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Fortune 500 Retail/Product Company

This international retail and products company has over 2,200 stores globally and is the number 2 online retailer in the world.

Challenge

The Vice President for IT of this Fortune 500 retailer was responsible for the ongoing development and maintenance of one of the world’s busiest web sites and the backbone supporting product fulfillment. His team of Directors was comprised of leaders that came together as a result of the merger of two very large organizations. While the team was comprised of motivated, technically proficient, high-performing executives, it was experiencing several challenges that were limiting its effectiveness and that of the entire IT organization. The team wasn’t meeting expectations around cost management and productivity; they weren’t delivering to the satisfaction of internal business owners on time-to-market and responsiveness; there was an obvious culture of competition among team members that resulted in a lack of collaboration and ability to move forward in lock-step.
And, the geographical separation of most team members only added to the communication breakdowns.

Solution

The primary objectives of the program were to create the operating structure for the team to maximize its time together, get aligned around shared priorities/goals and to create a culture that encouraged team members to help each other. Ultimately there was a two-part focus (1) get the right structure in place to support team success and (2) build relationships so that team members could engage in the critical conversations that would result in the consequential decisions for the organization.
To achieve these objectives, 5.12 Solutions implemented a custom 8-month version of its Senior Team Development Program. The program was designed with quick hit interventions so that these busy executives weren’t out of their office for more than 2-4 hours at a time. The program included monthly Team Performance Sessions, executive coaching, personality style profiling, real-time coaching during team meetings, professional reading, and team diagnostics to measure results.

Result

Here’s how the Vice President described the program. “My experience with 5.12 Solutions has been one of the best in my professional career. Well planned, executed and evaluated.”

A comparison from the pre and post 5.12 Solutions Team Effectiveness Diagnostic revealed staggering changes in the way the team operates. Highlights show that clarity of purpose, dialogue and debate, and team agenda scores all shifted from low to high indicating the team is clearly focused on a common purpose and sees conflict as an opportunity for creativity and innovation.

More importantly, team dynamics made a tangible and easily observable shift. Team members reported that meetings are more productive; conversations and conflict resolution resulted in increased productivity for the “First Team” and all of the functional teams the Directors led; and, as a result of being able to have open dialogue and hold each other accountable, the team was able to make decisions it wasn’t previously able to make. One important decision resulted in $350,000 in cost savings that would accrue over a three-year period. That decision alone was almost a 10x return on investment for the program.

“5.12 offered a very practical team development program tailored to our needs. This experience enabled us to become more self-aware and to recognize and value working together as a team, with a goal of becoming a high-performing team. This has been one of the most valuable programs I’ve had the opportunity to participate in.”
- Director and Team Member