Topsail Group, LLC

Case Histories: Team Training

Case: 1 2 3 4
  • “Can high performance team building techniques in business transfer to a public sector science & entertainment center?”

    Situation

    Whitaker Center in Harrisburg PA needed to revitalize their management team. The new CEO who was originally from Harrisburg, but schooled at IBM and other enterprises asked Topsail Group to help train and excite their management team. This pro-bono project needed the best business practices on teamwork to stimulate this not-for-profit entity. They wanted more success in their community and looked to “business” for help.

    Solution

    With careful preparation, Topsail Group and the CEO carefully planned the program. It included talking to the executives that ran areas of the Whitaker Center. Whitaker Center had a complicated offering requiring different skills of the executive team. It provides both educational and entertainment exhibits and programs like: IMAX, Science (Interactive Science Center), Stage (theater performances, concerts). This diverse offering meant the staff ran from scientists to art experts; normally not put in the same room, let alone on the same management team. This program to transform the executive staff into a high performance team included: Topsail Personality Profiling, establishing their status as a team using the Tuckman Model, building trust between each other, team building exercises, interpreting, paraphrasing, and negotiating. One of the unique parts of these workshops was not only training but we tackled the two key business problems: increasing repeat visitor attendance and identifying new revenue sources. This made the sessions relevant to their issues as opposed to being totally theoretical.

    Results

    CEO was hoping to achieve only some of his objectives, thinking this effort would be a win- win in any case. Instead, the CEO learned his people were now a real team; far more collaborative and productive. He now had more confidence in them. The CEO was amazed that Topsail was able to create several new business building programs that Whitaker Center had never seen before.

  • “Developing an executive management group into a high performance team”

    Situation

    A new USA President & CEO for a large a French company has to take charge and direct his executive team. Early indications were the team was divided and had no clear common vision. They were supporting their own individual agendas and had a silo-like way of working.

    Solution

    Topsail Group created a comprehensive and integrated High Performance Team Program to clarify and further develop the CEO’s vision; beginning with the mission of the company, strategy, and his team’s pledge to one another. It began with building trust and a better way of working. The program included: Topsail executives becoming a integral member of the executive team, alignment of the management with the CEO direction, evaluating and determining the exact progress towards becoming a high performance team, disclosing and clarifying the CEO key priorities, personality profiling the management team, establishing trust through a series of workshops, assigning project work and team building scenarios, creating clear goals against the duality that comes with the different roles and responsibilities for management and department leadership, auditing the management team monthly meetings and changing process in order for them to be more effective and efficient, suggesting ways to increase engagement between team members, solidifying key objectives for the company and the executives, evaluation of key players on the team resulting in the replacement of some, and finally providing supplemental evaluation and executive coaching for members of the management team.

    Results

    After the sessions there was clear direction from the CEO, a tight leadership team with common goals, less friction, more trust within the team, better working relationships, more engagement from management and clear direction to the rank and file, overall better communication from top to bottom, more focus and better results against key previously determined priorities, a better cast of players--since some were replaced, clearer job descriptions, rules, roles and behavior characteristics for the top of the company. As a consequence, the company clearly led by the new CEO was ready for their next phase of development and already improving company performance.

  • “Eliminating silos and developing a company-wide high performance team”

    Situation

    A global research firm was expanding its business rapidly. It was organized into two powerful and somewhat conflicting departments. Employees responded to the high demands of this business growth by becoming insular even within their own departments, supporting their own individual (not company) agendas, and exhibiting fragmented, silo-like behaviors.

    Solution

    Topsail Group was asked by its senior management group to create a comprehensive and integrated High Performance Team Program to further develop their vision of the company; that of working as one team with shared goals and day-to-day collaborative behaviors. Based on one-on-one interviews, pre-work assignments, and discovery workshops, Topsail Group identified the key areas that needed improvement: employees were currently struggling with focus, operating procedures, and protocols; their day-to-day roles & responsibilities were unclear; and their behaviors were inconsistent and unpredictable. Topsail created a customized High Performance Team Building Program to solve these issues that included: a better way to understand and work with one another – Topsail Personality Profile; essential ingredients for team building – enhanced communication, influencing, engaging, and empathizing skills; and articulating new and improved daily operating procedures and clarifying employee roles through highly interactive workshops and breakout teams. All of these initiatives were centered on the need to fuel company growth by continuing to be customer-centric.

    Results

    The company embarked on a more unified team approach to solving daily problems and recurring activities. The senior management group and employees incorporated the following positive behavior characteristics into their culture: employees accepted a new team-oriented vision and strategy for growth; redefined roles, responsibilities, and procedures were clearly understood and followed; and accountability and ownership were embraced by all team members. Clearly one of the most important ingredients in this instance was the follow-up and re-training of employees to fortify these changes before they could be forgotten.

  • “Working as one team, not individuals, to build strong business relationships”

    Situation

    A senior executive of a division of a major global drug company with several consumer products was looking for ways to better mold his group to work more effectively as one unified team. He wanted to assess their strengths, enhance their ability to build business relationships, and therefore enabling them to make better and timelier decisions. Although they were all exceptional and talented people, they tended to enjoy working alone.

    Solution

    Topsail Group was asked by this senior executive to create a comprehensive and integrated High Performance Team Program to address the problem stated above and to help develop one team with shared goals and with an improved collaborative operating style. Based on one-on-one interviews and pre-work assignments and discussion, Topsail Group created a customized High Performance Team Building Program to solve these issues that included: a better way to understand and work with one another by utilizing Topsail Personality Profile; highly interactive workshop team building sessions that focused on essential team skills and breakout drills and role playing; enhanced communication skills to help support working daily as a collaborative team of players; how to engage and persuade other business people through strategic influencing; and presentation skills and techniques in order to help make timely and important decisions. After these team and individual workshop sessions concluded, Topsail Group made itself available 24/7 to the senior executive and his team to help counsel on any problems or issues that may surface in the weeks or months ahead.

    Results

    The Topsail Group Program and workshops were well received and implemented by the team. The senior executive had this to say: “Topsail Group gave us an excellent way for my team to understand its own strengths and to quickly evaluate potential partners and move quickly to form and to build strong business relationships.”

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