The dynamic within an executive team has inestimable impact. It can spark extraordinary performance, or leave a group of intelligent, motivated people unable to move forward.

Improving an executive team’s performance involves examining both top-down and bottom-up elements. The CEO needs to see the connection between the results they want, and the structure and culture that will deliver those results. The CEO also needs to create a safe space for challenging conversations. Team members need to be willing to trust one another, commit, communicate, and focus on what matters.

The performance consulting process I follow starts with a discussion with the executive leading the team, to understand the outcomes and stakeholder context. I then have 1:1 discussions with each team member, to understand their take on business goals, the current dynamic, and roadblocks to progress. I create a workshop design that incorporates skill development where appropriate. The resulting ideas can then help to guide the work.

I know I’ve succeeded when I can see a change in the dynamic between CEO and team. Perhaps the trust between them is a bit higher. There is more alignment behind what the leader wants to accomplish. There is more transparency about concerns, problems, and emotions in general. The team leaves with a much higher level of energy than when they walked into the room.