Building collective leadership

How IECL partnered with a Senior Team within a NSW state government agency to increase strategic effectiveness through a collective approach to leadership.

The Challenge: To create collective leadership across eight directors in charge of separate divisions within the organisation rather than leading in silos. 


The Executive Director and eight directors had been through numerous restructures in the last five years which resulted in managing change fatigue and resistance within the division as well as decreased appreciation of the work being done within the wider agency. They had continued pressure around funding for their operation – increased by the political environment which made certainty of any kind impossible.


The Director Group needed to lead the strategy and its people through this uncertain landscape for years and needed a new approach.


A number of leaders within the Director Group were receiving individual coaching, developing self-awareness and working towards goals which usually focussed on their own branches. The Executive Director had to manage the battlelines that existed between branches around budgets, allocation of resources and staff with each Director looking after ‘their own patch’.


Each leader was achieving and developing through the 1:1 coaching. However, as a collective leadership team, the dynamic was siloed and not getting the most effective results for the whole division.


In response the agency needed to:

  • Increase individual self-awareness using The Leadership Circle Profile 360 and continued 1:1 coaching.
  • Have Leader-led engagement, where the Executive Director held a strong vision for the division and held the team to account.
  • Change in operating mindset through intensive group development based on adult stages of development.


The Partnership


The role of the Executive Director

The success of the engagement was due to the trust and commitment from the Executive Director who commenced her individual development journey three months prior to the rest of the team. The Executive was able to receive, digest and use the insights from the leadership 360 to form her vision and commitment to the change needed within the Group.


The coaching relationship based on trust

The coaching relationship trust between the Lead Consultant and Executive Director allowed for challenging conversation and iterative co-design of the program to enable relevant and impactful results. The program was designed to solve the biggest issue faced by the division, using individual 360 leadership profiling and coaching plus team profiling, and workshops in a parallel journey for self and team development.


The diagnostics

The TLC Leadership Circle Profile and Leadership Culture survey were engaged to generate insights around individual and team effectiveness, as well as the culture that the team’s leadership creates. The TLC framework focused on elevating the conscious practice of leadership in tandem with leadership competence to establish high levels of effectiveness.


IECL’s approach to design and delivery

Through strong collaboration between the Leader and Lead Consultant, the design worked towards the divisions’ vision and was intentionally iterative to flex and adapt to the client’s landscape as the engagement progressed.


The delivery comprised of:

  • Three-way set up session (participant, leader and coach)
  • The Leadership Circle Profile (TLCP) 360 administration
  • TLCP Debrief A and Debrief B
  • Six Individual coaching sessions (One hour each session)
  • Three half-day team offsite workshops at beginning, mid-way and end of program
  • Three-way wrap up session (participant, leader and coach).


The Results


For the Individual

  • More self-aware of leadership impact.
  • Greater understanding of patterns and habits of their thinking leading to.
  • Greater effectiveness as a leader.
  • CEO described participants as ready for more senior roles.


For the Team

  • Focus on whole Organisation/ Division rather than on individual branch needs.
  • Higher levels of trust leading to having the difficult conversations, and having them well.
  • Increased authenticity and confidence in themselves as a team.


For the Organisation

  • CEO has observed greater collaboration with stakeholders.
  • The team is offering service driven leadership rather than competitive leadership.
  • Greater impacts for the organisation strategically.