Mary’s Inherited Chaos

Coaching Case Study 1 – Mary’s Inherited Chaos

Once upon a time in a land not so far away, Mary* took a new position leading an established research and development organization in Company X*. 

Mary had considerable experience as a technical leader but was new to Company X. Company X was an amalgam formed through various acquisitions, divestitures and private equity wrangling.  Company X had offices around the world but it was clear that no one knew each other and had never worked together. Mary inherited a technical team spread across 4 countries and multiple locations within each country.  The team had seen various leaders come and go, multiple failed strategies and no clear communication from headquarters. There was no process for deciding what projects to work on and there was little collaboration between teams and no professional development.  Even crazier, the “teams” in the R&D organization had never even met each other and were unaware of capabilities and expertise.  

Mary arrives and was told to “fix it.”  At first, Mary wasn’t quite sure what she was fixing because she struggled to find the locations of all the team members and labs.  True story. Company X didn’t even really know how many R&D staff they had, where they were all located and what they were working on.  Holy hot mess. Because the challenge was fairly large and very layered, Mary sought out a coach to serve as a sounding board, advisor and accountability partner.  One of Mary’s colleagues put her in contact with EverRise. Working 1-on-1 with Mary, we:

  • Created vision and mission of R&D organization at Company X
  • Reviewed business strategy of Company X
  • Reviewed future trends and forecast for markets served by Company X
  • Created 4 different focus areas for the R&D organization
  • Outlined the future state of the R&D organizational structure
  • Identified the types of talent required for various roles in the future state R&D organization
  • Assessed talent of R&D organization
  • Initiated regular video calls with the entire team
  • Initiated 1-on-1 discussions with each leader in Mary’s organization
  • Developed a detailed transformation plan and timeline with milestones and deliverables to achieve future state of R&D organization.
  • Engaged Mary’s leaders in milestones and deliverables
  • Coached Mary’s leaders in peer group sessions
  • Used 360 feedback to assess progress

As a result of the 9 month coaching experience, Mary quickly assimilated into a new team in a complex environment in her new company. Her team (after she located everyone!) rapidly realized that she was committed to building a world-class organization and became very engaged, especially in the milestones and deliverables outlined in the transformation plan. Even with organizational changes going on, the team was able to identify and eliminate duplicate projects, assign work more effectively, execute collaboratively on projects and deliver several projects and new products in record time.

Are you looking for a trusted sounding board, advisor and accountability partner to help you and your organization reach new levels of performance? Contact EverRise today at [email protected] or 412-282-3630 to learn more about our 1-on-1 and peer group coaching programs.

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of clients (even though they know I’m writing about them 😉

Dr. Crystal G. Morrison

Dr. Crystal G. Morrison

Dr. Crystal G. Morrison is a highly regarded scientist and leader who is passionate about developing people and organizations to their highest potential.

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About EverRise

Founded by a scientist and leader, EverRise LLC is a consulting firm dedicated to transforming technical professionals and industries. Our company works with organizations to assess performance, refine strategy, and build world-class leaders and teams.

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