Quadrant 3: Creating Alignment

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Although the IT services department was organized into client

service teams, most of the representatives for the various services

tended to work independently, rarely interacting with the other

representatives on their client team except for updates and reports.

Donna believed that if the client facing teams were to work

more effectively together to understand and meet the needs of the

clients, it would be a win for everyone involved. This would entail a

huge shift in outlook as well as in working arrangements for the

entire department. Donna was not sure where to start. In the past,

Donna more or less presented her ideas to her managers and

expected them to toe the line and get it done. Her gut instinct told

her that this approach would not work in this case, however, and

would erode the gains she had made to become a more collaborative

leader.

Donna decided to bring her idea into a coaching conversation.

Donna’s coach asked her to intuitively think how she wanted to

approach this change. After some reflection, Donna noted that her

own management team functioned more as a collection of individuals

than as a team. Donna engaged her team members in dialogue

about what it really meant to be a team and, based on the recommendations

that surfaced, the team chartered a new course for itself.

The changes that ensued created stronger ties within Donna’s management

team and was naturally carried by the managers into their

own teams.

The change process was not always smooth sailing, but Donna’s

coach encouraged her to look at the underlying dynamics of team

interactions when the team ran into difficulties. With practice,

Donna gained confidence in her intuitive ability to detect and

surface unspoken concerns for the team to address directly. It was a

little unnerving for Donna at times, but she could see that her team

was really blossoming with this new approach.