Chief Executive Matthew Taylor says…

I head up the executive leadership team at the RSA and while I would have said we operate effectively in our individual areas, I’m not sure we were a high functioning team.  I found it challenging to move us from fighting our functional corners when we came together, to thinking like collective leaders of the Organisation.  I wanted to engage us in a process that would help us develop and be as good a team and I knew we could be.

Sharpstone Skinner advised their Team Coaching programme which is aimed at leadership teams who want to square that dual role, make the most of their strengths and challenge any weak areas that might be affecting team working.  We would meet once a month for a facilitated day that combined sessions to help us understand ourselves better, sessions to encourage us develop better behaviours and a chance to work on real issues that put team working and communication to the test.

What happened next?  The sessions took place and at times it was tricky, challenging even, but never dull!  We learned more about each other’s ways of working, we had some brave conversations that were needed and we started to work towards balancing support and challenge in our dealings with each other.  We always had a check in at the beginning to report on any progress since the last session and we also had actions to take away at the end. I particularly valued our working on real issues affecting the organisation.  It meant we could get real work done and grow as a team at the same time.

What results did we see?  Our meetings outside the sessions started to improve and so did individual relationships.  We were much more aware of our impact on our own teams and tried to role model better behaviours.  We seek each other’s advice more and when making decisions, think beyond our own patch to the good of the Organisation overall.

We like working with Sharpstone Skinner because they brought the right combination of an engaging and open-ended conversation about our organisation’s future with a robust, well-managed, process to ensure we took concrete action.

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