Our client was the CEO of an international utilities company, headquartered in France. The core business was in a stagnant market and they had recently started expanding out into other businesses to hunt out growth. They were about to enter a refinancing period, which was made doubly-difficult because of fractured relationships amongst the key shareholders. The CEO knew that the team was going to have to be at its best if they were to successfully manage the refinancing without being distracted from the day-to-day running of the company. He asked Cognitas to help set up him and his team for success.
Getting clarity and setting personal leadership priorities
We coached the CEO to help him gain clarity on what his unique contribution would be. It was clear that he was going to have to delegate some parts of his job and refocus a lot of his energy externally. We knew that he loved meeting talent and customers and giving input to new business ventures, but he needed to manage his time extremely efficiently during this process. So we went through his diary to help him and his assistant cut out unnecessary meetings and use his time more efficiently. We came up with protocols that his assistant could use for getting the most out of his region/country visits. He started to spend more time with the right team members and stakeholders, and got the space he needed to think and to prepare for crucial stakeholder meetings. At this point he had a clearer head, and we helped him develop an action plan for each of his priorities, and tracked and accompanied him as he put it into place.
Aligning the team to meet the challenge
We then turned our attention to the leadership team. The team was initially too large to have meaningful discussions, so we helped the CEO recompose the team into a smaller unit. Over a series of offsite workshops and regular executive team meetings, we worked to get the team focused, aligned and cohesive. When the difficult period hit, the team rose to the challenge and worked intensely together to navigate through a successful refinancing.