Cross-cultural specialist team building
Due to the economic downturn and the consequent need for cost-savings, a specialist (6-Sigma) internal consultancy department of a European owned global gas company was about to be disbanded and their function reintegrated into operational divisions. It was inevitable that some of them would lose their jobs but when our consultant was asked to intervene it was not known who would stay and who would go. The company regarded their continued effectiveness as essential.
The focus of the intervention was on providing the group with the ‘strength of family’ to work together as a unified team despite the imminent upheaval and the fact that in future those who survived would be working with different bosses in different regions. Our consultant designed a 2 day workshop based on a traditional Russian Story ‘The Little Messenger’. The story was told in three sections; at the end of each they formed into smaller working groups to discuss the relevance of the story to their own situation and what was to be learned from it. Although they had never come across this approach before, they were curious, interested and industrious. The story caught their imaginations and they applied its lessons to their own situation very actively and creatively. They understood and were able to articulate their personal responsibility to maintain contact and not lose the benefits of the three years they had spent as a single team when they were disbanded whilst also making a commitment to make the new structure work as well as possible. The workshop received excellent feedback and subsequent contact confirms that their dispersal has not adversely affected their ability to operate effectively as 6-Sigma consultants in the company.