Strengthening the Executive Team: How It Works

Unlock your executive team’s full potential

Is your executive team as effective as it could be?


 

See What You'll Do In the Program

Strengthening the Executive Team Curriculum

Step 1: Clarify the work you do

Individual learning and reflection: To prepare for the leadership team discussion, you will learn new ways to think about how you prioritize your time as an executive team. You will reflect on how you have used time in the past and nominate imperatives (i.e. critical areas) for the group’s consideration. Team submissions will be aggregated by the team’s project lead (your team’s point person) and used as the foundation for the team discussion.

Leadership team discussion: During this meeting, your team will agree on the set of imperatives you will spend meaningful time engaging on as an executive team.

Coaching session: You’ll meet with a Bridgespan coach to discuss the imperatives nominated by your team and discuss potential next steps.
 


 

Step 2: Agree on roles

Individual learning and reflection: To prepare for the leadership team discussion, you will review the roles typically played by an executive team and best practices for playing those roles. Then you will individually reflect on how you’ve made decisions and managed performance of critical work in the past. During the leadership team discussion, you’ll map out considerations for making decisions and managing performance of your imperatives.

Leadership team discussion: As a team, you will agree on what it looks like to play your role well for each imperative.

Step 3: Align on how and when you meet

Individual learning and reflection: To prepare for the leadership team discussion, you will learn about different meeting forums commonly used by executive teams and how they support different purposes. You will recommend where (meeting forums) and how (specific topics and owners) you might engage on different topics. You will also review meeting best practices and recommend practices for your team to commit to for more effective meetings. Team submissions will be aggregated by the team’s project lead and used as the foundation for the leadership team discussion.

Leadership team discussion: As a team, you will agree on a draft meeting map for the next year that supports engaging as a team on your imperatives. You will also commit to a set of meeting practices and supporting templates for more effective meetings.

Step 4: Establish how you work together

Individual learning and reflection: To prepare for the leadership team discussion, you’ll learn about the dynamics of high-performing teams and nominate a short list of behaviors for focus by your executive team. You will also learn approaches to support organizational behavior change and recommended tactics and longer-term strategies to help your team hold itself accountable to the changes you’ve outlined in this program.

Leadership team discussion: As a team, you will discuss the team dynamics most critical to your team’s success and agree on a set of priority behaviors you will apply to support your work. You will also discuss how you will hold yourselves accountable for the changes you’ve outlined during this project and commit to next steps to complete this work, follow-up and measure progress, and make changes to your Team Playbook as appropriate.

Coaching session: You’ll meet with a Bridgespan coach to get feedback on your Team Playbook and discuss implementation and long-term behavior change.

How Your Team Will Engage In This Work

All members of your executive team will have key roles to play in this process:

CEO/ED

  • Be team champion and cheerleader
  • Bring important content into team discussions
  • Model participation and engagement

Project lead

  • Act as team facilitator and “guide”
  • Plan key logistical details (scheduling, meeting location, prepare materials before team discussions, as necessary)
  • Surface and troubleshoot issues with the CEO/ED or Bridgespan

Team members

  • Complete individual modules and all pre-work
  • Attend and actively engage in team discussions
  • Wear both individual/department “hat” and leadership team “hat”

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Additional Information

Return to the main Strengthening the Executive Team page

Learn more about our other Bridgespan Leadership Accelerator programs

Download an overview of the program to share with your team

Reach out to us at [email protected] for more information