The Chief Operating Officer of a private vocational school in the Midwest U.S. sought help to solve a growing tension among staff, namely between the Campus President and the Director of Education. Factions had emerged, with some supporting the President and some supporting the Director. The executive team were receiving numerous complaints from faculty and administrative staff regarding conflicts they were witnessing. Eventually, this tension spilled over into students’ experiences, with several students filing complaints against the Director for rude behavior.
We set out to discover where the conflicts truly lied, both from top-down and bottom-up approach. Our Lead Peacebuilder built his team and began analysis and conflict mapping through one-on-one and group interviews, facilitated dialogues, and a mixed methods survey. He then presented results and themes to all involved, outlined a proposed a strategy for culture transformation, and facilitated a discussion around the strategy in order to get input and buy-in from all involved. Some of the agreed-upon initiatives included:
- Executive coaching on-site for the Campus President, the Director of Education, and several program directors
- Facilitated small group coaching sessions for program directors
- Facilitated dialogues between select program directors and the Director of Education
- Facilitated dialogues between the President and Director • Monthly analysis, reporting, feedback, and adjustment
- Factions disappeared as the Director of Education and President became more aligned.
- Employee satisfaction increased by 33% after 3 months and 76% over 9 months.
- 360-degree leadership assessments increased by 22% over 3 months and 68% over 9 months.
- Staff and student complaints diminished significantly