Building Leadership Teams through Collaboration

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building leadership teams through collaboration

What makes for a top C-suite? I think it’s the ability to work together, the ‘oomph’ of being on a mission and mutual respect.”
Source -IBM CEO Study

Since the year 2004, IBM has been conducting “CEO survey studies” covering CEOs and senior public leaders. The survey captures the ideas and perceptions held by CEOs globally. An interesting finding of this survey was that CEOs are focusing on more open and collaborative cultures, with 75% of CEOs calling it critical.

In fact, the survey found that the emphasis on top team development and collaboration is higher in companies classified as outperformers (companies that perform significantly better than their industry peers).

To quote Jacqueline D. Woods, Chief Marketing Officer at IBM Global Financing,

“Highly effective collaboration within the entire C-suite will be needed to create the right corporate culture and mindset that’s keenly focused on both building and maintaining a competitive advantage.”

The top team has the power to make or break an organization. As authors and custodians of organizational culture, the way in which top teams work together to set the tone for how others behave and collaborate. Thus, collaboration is no way unfamiliar to business. It has been a major area of focus for several years now, and yet, only a few companies manage to do it well.


Let’s take a case example of one of our clients from the pharma and medical devices industry. Like most large MNCs, our client had fixed business units working independently reporting to their respective business heads. There was also a country head CEO who managed regulatory decisions and getting the required approvals.

Due to this form of structural division each business head was operating in a silo, only coming together to discuss basic issues. The CEO also was not driving a common business objectives or agenda. In other words, each business head functioned and approached the market separately, thereby losing the leverage of size, positioning, expertise, and strength of one entity.

Several companies have struggled to break down silos and boost cross-functional collaboration (March 2016 Mckinsey Quarterly). To survive as well as thrive in the speed of market change today, organizations need to rapidly adapt their products and services for customers, who increasingly expect an organization to present them with a single face. In the case of our client, the lack of synergy meant, they were losing out on an opportunity to create value for their customers.

Higher synergy within an organization can enable an organization to aim for and achieve loftier business goals by creating a stronger and more synchronized account management process to reaching clients.
In our approach to break down the existing silos and increase a sense of synergy, we began by identifying the challenges that prevented the organization from functioning as one unit. Through our intervention, we were able to create a sense of alignment among all employees towards one common goal that could be achieved as a team.


InspireOne has been driven by the business initiative to build great teams since 1999. Our Leadership and Top Team Development programs have created success stories for some of the biggest names in India. If you are interested in knowing about our solutions, do feel free to contact us.


  1. The Digital Transformation – Why C-Suite Collaboration is more important than ever
  2. ACCA Global – Effective Collaboration


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