An international company merged two country sales units into one new entity. Both country sales teams had misgivings about the company’s decision. The newly appointed head of the unit observed that several sales people had problems working together. Their effectiveness suffered; frustration and distrust started to spread throughout the unit. He wanted to get to the bottom of the problems.
After initial conversations with people involved and the development of some working hypotheses, we followed up with confidential 1-on-1 interviews with a larger sample of sales people and senior management. This helped to get a systematic understanding of the complex problems, frustrations and fears behind the visible issues at hand. Together with HR we developed for the entire unit a one-day off-site interactive workshop to present, discuss and work on the underlying issues.
The confidential analysis phase exposed all underlying issues and the different perceptions that people had about them. The one-day off-site workshop helped the mutual understanding and eased the way for an agreement about next steps for the new unit.