Boards & Top Teams
Top leaders and their teams need to be aligned—in their mission, their values, the strategy, and how to implement it together. The how of leadership is too often implicit and not adequately addressed.
Our systemic approach to developing and aligning top leaders speaks to how people really lead and the fact that in today’s business environment, people need to develop an array of leadership capabilities. The Teleos approach—based on the practices of Dynamic Inquiry, the competencies of Emotional and Social Intelligence, creating resonant leadership, a focus on team development, the engaging in a process of Intentional Change, and the Must Wins process around strategic priorities alignment—actually results in better leadership at the top and better results throughout the organization.
Must Wins for Top Teams
Must Wins is the Teleos process for strategic prioritization and alignment. The Must Wins process generates clarity, commitment and courageous leadership that cascades down through the organization. Flowing out of the Dynamic Inquiry themes and the powerful experience of the Leadership Journey, Must Wins form the thread that unites strategy realization throughout the organization.
Simply stated, a Must Win is something that is critical for organizational success and focuses leaders on the specific actions they must do to get the results they expect. In some cases, the Must Wins process is also tremendously valuable in reexamination of aspects of the strategy itself. Must Wins are elements that the organization has to get right.
- The big strategic bets
- Understanding the market
- Leadership practices
- Organization and processes
During a Must Wins session, senior leaders engage in a powerful process of debating what they think the organization’s Must Wins are. It’s surprising how often teams are not initially aligned and yet they enter these conversations believing they are. Through progressive structured breakout sessions, peer critique, and finally debate, the team identifies Must Wins—issues that are owned by everyone, regardless of business or functional role.
By getting to root causes, we guide leaders on next steps to bring the Must Wins to life and integrate the strategy into a performance culture.
Board Effectiveness and Development
We work with Boards of Directors on four areas that directly impact Board performance:
- Improving Board performance on behaviors noted as essential in bylaws, laws, shareholder expectations, and governance rules and regulations
- Enhancing group norms and expectations, that in turn support clear and effective communication and decision-making
- Build strong, compassionate and productive relationships among board members; special attention is paid to developing effective working relationship between the Board Chair and the CEO.
- Support for Board Chair and CEO in creating robust and engaging Board events (meetings, retreats, Strategy Away Days and more) that address the organization’s needs for today and aspirations for tomorrow.
Our first step is to conduct a confidential, inspiring and informative 360-degree qualitative review with all Board members, the CEO and other senior leaders and stakeholders. The interviews are rigorously analyzed for core themes that positively and negatively affect the Board and the organization. These themes relate members’ perspectives on Board effectiveness, Chair effectiveness, Committee effectiveness and more. Once themes are compiled, results are shared first with the Board Chair and CEO, then shared with rest of the Board in a carefully designed Leader-led session.
This process feeds directly into a Must Wins process to refine the top priorities for the Board and Board culture over the next 6-18 months. Following the feedback sessions, Teleos continues to work with some or all of the Board members in one-on-one coaching for 6-9 months for both their own development as Board members, and to reinforce their collective vision and accountabilities across the Board.
Additional Board Effectiveness and Development Activities include:
- Review Board Governance structures and processes
- Support the establishment or revision of Board Committee charters and responsibilities
- Work with Board Chair and CEO to design robust and engaging Board meeting agendas
- Individual and/or pair coaching for the Chair, CEO, Committee Chairs and key Board members.
- Support Chair and CEO in succession planning and thoughtful on-boarding and off-boarding of new/retiring Board membe
Teleos Leadership Journeys last anywhere from one to five days, and are senior leader- or CEO-led, with assistance and behind-the-scenes coaching from Teleos senior consultant(s). The Journeys take place in a location (or multiple locations) that create the opportunity for individual and collective “wake-up call”—and subsequently, new ways of thinking about leadership, culture, strategy and the future of the company.
The Leadership Journey is customized for each organization and designed to support team members in getting to know each other more personally and more deeply, so they can align with one another around collective aspirations and plans. There is also a focus on heightening awareness around team interactions and on building a positive, resonant work culture in which individuals and teams can thrive.
Our Journeys are highly experiential, but not staged (e.g., no ropes courses, games, etc). This leader-led Journey will include activities in inspiring and challenging physical locations, individual reflection, deep dialogue and a coming together of the minds and hearts of the team. It will also support your team in clarifying the Must-Wins for the next one to three years.
Unique Characteristics of Teleos Leadership Journeys
- A Leadership Journey is an emotionally engaging event that involves individuals and teams in deep personal reflection, critical conversations and interpersonal, group and organizational challenges.
- Utilizing nature as a backdrop, the group will go on a Journey that demands deep attention to the self — one’s aspirations, challenges and desires.
- The team goes on the Journey together and, in this context, learns a great deal about collective and individual capabilities and how to apply those capabilities to leadership, the team, and the business strategy.
- Relationships are deepened by direct exchange and challenging circumstances as posturing behavior gets left behind.
- Concretely, the experience happens through a series of exercises, walks in nature, time spent together discussing topics people care passionately about, and which are relevant to the team’s interdependent success.
- Within the design and done either within the Leadership Journey or post-Journey will be individual planning sessions conducted with each participant that will center on individual leadership development, identifying where each leader wants to focus his/her developmental energies.