Case Study

The Case of the Bickering Leadership Team


The Situation

The CEO confided in Alan that she was extremely frustrated. Her leadership team was constantly bickering, engaged in what she called destructive conflict.

She asked Alan for help.

What Alan Did

Alan interviewed all the leadership team members. He discovered that when asked about the past events that formed the organization, it was about times of great stress for the organization, where the very survival of the company was in question.  There was always bickering, however in those moments, the arguments were constructive. They were about how to solve the impossible problems.

Alan showed the CEO and the leadership team that the root cause problem was not the arguments. The problem was that now that the organization was highly successful, they had lost the mutual driving goal of survival.

Alan worked with the CEO and the leadership team to develop new big scary goals. He then helped the team to develop a strategy.


The Results

There were still lots of arguments between very strong leaders. Now, however the arguments were constructive, in buliding both strategy and trust.  The team was now using the heat from their arguments to accelerate towards their next major success.


Additional Case Studies

A Paradigm Shift in Leadership

The CEO of a 500+ person high-tech development organization had recently hired a very strong CTO. He began to wonder if perhaps he was “too strong?” The CTO seemed to be doing the right things, but in doing so was upsetting many of organization’s employees.

The Case of the Slow Software Development Team

Management and the software team were at odds. Each blamed the other for the slowdowns and delays in their development process.

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