Epics by Esséré

HOUSTON : Caring in a large project team for digitalization

Sunday, 11 p.m. Houston airport, terminal D.

23 hours of travel, my plane was delayed. My partner Cindy’s plane from Toronto was also delayed, she was supposed to arrive before me, but I finally joined her in her terminal.

An hour later, we are at the reception of our beautiful resort in the Woodlands, eager to take possession of our rooms.

Monday and Tuesday morning, intense work with Cindy on our BRAVE(TM) Leaders course. It’s taking shape: 5 two-day modules, clear intentions, a shared educational philosophy.

Tuesday afternoon, our client arrives. We finish the preparation with the CEO of his very personal “Why”. 4pm, we start the seminar with 25 operational managers from the bill-to-cash business.

The situation: a team of 80 people that suffered from the ambition and intensity of a digitalization project that was superimposed on the operations run, from two years of Covid and from an episode of exceptional weather conditions that disrupted the “as usual” functioning of the operations. The result: exhaustion, tensions between people, perhaps not everything is transparent, and above all less and less hope of reaching the $$ objectives.

Supported by an internal coach, in total confidence with the CEO, the excellent newly hired Operational Excellence director and the new project manager, we accompanied the team in the depth of the exchanges, the expression of their fears and desires and, the individual and collective meaning.

On Thursday morning, the project manager takes the lead in proposing a new approach to a team that is energized, united and, thereby, more solid. The “four disciplines of execution” framework is reassuring. We facilitate ownership workshops. Before releasing the team at noon, we collectively built a story to tell to the rest of the team and we left ourselves some strong messages, which we will not forget, even if times get tougher again!

We took the time to listen to each other, the warmup the relationships and to feel the energy of being together. We got positive feedback a month later on the team’ activities, by Sayun, the CEO.