Instruct participants to read the case study on the Handout, then to work with a partner for 2-3 minutes to generate ideas related to the questions. After giving them a period of time complete the questions, ask for brief suggestions for a course of action, allowing at least one response to be offered by each partner-pair.
Customize the handout below with the various questions provided, according to your training topic (communication, leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, etc.).
You are part of a company that employs 1200 people, manufacturing widgets that are known worldwide for their quality and features. Last year, your company lost $50 million, and things aren’t looking much better so far this year. The CEO was fired, and senior management was shaken up. What went wrong?
To streamline the company in the face of a declining economy and an oversupply of widgets, the previous CEO implemented a major consolidation: three facilities were combined into one, the number of products was cut in half, and parts and suppliers were consolidated.
Unfortunately, when the streamlined plant was reopened, the pieces for the products simply did not fit together.
A new CEO has been brought in to set things right. This is his third week on the job, and the senior management team has gathered on a Friday afternoon to discuss plans for moving the company in the right direction, and their team’s role in solving the company’s problems.
Variable Discussion Questions to include on the Handout:
[for leader-level participants] What are the first few things you would do as the new CEO of this company?
[for participants below leadership level] What are the first few things you would do as a member of the management team of this company?
How can more effective communication make a difference in such a difficult situation?
What innovative approaches to problem-solving can make a difference in such a difficult situation?
How can more effective teamwork make a difference in such a difficult situation?
Conclude the discussion by saying: “In this case, it’s not likely that one strategy can make all the difference. But, under the right circumstances — a unique combination of timing, urgency, and people — a concentrated effort can spark necessary changes or corrections.
In the long run, there are benefits to be gained by experimenting with new approaches and communicating in new ways.”
Excerpted from the Leader’s Guide for The Magic of We.
Recommended Training Resource: The Magic of We. This innovative video program tells the compelling and true story of how management and employees of Snapper Lawn Mowers worked together to create a $65 million company turnaround.