Case Studies

Open communication leads to a multi-million dollar project success

A “joyless existence” is how one manager described a team of leaders tasked with implementing a multi-million dollar technology project. The team of six managers had successfully completed phase one of the project, but at great cost to the welfare of the team. They were bitter, exhausted and wanted out. However, there was a second phase of the project to complete. In preparation for phase two, Mary was asked to come in and help them resolve their differences. Mary provided her signature team building service, which took them through an issues-resolution process designed for each team member to take ownership of their role in damaging the team and commit to making positive changes by speaking their true ideas and giving honest feedback to each other.

The team went on to “call each other out” in a respectful manner when issues arose in phase two and resolve them in a timely manner resulting in an extraordinary sense of shared fate amongst the team. Phase two was completed successfully with a lot less upheaval. Phase two of the project went much more smoothly for the team. They appreciated being able to openly communicate with each other about problems that came up as soon as they were discovered. Thanks to being able to deal with any issues in a timely manner, the project was done on time and within budget.

Senior executive is on the road to becoming a more successful leader

An executive received feedback from several sources that he came across to others in an arrogant and condescending manner. He knew this could impede his progression within his company and decided to call on a coach to help him identify which specific behaviors he could improve. He and Mary worked out a detailed coaching plan, encompassing a feedback assessment and interviews from his stakeholders, interviews and personality assessments, including one focused on intercultural behaviors.

As the executive became more self-aware, he saw how his behavior impacted the behavior of others. He took action and made changes, including not being the first one to come up with a solution and holding his tongue when he wanted to make an inappropriate remark about someone’s competence. Within one month, his supervisor noted the improved behaviors and complemented both he and Mary on their work together. Today, this executive has been promoted to a Senior Director with global responsibilities.

Management and Union officials’ agree on common ground regarding the creation of work teams on the factory floor

A unionized manufacturing plant was interested in creating work teams on the factory floor that took more responsibility for production, safety, quality, and process improvement. However, they could not come to agreement on the process for designing the teams and identifying each team’s responsibilities. Mary worked with management and union leaders to identify common ground, clear responsibilities, and initial steps to build factory-floor teams. Once the plan had new teams in place, Mary coached them in designing training and performance metrics necessary for the teams to be successful. As a result of this collaborative team-building consulting, the plant achieved higher productivity and quality, had fewer safety incidents and less grievances which saved several thousand dollars in waste, both from a productivity standpoint as well as labor costs.