within a Department
We were asked by a Vice President of Market Research at a consumer products company to help repair trust within his team of researchers. The team composed of 20 market research professionals who worked with internal clients to conduct studies for the brand groups and the sales organization.
“Lack of internal cooperation and trust inhibited overall department performance.”
The group strained under the pressure to deliver a high level of internal customer service and, unfortunately, some of this pressure led to a lack of internal cooperation and trust, which inhibited overall performance of the department. There was little sharing of best practices across teams, and even the internal clients knew that the market research department did not work well together as a team.
Lead with Trust consultants conducted structured, confidential interviews with team members to diagnose the problem and devise an intervention. We used the Hurley Trust Model to identify why trust was low. Working with the total group, we were able to help the group see that patterns of interaction and sharing of information had broken down so that they were not serving the goals of the entire group. Specific trust repair and relationship development exercises were conducted that followed patterns of work interdependence. The leader of the group made repairing trust a key priority and over time trust grew among people and subgroups that had to work together if the whole department was going to succeed. Using the trust model, we facilitated a group consensus on the nature of trust that the department needed and the specific trust enhancing behaviors to which the group could hold themselves accountable. Through this work, the network of communication and relationships changed radically.
“The synergy that occurred when teams helped each other led them to learn faster, share knowledge, and function at a much higher level.”
A year later, after implementing a number of changes, the department was performing at a much higher level. The synergy that occurred when teams helped each other led them to learn faster, share knowledge, and function at a much higher level. The stress level also decreased because they felt that they had more support and resources to achieve their goals. Because the Vice President was very pleased with the fact that his group was delivering much higher levels of value to internal clients, his stress levels decreased considerably due to the reduced conflict. His peers recognized the change and jump in excellence in his department.