EPIC Leadership

Turning Chaos into Order during Difficult Transitions…Team by Team


As I reflect on more than two decades of experience as a Change & Leadership Consultant, I have found that Intact Team Building is the most effective change leadership method…now more than ever.

Known as the guru of high-stakes, emotionally-charged, politically-sensitive situations, I am frequently called upon to “intervene” when some other consultants prefer to back away. And this normally occurs in organizations that are “unfreezing” and are in transition. Unfreezing involves the reduction of the status quo and a dismantling of current mindsets. While it is necessary for effective change, it often creates a period of uncertainty, stress, confusion, and conflict.


Leaders in organizations have for years engaged in management training and development. It has become commonplace for managers to go away to various training programs in hopes they will return with new insights and skills that will improve their own and others’ effectiveness. Unfortunately, results have shown that this is not the case. It has been noted that when a manager returns to the work setting, the department to which he or she belongs continues in the old behavior and, eventually, the pressures and influences of the back-home situation erase the effect of the training.

Effective team building suggests that the department in need of training or change is NOT the individual manager(s) but the whole working group. It’s systemic.

A CASE IN POINT: The ABC Manufacturing Plant

Frustrated and politically pressured to “turn the plant around,” a newly-appointed Director of a manufacturing plant in the Southwest called upon me to help her “pull together” a group of managers who were critical to the success of the plant. The members had alienated their leader and stated: “We refuse to work for this guy.” What do you do when the boss is the major problem?

I instantly went to work by engaging each member of the group, customizing a two-day experience unique to my diagnosis and findings, and bringing the Leader and Team Members together to roll up their sleeves, attack the problem, and leave with the problem solved. At the end of two days, here’s the result:

Each member embraced the leader and stated: “The way you showed up for us over the past two days, we’ll work for you any day.”


Among others, one of the greatest benefits of using this team building approach is to:

Bring Order out of Chaos & Conflict…quickly!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *