec team showed signs of uncertainty. They were tentative and certainly not on the same page regarding their view of themselves, each other or the company.

Team Dynamics

The first day was powerful, David provided an abundance of Scaling Up growth and leadership tools (click here for free tools). The one session that stood out to me was the review and open discussion of the execs personal profile reports from “Advanced Insights”. This was tough, it generated the gamut of emotions, starting off with doubt, disbelief, defensiveness and self-punishment.  There was tension in that room, but David tactfully defused emotions and although there was a clear expectation for each of the exec’s To-Own-It and for them to help each other Own-It, he encouraged them to recognize and build on their strengths and to accept their weakness.  This was so empowering to them as a team. By the end of the first day, there was a fresh collective mindset.

Strategy and Planning

No more uncertainty or tentativeness!  It was replaced with open discussion, they covered some really tough business issues. They even disagreed, but they were doing it in a healthy respectful way.  The refocus was on their roles individually and as an executive team, but mostly on the company.  They worked on building core values, identifying their core customer, short- and long-term strategic goals.  Have you ever heard of “BHAG®”, a big hairy audacious goal?  They revisited the executive level org-chart and discovered that their roles were not clearly defined, what a revelation that was! If the execs don’t know, how could the rest of the employees know?

There were more reality checks for this group over the two days; a report revealing how they had perceived each other, and another on how the rest of the employees perceive them, both individually and collectively.   The team also received their collective anonymous thoughts on the health of the company.

To give you a little background, I am the newest team member and coach for the Assured Strategy firm and my specialty is lean operations and process improvements.  Watching the pattern shift as David coached this leadership team was incredible. His coaching would have been so beneficial for many of my prior clients over the years, where unrecognized team dysfunction caused disruption, confusion, delays and redundancies, all of which hindered the success of projects. Dysfunction is expensive for a company and comes with a high price tag.

I encourage you to bring your executive team to one of Assured Strategy’s workshops (click here for our event page). You will be given tools you can put into practice right away to help scale your company.

Your employees need to know what mountain peak the company is aiming for, so they take the right fork in the road, and see the forest through the trees. A clear strategy that is well executed through empowered staff is where Assured Strategy starts.

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