Continuing Education

Conflict Resolution

Client:
Senior management team of a major brokerage firm

Engagement:
The staff of the Executive Research and Administrative Support department had become mired in interpersonal conflict. Personal disagreements and perceptions of managerial favoritism had diminished group productivity and affected timely completion of project work. The mission was to build an effective team and resolve the conflicts without termination of important contributors.

Deliverable:
We conducted a consulting intervention beginning with individual interviews with department members and senior management along with a comprehensive analysis of project work. A six-month team building program was introduced that included scheduled group meetings, development of a team mission, rewriting of comprehensive job descriptions, individual development plans and fulfillment/recognition activities.

Result:
Stated conflicts were resolved within three months of program implementation. All staff was retained and quality of work was restored to previous levels of excellence. The Senior Manager was promoted to Director of Administration.


Leadership Skills

Client:
Managing Director of major European bank, U.S. public finance subsidiary

Engagement:
While the client performed well in his area of expertise of providing financing to municipalities and partnering with other financial services firms in structuring "deals", his leadership skills needed improvement.

Deliverable:
Client participated in a feedback evaluation and received a "360 Degree" response related to his leadership skills. Based upon this feedback, he agreed that coaching would improve his effectiveness

Using insights derived from the 360 Degree feedback process, the client and the coach developed several new approaches to enhance leadership skills. Together with the coach, client reviewed how newly learned behaviors played out in an actual situation, an upcoming public finance offering.

Result:
The client is now operating at a higher level of effectiveness and is adding more value to other areas of the firm. His improved ability to delegate to his subordinates has allowed him to focus his energies on providing more strategic direction and building coalitions with his senior business colleagues.


Productivity Enhancements

Client:
Consumer bank

Engagement:
As a result of an acquisition, the Client Inquiry department experienced a substantial increase in requests and slipped to a six-day “time-to-solve” turnaround. The bank had instituted a three-day turnaround target, responding to the bank’s clients. As he was prohibited from adding to staff, the manager of the department needed to improve individual and team productivity.

Deliverable:
We performed a detailed workflow analysis, carefully examining handoffs between staff members, response times from external support areas and all operational procedures. In addition, we reviewed the team structure and interviewed all team members and its management.

Our analysis pinpointed necessary procedural and staff changes. We recommended specific adjustments to the approvals process and identified underutilized software features. We presented a written analysis and recommendations to the director and all recommendations were accepted and implemented as proposed.

Result:
The Client Inquiry department improved its “time-to-solve” turnaround measure for each of the subsequent three quarters, reaching its three-day goal before the end of that year. This was accomplished while reducing staff total by 20%.