Achieve a breakthrough in your leadership team's collective impact, so you can lead your entire organisation to a new level of success.

Is your leadership team a group of high performers, or is it a true high-performing team?

Every leadership team has issues holding it back from its next level of impact and influence. Perhaps some of these sound familiar?

  • Lack of collective ownership: Everyone focuses on their functional silo – leaving the senior leader to be the glue that holds everything together There’s a lack of collective responsibility for overall results. You make a decision together - and yet the commitment to implementing it doesn’t seem to be there. True alignment feels elusive.
  • Unclear strategic focus: Meetings are too operational, and there are too many ‘strategic priorities’ to really move the needle. Progress is incremental and there isn’t the sense of momentum and bold moves forward.
  • A surprising timidity: 20% of people do 80% of the talking; others barely speak up.  People are not contributing at their highest level. Despite having strong leaders in the room, team members fail to bring necessary challenge and critique to each other and key issues remain unspoken.
  • Organisational resistance: The team is great, but it doesn’t seem to be winning hearts and minds across the organisation.

Even great teams can hit a performance plateau. Things get comfortable - and the team settles into a certain way of doing things, leaving opportunity (and money) on the table. And even if the business is growing exponentially, how do you know that this is because of your leadership team and not despite it?

Many team development approaches fall short

Faced with this gap between the team’s potential and the team’s reality, you may have tried

  • Team-building - only to find that knowing each other’s Myers-Briggs didn’t solve the team's real issues
  • Team off-sites - but the improvements you identified died quickly when you got back to daily operations
  • Building a team charter - which looked good on paper but never became a living, breathing reality
  • Individual coaching - which helped individuals but didn’t change the underlying team dynamic

These efforts tend not to deliver the hoped-for results:

  • They force the team into working on secondary issues that are not the current limiting factors holding the team back.
  • They propose surface-level “quick fixes”, where what’s actually needed is a shift in the way the team thinks and relates (internally and with its stakeholder environment), and a change in the quality of thinking and conversation within the team.
  • They don’t have a process to follow through and create sustained change to implement the necessary behaviour shifts.  What's needed isn't information, but transformation.

Time for a different approach

Most leadership teams are so (understandably) focused on what they are doing (tasks and goals) that they fail to step back and think through how they are doing it (beliefs and assumptions, habits and behaviours, areas of focus and blind spots). 

But the truth is that when teams truly engage in new conversations, collective awareness & insight emerge,  giving rise to shared understanding & choices that improve relationships, behaviours & processes which in turn take team performance to a new level.

Over the years we've developed and refined a strategic process for moving teams forward, based on three key principles:

Principle #1

Understand the systemic issues at play

Teams are complex "systems within systems", where everything is interconnected and where the team's interfaces with its external stakeholders are as important to its success as its inner team workings.

What appears to be, say, a motivation issue might have its root cause in inefficient operations.  Or tense relationships might actually be a result of the pressure resulting from unrealistic external expectations.

When an expert guide helps the team to carefully explore the bigger picture, new insights and possibilities emerge.

Principle #2

Address the limiting factor, again & again

Imagine team transformation as a pipeline:  the secret to increased performance (flow) is to address the bottleneck, the current limiting factor holding things back.  If you don't address the blockage, nothing else makes a difference.

On any specific issue a team is facing, the bottleneck can be a question of insight, of motivation, of ability, of practice, of accountability.  Don't follow a rigid 5-step process: relentlessly identify and address the bottleneck to increased impact.

Principle #3

Plan for multiplication from the start

Leadership Teams have a vocation to lead change beyond their own boundaries; often each member of the team is managing their own team, who in turn may have direct reports.

So the end-game is not simply a 'high-performing team', but a team of people who can also lead their own teams to new heights.  To do this, you need a shared language and shared leadership frameworks that are simple to pass on.

We've developed the Xquadrant Iconic Toolbox for exactly this reason - important concepts for high-performing leaders and teams captured in simple, sticky graphics and language.

Help the team internalise a common language, and you have the foundations for a scalable high-performance culture.


Next Level Team Coaching

Systemic team coaching for ambitious leadership teams

Take your leadership team from ‘good’ to ‘great’ and achieve a breakthrough in your collective impact, so you can lead your organisation to a new level of success

  • Create an objective understanding of what the team’s “next level” looks like
  • Pinpoint the “critical few” areas that will take the brakes off your team’s performance and organisational influence
  • Embed the key behaviours to take your team from your “default future” to your “preferred future”
  • Seed a high-performance culture across the entire business to deliver your top strategic goals

Just imagine... the clarity of having your entire leadership team aligned around the goals and behaviours that matter; the chemistry of knowing that your team truly have your back; and the confidence that your stakeholders are aligned and providing you with a new level of support to deliver on your goals. 

A proven four-phase approach

Using the Xquadrant Team Dynamics model as a guide, we’ll take your entire leadership team through a structured coaching process, together.

You’ll untangle cause and effect within your team and strengthen the precise “weakest links” that are holding you back from greater results, influence and impact.

We follow a proven four-phase approach, and we tailor every phase to the unique needs of your team.

This bespoke approach increases your “return on time invested” because your time is too valuable to sit through “tick the box” exercises. Instead, we focus relentlessly on identifying and overcoming the limiting factors holding your team back from greater collective impact.

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Discovery: build a shared and deep understanding of your team and its context

We’ll start by establishing an objective and comprehensive view of the current strengths and weaknesses of the team, via an online survey and 1:1 interviews with the team and (optionally) its key stakeholders.

This structured approach will:

  • reveal the team’s strengths to build on
  • identify overlooked opportunities to be captured
  • expose the ‘black spots' limiting team performance
  • uncover the 'blind-spots’ where the leader’s view is significantly different from that of the team
  • and pinpoint the ‘hot spots’ where views within the team vary widely

As a result, you’ll have real insight into team dynamics, stakeholder perceptions, and confidence that you are focusing on the right levers to drive performance.

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Design: develop a powerful next-level team vision and roadmap

In the Design Phase, you’ll develop a powerful team agreement around the next-level vision for the team, the behaviours needed, and the key development steps to move from “here to there”.

Explore the ‘stakeholder commission’ and build a ‘next-level’ vision

This is an ‘aha moment’ as the team maps out who is counting on it right now, what current perceptions of the team are, and how expectations are going to evolve in the next couple of years. We examine tensions between stakeholders, identify where expectations might need recalibration, and consider how the team will want to engage with its stakeholders to establish a shared view of success.

The stakeholder views are one thing, but they may be contradictory, uninspiring or unrealistic. the team now has to decide what it wants to create, and own that. We build a vivid vision of what bold next-level success looks like for this team, and why that’s a meaningful goal for each person. This creates excitement and commitment fo the journey ahead.

Design the team’s working agreements and roadmap

You’ll use the discovery work to identify together the core leadership challenges facing the team and the guiding principles for the team to overcome these. You’ll then pinpoint the ‘good to great behaviours’ – those critical few areas that represent a step up from the ‘default future’ and take the team towards its ‘preferred future’.

With all that in mind, the team then develops its own development roadmap – identifying the learning and behaviour areas it wants to focus on to get from ‘where we are’ to ‘where we want to be’. This brings focus and accountability to the journey ahead.

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Development: maintain awareness and embed new behaviours

In the Development Phase, you’ll maintain awareness and embed the agreed behaviours into the team. You’ll learn to build new habits of self-reflection into how you operate together, to help you to continually up-level and collectively identify new limitations and constraints to overcome.

Team coaching

Through a regular rhythm of team coaching conversations, the team will reflect on how it is operating, how it is ‘getting in its own way’, and how it can develop its impact and effectiveness.

In each session we will dive deep into a key area (which will be determined based on the outcome of the discovery and design phases and the current needs of the team) before agreeing on practical implementation actions.

Robust tracking of insights, actions and behaviours

We’ll use the Xquadrant Hub portal and app to define and track KPIs, capture notes and insights from sessions, track actions, schedule reminders and ensure follow-up actually happens, and provide easy access to all the visual leadership tools you've learned.

This creates real momentum, with a single place to track actions and agreements, and maintain focus and accountability

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Debrief: maximise learning and prepare for what's next

Every journey needs not only a beginning and a middle, but an end.

In the Debrief Phase, we’ll celebrate success and reflect on what’s been accomplished - and also on the learning experiences from the journey:

What worked?

What didn’t?

What does this say about us as a team?

Where’s our next level from here?

Far from an afterthought, we structure this session to be a powerful and significant moment that further deepens team relationships and strengthens commitment for your next step together.

Client Appreciation

Martin Dempsey Executive Team, Sanofi UK&I

Actionable & practical

Our leadership team was not working efficiently together. We asked Xquadrant to help us work better as a team so that we could focus on our business priorities. They helped us agree on better ways of working understanding the personal tendencies of each of the team and build a team charter to capture the new behaviours we have committed to.

The team is responding to its commitments and our interactions are much more productive: we are all now working on the overall business and not the silos. Personally I was disengaged but now I feel motivated and excited about the team’s potential.

I thought this was another "tick the box" training exercise but I have been pleasantly surprised as it's been actionable and practical. I'd recommend Richard and his team to any leadership team that wants to raise the standard of their collaboration.

Mikael Sandberg Chairman, VX Fiber

Team problem solving

Richard adds direct value to me, as executive Chairman, and to my team by quickly understanding the business context and the key issues. He addresses problem solving by supplying appropriate frameworks and tools to the team and guiding the team to come up with its own solutions. He works with great enthusiasm and engagement to bring even large groups together focused on solving intra-team issues, that can be tricky. He strikes the right balance between empathy and challenge to me and the team. Richard has a deep understanding of business in general and technology business in particular and his work always has a clear business focus.

Veronique Coulmann SVP

Honest discussion

Our #1 strategic goal is now shared by everybody. We’ve clarified how we want to operate in the executive team in the future and agree what is expected from everybody. There was real honest discussion between the parties -it’s so helpful to do this kind of work together.

Richard Bourne SVP

Higher sense of purpose

A structured and refreshing way of helping teams to improve, without feeling like we are repeating the same text-book exercises. I always leave Richard's workshops and meetings with a higher sense of purpose, more motivation to do things differently. It's a great learning experience.

Alison Bartalino CPA

Personalised coaching plan

I was hoping that coaching would help my development as a growing manager - in learning to manage larger teams, improve my management skills. My biggest hesitation was that this would be generic material or the same tips/tricks you see in all articles. The positive reality was that Richard from Xquadrant provided a very personalised coaching plan, kept us accountable and had regular check ins to ensure we were achieving our goals!

The benefits of the work with Xquadrant are that I have successfully delegated a lot of my work to provide myself the time desired to do higher level strategic work. I have a clearer vision of what I need to do to stay on track to continue making positive progress.

Mohsin Majid CEO

We aligned around values and priorities

We wanted to think about our purpose as a company, beyond purely financial metrics. Initially, I wasn't sure whether the team would find this kind of process worthwhile since the subject is inherently somewhat amorphous. However, the reality was that through a number of team workshops run by Xquadrant we did align on important values and priorities, and had insights that we weren't expecting.

As a result, we have a better sense of what matters to different team members, what intrinsically drives them, and we have more clarity on what we want to achieve as a business. It's always important to 'start with why' and this process helped us do that.

Getting started

Xquadrant only works with a limited number of ambitious teams. You need to be genuinely committed to creating a true leap in performance and impact. If you are interested in exploring whether this programme is a good fit for you, please book an initial conversation to discuss.