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Background
 
  Team and Group Facilitation

This is a highly varied aspect of LKB business as often the request is situated somewhere between teaching a few appropriate techniques to a team so that its members communicate more effectively together and mediating a potentially challenging meeting for a group within the same company. My services are often most useful in an international context. At times the assignment looks like a team building exercise and indeed, in many ways, it IS always just that and at other times it is simply being the outside eye, ear and voice that comments on what is happening and invites participants to notice what they would like to do about it.

I very often work with a fellow coach/facilitator to assure the double roles of lead ”and “observer support. I work exclusively with Team Management Systems profiling tool when a team needs to answer the question who we are and where is our strength ?This tool helps members of a team understand the added value and potential difficulty of working with diverse energies. You can consult the tool on line at www.agence-tm.com

 

  Corporate Stories

While these case studies are somewhat dated, their content remain excellent examples of the types of missions LKB continues to engage in.

Thales Air Systems 2007 – Worldwide Sales & Marketing Meeting in Deauville The sales team had been hugely successful and the company really wanted to reward them for their outstanding contribution over the previous two years. My role was to interview the top ten sales people on stage in front of their colleagues from all over the world. I met them individually on the morning of the opening of the event to get a feel for who they were and to develop some sort of trust between them and me before the “show”. On stage they all revealed themselves to be sensitive human beings willing to share some deeper parts of themselves with the audience who remained enthralled for the better part of two hours. The Thales communication team brilliantly orchestrated the event with music to welcome each “guest” on stage followed by a personalized video showing each person’s country of origin and operating market. Effective stage lighting gave an overall impression of an intimate TV program. My skill was in balancing a journalistic and coaching approach for each interview. When the sales director came up to me afterwards to thank me, he said, with tears in his eyes, “I feel as if I have met these people for the first time today and yet I have known them for some time”.

Sanofi Pasteur 2008 – GSMA worldwide meeting in Cannes The team leader had recently joined the company and her goal was to bring together disparate sections of the company to blend them into one team. It was a three day meeting in a beautiful venue. It was an ambitious attempt to appease people who were dealing with a lot of change in their company – some were downright hostile to any reorganization. There was a need to inform and update people about the changes. My co-facilitator, Alain Geoffroy, and I worked closely again with my client and her HR specialist to design a process that would honor the past, take stock of where everyone currently stood in relationship to the announced changes and move the whole team towards planning a coherent future together. At the beginning of the three day meeting the majority of the 50 people present paid lip service to their capacity to adapt to change but it very quickly emerged that, although they intellectually adhered to the changes, emotionally they were way off being on board. A few people resolutely remained attached to their hostility over the 3 days but the vast majority of people “moved” towards the next steps. The processes that contributed to opening people up to speaking their truths without danger of repercussion were:

“The Power of Six” – please see the excerpt on this website from Philip Harland’s book that recounts this process as a case study.

Walking the Golden Path – a personal journey through the company that allows each person to recount highlights from his personal and professional career.

World Café – a bottom up, iterative conversation that encourages the emergence of collective wisdom.

Three Pillars – a spatial exercise that facilitates awareness around the degree of trust, structure and knowledge present in the current system. From this an action plan was built to bridge the gaps.

VALEO Lighting Branch 2009 - A one day meeting at Roland Garros for the branch’s research engineers.
The purpose of the one day meeting was to facilitate creative thinking around a new LED product for car headlamps. The challenge was to create the conditions that would encourage sharing amongst people for whom financial reward normally came to he who lodged his idea first. I worked closely with the communication director and her boss to build the process for the day. Ironically the idea of taking everyone to a site of champions reinforced the idea of individual success but thankfully did not prevent the excellence of the team work that emerged that day. My job was to provide a process that would facilitate the breakdown of any existing barriers to communication amongst people of different ages, experience and hierarchy. I had the morning to facilitate as many interactions as possible while loosening minds used to a habitual way of functioning. This entailed having people moving in space and talking to many different people on a variety of connected subjects. The afternoon was dedicated to group work with the goal of producing a draft of a new product to be presented to an “assessment committee” at the end of the day. By the end of the afternoon my client had 5 viable blueprints in his hands for a new Peopled product.

VERALLIA (Saint Gobain) 2010 at a prestigious hotel in Paris – A 1.5 day convention to launch the new brand name: VERALLIA
The company was bringing together its managers from around the world for the first time ever to celebrate the launch of its new brand name, VERALLIA. It was the occasion for most people to “discover” and embrace their future under the same trademark. My role was multi-purpose. I facilitated a creativity session for the CEO and his executive team prior to the convention to help focus the team on a tag name for the company’s glassware branch. I had the crazy role of leading an icebreaker quiz at the dinner the night before the convention. The preparation by the communication team was excellent which meant I could call upon all my skills of improvisation to make the exercise fun and inclusive of all 250 present. My true skill as a facilitator was put to good use the following day when I and my co-facilitator, Alain Geoffroy lead a World Café process to create bottom up conversations around the future of the new company. My client was in his element the whole day and received a standing ovation at the climax of the day. He said it had never happened to him before. I sincerely don’t know to what extent my work contributed to his success and I suspect that his communication director had a significant role to play in it but he clearly earned the respect of his managers worldwide and they were not afraid to demonstrate it.
My role as a team coach may play a useful role in the future.

VERALLIA – 2011 – one year down the line
Sixteen senior managers making up the executive committee came together again for a three day meeting in Paris to assess the first year under its new brand name and to prepare the way forward for an eventual sale of the company. My role was to run a creativity workshop with a view to settling on a tagline for the brand. We swung wide of the subject creating family units with mottos and coats of arms out of bottles and jars produced by the company. Two iterative processes allowed everyone to assemble a maximum number of ideas and the result, a few weeks later, was “FOREVER GLASS”. It has been very exciting facilitating, contributing to and participating in the birth of a brand.

Robert-Debré Hospital 2011 – 4 facilitated half day meetings of the core admin team with a view to increasing the efficiency of team meetings.The ground work of creating effective relationships amongst “team” members had already been achieved so my role has been more about coaching the “team” to a more satisfying use of the time dedicated to its weekly meeting. It has, up to date, been a question of observation, questioning and the use of one or two processes to facilitate the emergence of clearer and more detailed wants, needs and expectations with a view to creating shared goals with performance measurements.

 

 

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