High Performing Teams
Originally founded in 1919, the company was purchased in 1998 by a major European automotive group. Substantial investment after the purchase saw the workforce rise from 1,500 to 4,000. Despite the successful introduction of a new product family, however, consistent strong growth was reversed by the changing financial climate in 2008.
The company had already acknowledged that it needed to smooth its profit growth by the timed introduction of other cars to fill the gaps between product-family launches. To create a more sustainable business, greater efficiency in bringing new products to market was needed. The growth of new markets, especially China, also urged close attention to customer satisfaction: reliance on brand recognition would not be sufficient. With this in mind, a closer integration of the engineering team’s activities and behaviours was required, along with greater appreciation of and alignment with business strategy. In short, they needed to be in High Performing Teams.
We were invited to work with the team, using the Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile instrument. This tool was chosen in part for its cultural fit, as it is scientifically robust and uses jargon-free language. By combining individual insights with the work context, it also delivers immediate practical and commercial relevance. Used alongside a 360 degree profile, it enables a team to assess and work with the skill sets and preferences of its individuals, reviewing individual contributions, approaches to teamworking, influencing skills and behaviours, and communication patterns.
Results and Evaluation
As a result of the programme, the team has a clear understanding of their collective strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and risks. They are also able to use the knowledge they gained during the days together to review actions and address some of the business imperatives that the Division’s Executive Director had outlined. Having had a mirror held up to them to show them their current behaviours more clearly, they are now able identify a range of alternatives. Individuals have taken personal responsibility for their changed behaviours and committed to holding each other to account.
With a higher quality of conversations within the overall team, improvement projects are now being tackled by cross-functional teams and the business is delivering more new products to the market without growing divisional headcount.Evaluation
We were asked to attend regular away days to support the maintenance of the engineering team as a high performing team.
We were also involved in quarterly team meetings to help consolidate the changes and to further integrate team development.
“We look at things differently now. We’re not siloed like we used to be, and are much better at seeking each other’s opinions and ideas.”