By Jun Marfori
“After the 5-day management retreat, the team was able to achieve its objectives that resulted into restructuring of business and organizational structure, well defined functions and an increase of productivity as evidenced by the greater understanding of employees following thru the business processes in place. The business leaders were more conscious on how they demonstrate their people management skills, the core values and the business guiding principles, and more importantly, perspectives that have been significantly demonstrated and practiced in the work place.
Generally, POWERinU has the experience and expertise to provide guidance, coaching and mentoring business leaders to becoming more effective and efficient in what they are expected to do thus, maintaining and sustaining the business with the right management skills and perspectives.”
Feb. 4, 2017 concluded 5 days of POWERinU’s collaboration on an Organizational Effectiveness retreat with the Senior Leaders and Middle Management team of BIOEQ Energy Holdings Inc. (BIOEQ), an investee company of Equis Pte. Ltd. Equis Pte. Ltd. is a leading Asian infrastructure and energy investor with investments in the wind, solar, hydro, bioenergy, natural gas and telecoms sectors.
It was the desire of the Leadership of BIOEQ, a relative 2-year old start-up company, with its Senior Leadership and other Managers consisting of tenured, highly competent Managers, albeit also of a diverse set of nationalities, cultures and work experiences, to ultimately enhance the organization’s ability to execute its strategies and achieve its business goals. It was agreed though that key first steps were to:
- To enhance teamwork and collaboration through increased self-awareness, increased and better understanding of team members, and effective communication and interaction skills
- To establish alignment on the BIOEQ Mission and Goals under the BIOEQ Way
- To gain commitment on a “roadmap” to achieving BIOEQ’s Goals
In sum, the intent at the conclusion of the Management retreat was that all the 22 participating People Leaders would align and agree (“contract”) with the current and desired future state of the business, through strategies and actions, premised on enhanced personal and inter-dependent work relationships.
After the initial week-long Retreat design was finalized and approved, the yeoman’s task of “immersion,” consisting of hours of interviewing each of the 22 People Leaders, understanding the organization and its history, goals and aspirations, dynamics, including wins and challenges, began; the task inevitably included “expectations” from Equis Pte. Ltd.
PTC also learned of the personal vision and expectations of all Managers, what engaged them (motivated them to work for BIOEQ, and kept them working), what they felt were good and could be done better – a virtual START STOP CONTINUE wish list, summed up in their expectations from the Retreat. This critical exercise of bringing the “voice” of the participants to the Retreat involved days and hours of interviews and dialogue that led the PTC Consultants to numerous day-long trips to the farm in Magallanes, Cavite, where more than half of the participants work.
PTC ran the first 2 days for the 14 Middle Managers, and days 3-4 for the Senior Leaders, concluding with the Day 5 “Alignment and Contracting” module for all participants.
As a common approach, PTC walked these diverse set of People Leaders through a Culture Awareness session, complemented by a Personality and Work Profiling session – all envisioned to clarify the unique and innate tendencies, and underlying principles, of why certain individuals say and do what they do, irrespective of a desire to pursue success through shared goals. The complementary foundational sessions helped each member better understand each other, resulting in their acknowledgement of these distinctions, renewed willingness to work together along with these culture and work style distinctions. The sessions served to effectively strengthen relationships where these were already in place, and “build bridges” where there was a need.
This was succeeded by a Personal Vision and Values session, which effectively led each individual to reflect on their personal history and defining moments in their lives, to enhance awareness of self, deep-seated motivations and intents and desired future, which guide behavior and interactions. Complemented by the use of the still highly effective and timeless “Johari window” principle, PTC designed this session to lead the participants to seek to “align” their genuine self with team and organizational intent and be a more effective worker, leader and team member.
Day 2 consisted of a review of the BIOEQ business model,and using a popular Business Model framework, sought the inputs and critical understanding of each of the participants as to the “state of the business” of BIOEQ, in an interactive approach. This was complemented by a highly engaged session on the Stages of Team Development, resulting in each of them understanding further where BIOEQ is, why they are where they are, and how to interdependently work towards the next stage of successful team work.
In each of the separate Senior and Middle Managers’ 2-day modules, we capped Day 1 with their own definition of, and commitment to, what the 12 Principles of the BIOEQ Way means and how they can adhere to these to be faithful to the desired work culture in BIOEQ.
A unique session in the Senior Leadership module was PTC’s presentation of the critical feedback from the 22 Front Line Managers, of what they considered worked, what could be done better; mirroring to the Senior Leadership what motivated and dis-engaged the Middle Managers, while at the same time disclosing the commitment to, and desire for, success for BIOEQ. This served the Senior Leadership to craft their own messaging for the final Retreat day, and cooperate with PTC in yielding a productive final day for contracting and basis for their separate Strategy sessions.
Needless to say, the entire event also included numerous team building activities designed not only to infuse a healthy competitive theme, but also to reinforce personal relationships and a spirit of team work, a necessary pillar in the coveted organization success.
The final day consisted of a kick off message by the President on the “state of the business,” and the gaps and critical next steps that entire BIOEQ team will need to pursue, leading next to a highly interactive session of “What would I do differently?” where each participant articulated, and the teams consolidated, their renewed commitment to lead self and teams to the desired defined success – despite the reality of gaps, and state of being “behind” on particular key milestones.
PTC kicked off the afternoon by presenting Leadership principles through a video, emphasizing that the work that lies ahead for BIOEQ following the Retreat is all about Leadership and the participants’ commitment and discipline through its visible manifestations within the team and the organization as a whole. This was reinforced by a workshop of effective Communications, through skills practice in Giving and Receiving Feedback.
We ended the Retreat on a high note, with the Senior Leadership leading all the participants in a ceremonial tribal-like “caning” ceremony, declaring:
We commit to Consider the WE before the ME, Be Excellent / Passionate / Determined in all that I do, Be Accountable for my Actions, Pursue Growth and Learning, Ensure my Health and Safety and that of others, and to Befriend the Environment.