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Improving the performance of a Board of Directors (2)

Background

This regional organisation was seen as a 'thorn in the side' by the Regional Office and was constantly being financially monitored and closely watched. The Chief Executive was a national figure, frequently away from the organisation and very different in leadership style to predecessors. Some of the other Executive Directors were excellent as individuals but others were non-performers who ran poor directorates but had never been challenged by previous Chief Executives. There was a general air of 'not my fault'. Oxford Executive had worked with the Chief Executive previously and was asked to develop a programme for progressive change.

Programme and method

An eighteen month programme, starting with a cultural audit of the organisation. Feedback was give initially to the Chief Executive, then to all the Executive Directors. Three away days were then held to address the issues raised by the cultural audit and to encourage 'joined up working'. Finally each member of the Executive Team was given four individual coaching sessions, to develop their leadership style, to appraise their careers and to think through their organisational issues in confidence.

Results

The Chief Executive became a 'visible presence' within the organisation while retaining their external focus. The Director of Operations developed as a Deputy to the Chief Executive and acted as Chief Operating Officer. The culture changed to 'can do' and the organisation became a magnet for ambitious good people, a beacon of best practice and the 'jewel in the crown' in the Region. The Chief Executive has since moved to the Chief Executive role in a high profile national organisation.

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