Case Study: Developing Agile Leaders and Teams

Background:
  • An international logistics company recorded a 113 million loss in three cross-functional divisions over one financial year. As a result, no 13th check or performance bonuses could be paid.
  • An investigation indicated that executive leaders and HODs were mainly responsible for mistakes, errors, and incorrect decisions that led to losses.
Purpose of case study
  • An investigation was launched to understand why losses occurred.
  • How to rectify and prevent this scenario from occurring again.
The following root causes were identified for losses:
  1. Egotistical mindsets, poor decision-making, and a lack of attention to detail caused human errors.

2. Lack of taking accountability:

  • Mirroring potential mistakes away from themselves or departments to others
  • Lack of authenticity and transparency

3. Incorrect decision-making due to a lack of agile mindsets and  cognitive flexibility:

  • A  culture of task matters more than people
  • Lack of growth mindset
  • Silo thinking in departments
  • HODs and managers making incorrect assumptions without verifying
  • Strong egotistical mindsets

4. Insufficient interpersonal and leadership agility skills:

  • Lack of interpersonal communication between executive managers 
  • Insufficient feedback
  • Destructive interpersonal conflict
  • Lack of unforced team synergy due to lack of trust
Features of NAP™ Assessments
Actions taken
  1. Individual assessments, debriefings, and PDPs for each participant.
  •  A Neuro Agility Profile® Advanced+ assessment was compiled of all executive leaders to measure the elements that promote their brain performance, mental flexibility, and the neuro-design elements that impact their risk for error and communication styles. Each executive received a 32-page personal development NAP report and a face-to-face debriefing. The NAP™ assessment was used to compile a personal development plan (PDP) for each team member to improve their brain fitness and mental flexibility.
  • Subsequently, a 12 Emotional Intelligence Competencies Profile™ was compiled of all executive leaders and senior managers to determine their emotional intelligence competencies. Each executive received a 14-page personal development EI report and a face-to-face debriefing. The assessment also served as a baseline to compile a personal development plan to improve their emotional intelligence skillset.

2. Team assessments and debriefings

  • A NAP™ Team Agility Profile and development plan was compiled and discussed with the executive leadership team to measure the mental flexibility and neuro-design elements that impact team agility, their risk for error, and communication styles.
  • The CEO received a NAP™ Team Agility Report to clarify:
  • – Who is on the team,
  • – How to manage them towards their natural strengths,
  • – Identify which gaps to close in the strategic thinking process,
  • – Their unique neurological communication styles
  • – How to reduce the executive team’s potential risk for error.
  • Subsequently, an EI Team Profile was compiled and discussed with the executive leadership team to measure the emotional intelligence elements that promote high-performing teams.
 
  • 3. A blended approach to training was followed with participants
  • The following learning interventions and solutions were offered:
  • – 1 Day live contact session per month for 1 year
  • – All participants completed the online Brain Agility Booster and the High Achiever Emotional Intelligence Program for Agile Leaders.
  • – Each participant received 12 coaching sessions over 1 year – 1 session per month.
  • – All participants had at least 1 contact session per month after each module to discuss how their learning could be practically applied and implemented in their business.
  • Post evaluations of their NAP and Emotional Intelligence Competencies profiles were done 1 a year later to measure their PDP progress.
  • The company internally evaluated all participants’ performance and correlated it to the post-evaluations of the NAP and emotional intelligence assessments. 
Neuro-Agility in Business
Business Development
Summary of human skills needed to address root causes:
  • Complex problem solving
  • Critical and creative (whole brain) thinking
  • Accurate decision-making and risk-taking
  • Interpersonal communication and conflict resolution
  • Team synergy, trust, and collaboration
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Social awareness skills
  • Leadership agility
  • Cognitive flexibility
  • Agile and growth mindset
  • Change agility
Proposed skills development interventions
  1. Strengthen cross-functional communication and interaction that will resolve conflict and drive business results

2. Develop brainpower skills like:

  • Complex problem solving
  • Critical/analytical and creative/strategic thinking 
  • Cognitive flexibility
  • Agile mindset
  • Decision making

3. Develop emotional intelligence skills like:

  • Effective communication and conflict resolution
  • Trust, collaboration, and team cohesion
  • Leadership agility

4. Minimize the risk of errors and mistakes through skills like stress and fatigue management

Skills development process for the leadership team:
Summary of results achieved:
  • 13.3% increase in brain fitness optimization
  • 9.3% increase in cognitive flexibility
  • 12.4% increase in overall brain agility
  • 12.8% increase in overall emotional intelligence
  • 34% increase in performance = 4 promotions
  • Statistics above correlated to improved business performance
  • Employees received a 13th cheque as well as additional performance bonuses for some
  • No significant losses due to human error
  • Significant profits reported
  • 3 additional business units acquired
ROI impact on the company
  1. 100% of respondents stated that knowing their neuro-design and potential risk for error helped them in leading more effectively and reducing their risk for errors and mistakes

2. Improvement in NAP and EI scores correlated to:

  • Improved business performance
  • Promotions
  • Fewer errors, and mistakes
  • Increased social cohesion and team agility
Key takeaways:
  • This case study amplifies that brain power and emotional intelligence skillsets are mandatory for individual, team, and organizational success.
  • Agility, brainpower and emotional intelligence skillsets, psychological safety, and values like trust, accountability, collaboration, and purpose are the drivers that enable high-performing, agile teams to outperform their competition.
  • Agile leaders who create agile, high-performing teams are the secret ingredient for organizational success.

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