When a clear, compelling goal serves as a unifying focal point of effort and acts as a powerful catalyst for team morale, it’s called a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG).
Napco’s CPD has fought to achieve their own goal of growing business profits over the next five years. Executives know that to accomplish this, the company has to shift from a dependent to an interdependent culture.
When considering this leap, E.V.P Bahjat Frem and other Senior Leadership Team members first wanted to determine the depth in which Georges N. Frem’s core values were embedded in the Consumer Division culture. They then wanted to make sure these values were established and thoroughly practiced by both teams and individuals.
The journey began in October 2013 when CPD executives and managers participated in a high-impact intervention that kicked-off the evaluation of existing culture.
During initial interventions, participants across the Senior Leadership, Operations, Sales, Marketing, Finance, and HR teams gained relevant experience and practical skills for improving their immediate work culture, leading by example. These skills also allowed them to establish a highly-synchronous and unified work culture.
Acquiring New Skills
Participants learned and utilized interactive skills, received in-depth feedback about their own behavior, and how specific behaviors impact people around them.
Critical analysis and critique were the most significant skills acquired – key skills for building strong, shared standards of excellence while allowing for creativity, invention, and innovation.
The Key Characteristics of the Culture Agreed Upon Were:
• Candor and transparency for positive collaboration.
• Mutual trust to generate respect and open communication.
• Consensus decision-making for consistent alignment.
• Effective conflict resolution for healthier work environment.
• Flexible authority for faster decision-making and networking.
• High standards for performance excellence.
Building on the Foundation
The next intervention involved:
Teams taking the knowledge and skills gained from the first intervention and unanimously aligning with the work culture established by the SLT.
Team members working interdependently to evaluate the impact of specific work-related behavior on team results.
Activities that allowed each team member to analyze their performance.
Discussions around objectives for change.
Allowing teams to eliminate tensions and potentially impeding issues.
Grid intervention moderators and consultants accompanied and coached teams to help them implement the improvement steps enacted in the prior interventions.
The Embedding Process
1. Post-Intervention Reports: After the interventions, team members received a detailed summary of their work.
2. 16-Month Follow-Through Coaching: Grid International consultant followed-up by coaching teams on a monthly basis to strengthen back-home application of individual and team commitments. They provided teams with meeting critique forms that reinforced the new skills into everyday practice.
3. Post-Intervention Individual and Team Projects: Grid International assisted individuals and teams in planning and carrying out projects that make use of Grid skills and values learned.
4. Instrumenting Napco Meetings: Grid International offered the service of using the Grid methodology in “instrumenting” internal meetings throughout Napco as a way to keep practicing the skills learned.
5. Grid also worked with leaders to build personal accountability into Napco’s bonus and appraisal systems.
• Pre (before an activity): “What are we doing and how are we doing it?”
• Periodic (during an activity): A planned schedule to stop and evaluate progress.
• Concurrent (during an activity): Occurs spontaneously, as needed.
• Post (after an activity): Compares outcomes to initial criteria with an objective focus on learning from experience.
The Culture Style Unanimously Identified by Participants as “Ideal”:
9,9 INTERDEPENDENT Culture
Contribute & Commit
Results are achieved by maintaining strong relationships and high standards.
- Concern for Results.
- Concern for People.
Culture is Characterized by People Who:
• Share authority based on common assumptions, knowledge, and general accountability.
• Involve those responsible for implementation in setting goals and objectives.
• Objectively confront conflict to reveal and resolve underlying root causes.
• Practice ongoing critique based on shared objectives and criteria
• Establish standards of excellence based on shared commitment and efficient use of resources.
Culture Impact: People feel free to explore and present alternatives, challenge ideas, and air disagreements when making decisions. They explore alternative viewpoints thoroughly and commit to objective business decision-making. Even when their ideas are not embraced, people feel they have been given the chance to offer opinions that have been heard. As a result, others are more likely to support it even if they don’t completely agree.