Leading and Self-Leading towards New Work

Do the twist

How a demotivated and dispersed R&D group at Baxter International became an effective virtual team.

Eric Hénaut, R&D manager at Baxter International, Inc., leads a team of 70 people based in Belgium, Italy and the United States.

The challenge

Eric was striving to create a close-working team able to contribute effectively to the mission and future growth of the company. However, the physical and cultural distance between team members and the lack of a common problem-solving approach was proving particularly challenging. Then, in 2013, a reorganisation of Baxter’s R&D team was announced. Some members of the team, who had experienced previous restructuring exercises, were particularly demotivated and their negativity was spreading to the rest of the team.

greytogreen's approach

To address the issue, Eric reached out to Capyways, an organisational consulting firm that uses the greytogreen learning approach.

Workshops were organized at the three sites, with all team members participating, and the greytogreen approach was applied to 15 of the team’s principal challenges.

The results

The workshops brought a clear sense of serenity across the team. They helped to bring issues out into the open, solve most of the challenges that had been identified and create a team spirit that did not previously exist.

The team now works better together as a whole and team members support each other with new challenges as they arise.

The take-away

Eric’s team members now share a common language. They learned more about themselves, how to analyse unsatisfactory situations and how to act individually and collectively to resolve their issues. In short, they learned to think and act differently.

Eric has since been dubbed the "green giant" by his team, in reference to the greytogreen approach.

About the client

Baxter International, Inc. is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical and medical technology companies. Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, the company has 48,000 employees worldwide, operates in 62 countries, and posted $10.2 billion in revenue in 2016.

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