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Leadership Integration: A Team Building Workshop!

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Introduction

Hello everyone! This is Mori from the Global Development Division and the Tech Blog operation team. I usually work as the Product Manager (PdM) for the Global KINTO Web and the lead for compliance with personal information-related laws in various countries. (Well, I'm doing all kinds of things lol)

To share some updates from my side, the team I lead, the Product Enhancement team changed its reporting line as of July due to shifts in our organization structure. (The team name has also changed a little! )

The new group manager for us is Mizuno-san. There has been some communication in the past, but not too much interaction with him and the other teams under Mizuno-san, so we took this opportunity to conduct a "Leadership Integration" workshop with the group manager and team leaders. Today, I would like to share its report📝
It was held in August, but my writing was slow and this article was released at the end of the year😅

What is Leadership Integration?

Leadership Integration serves as a framework for communicating between leaders and team members to enhance team cohesion.
It is effective when onboarding a new leader or when addressing team relationship issues that require improved team cohesion.

Reference: An Encouragement of Leadership Integration

I became aware of this workshop when I heard that it was conducted by the Corporate IT Group. Apparently, they had experience in their previous jobs.

It wasn't exactly the same as "when onboarding a new leader," but it was right around the time I joined the new reporting line and I hadn't had much interaction with other teams, so I thought, "Why not?" I approached my manager and he readily agreed, so I asked Zushimi-san from Corporate IT Group to facilitate the workshop✨

Leadership Integration Flow

  • Date & Time: 17:30-19:30 August 29, 2023
  • Place: Jimbocho Office
  • Participants: Global Product Introduction Group, Global Development Division
    • 1 manager (hereinafter “leader”)
    • 5 team leaders (hereinafter “member”)
  • Facilitator: Zushimi-san from Corporate IT Group
Time Action Time (m)
17:30 Explanation of initiatives / Facilitator Introduction 5
17:30 Opening from the leader 3
17:33 (Leader leaves the room)
17:35 Write down what members know about the leader 15
17:50 Write down what members don't know about the leader 15
18:05 Write down what you want the leader to know 15
18:20 Write down what members can do for the leader and the group 15
18:35 (Members leave the room, and leader enters the room)
18:40 Time for the leader to look at the opinions expressed by everyone and think about the answers 10
18:50 (Members return to the room)
18:55 Response time from the leader! 30
19:25 Buffer and free talk 5
20:00 Get-together

Introduction of the Workshop

As introduction, the facilitator and the leader gave respectively an explanation of this workshop and its background. This time, Mizuno-san said, "I'd be happy to receive opinions from everyone in a place different from the usual one-on-one meetings."

And then, surprisingly, he left the room! But this is when it really starts.

Writing Time by Members

It’s when members write down what they know, what they don't know, what they want the leader to know, and what each member can do for the leader. I can't share too much here because some of the content is private, but I will try to mention a few things that came up (Sorry, Mizuno-san).

What Members Know About the Leader📝

  • When he joined KINTO Technologies, he was first in charge of the Used Vehicle projects in Japan.
  • He then joined Global about a year ago.
  • He likes cats.🐱
  • He likes driving,🚗 etc.

Although not for the other leaders, he was a new manager to me, so I often thought, "Oh, I didn't know that about him" during the workshop.

What Members Don't Know About the Leader📝

  • The reason for joining KINTO Technologies.
  • Career to date
  • Development experience 💻
  • What he evaluates, etc.

Here, on the contrary, I had the impression that "surprisingly, everyone is thinking the same thing."

What Members Want the Leader to Know📝

  • The want to communicate more.
  • Interest in getting involved in R&D.
  • The struggle with member management.
  • Interest in going camping with everyone⛺, etc.

Since the workshop was held on our assessment period, and we had all become evaluators for the first time due to the organizational changes, we found that we were all struggling with the same issues.

What Members Can Do for the Leader and the Group📝

  • Knowledgeable about vehicles and the automotive industry.
  • Able to listen to leader’s complaints.
  • Having connections with other development teams
  • Able to plan study sessions for engineers.
  • Happy to give new business ideas, etc.

I was surprised, in a good way, at the number of things that each of us could do.

Response Time from the Leader

Then the leader joined and answered each of the sticky notes in place. Without knowing who wrote what, the leader shared his thoughts. As it is not every day you get a chance to hear what a manager thinks, 30 minutes passed in no time.

We were able to hear about his personal life, such as his love of cats despite his cat allergy (poor thing!), that he has a closet full with only white t-shirts and black pants (I think I’ve heard a similar anecdote somewhere...), as well as his opinion about the members, such as the importance of what has changed since the beginning of the term, and wanting members to do their best without being demotivated.

In particular, when it came to “what members want the leader to know” and “what members can do for the group”, as there were a lot of enthusiastic notes, the leader’s comments included, "Let's share evaluations and organizational concerns with each other," "Let's work together to solve communication challenges," and "I understand that I can leave more to them." Somehow, the impression that the team was united made me feel passionate.

post-it
The wall was covered with this many sticky notes! Sorry about the mosaic

Impressions

I participated as a member, and it was great to hear what each team leader was thinking, not to mention the deeper connections I made with the manager. Since some projects do not give the opportunity to work with many people and not everyone was familiar with all participants, this event was a good opportunity to check if we were on the same page. I discovered that all participants were thinking seriously about KINTO Technologies and about Global KINTO, more than I had imagined.

Voice from Participants:

  • It was good to know about the challenges other team members were facing.
  • I was able to see the depth and breadth of what I want and know about my leader and compare it objectively with other members.
  • In order to create an atmosphere that is easy to talk, I tried not to get angry or show negative emotions. I discovered that my approach may not have been entirely wrong.
  • It might be a good idea to do a look back or something a few months later to check on the status of what was agreed on the workshop.
  • Even things you don't dare to tell sometimes hold meaning for others. This kind of workshop is effective to bring these things out.

For myself, the timing was good because I was new to the group, but others seemed to have a sense of "why now?" I regret not having considered the timing of the workshop. However, there was no opinion that it was completely meaningless, so I felt that it would be even more effective at times such as when a new leader takes office!

Conclusion

Throughout the workshop, I felt that the results can be greatly influenced by facilitation, such as time allocation or talking to participants while they are writing. For example, when you can't write your thoughts down very well, the facilitator suggested "Have you thought about XXXXX?", or gave good remarks such as "Right, this is also a new discovery, isn't it?" He also considered the allocation of time in a flexible manner. Thank you, Zushimi-san, for coming all the way to Jimbocho🙏

Lastly, if you are going to conduct a Leadership Integration workshop, here is a book that was recommended to me. The power of facilitation is truly amazing when done right! 🥺✨

This article has become quite long, but I'd like to close with a picture of the huge, delicious lamb we enjoyed at the get-together🍖🤤
Thank you very much🙏

hitsuji

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