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Improving the performance of a Board of Directors (1)

Background

The organisation was delivering on external targets despite a dysfunctional Executive Team. Individually they were high achievers but did not work collectively or collaboratively. There was a high turnover of Directors, poor continuity and a culture of fear. The Chairman and Chief Executive wanted to work well together but did not agree on methods of delivery. Oxford Executive were asked to help turn the Board around, to improve the working relationship between the Chairman and Chief Executive and to change the reputation and culture of the organisation.

Programme and method

A three stage programme, over 12 months, was agreed. Initially one coaching session with the Chairman and Chief Executive together, then three individual coaching sessions with each. This was followed by a cultural audit, which included the opinions of external stakeholders and shadowing Board and public meetings. Finally, Oxford Executive conducted personality profiling of all the top team with individual feedback, held three away days to keep consistency and focus on the strategic and interpersonal issues that emerged from the cultural audit, and conducted coaching sessions with two key Directors who had recently joined the organisation.

Results

The turnover of Directors stopped and the relationship between Chairman and Chief Executive significantly improved. The culture changed from 'telling' to 'listening and coaching', with stakeholders and staff enjoying a more collaborative and productive relationship. The organisation continued to deliver and gained a three star rating. Overall a very high performing team was created 'Best I've ever had' said the Chief Executive.

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