Case study

Building and supporting highly effective teams in a matrixed environment


Client need 

A leading pharmaceutical company tasked its executives with creating a sense of shared vision within the organization while inspiring individuals to think outside the box. Due to the organization’s matrixed environment, executives often worked with team members from different functions outside their direct supervision. As a result, the executives struggled to encourage team members to achieve shared goals or contribute beyond their functional expertise. 

Recognizing this challenge, the organization identified the need to evaluate its top executives. The organization partnered with BTS to create and conduct a comprehensive assessment for a select group of top-level executives to improve how they empowered their teams. 

The solution 

Over the course of five months, BTS worked with the company to develop a group of enterprise-focused leaders. The journey was data-driven; every objective was developed in alignment with the organization’s Success Profile, or competency model, which outlined the capabilities and supporting behaviors key for success in role. The journey employed diverse learning modalities, which balanced individualized objectives with group learning experiences. Executives also had opportunities to enhance their peer networks at every step of the journey.  

Insights from Liz Wiseman’s Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, were a critical part of the journey. Wiseman’s approach helps leaders tap into their teams’ native genius to produce better business outcomes. Leveraging this approach, leaders were able to develop the critical leadership skills needed to empower their teams in the context of real-life business challenges. Specifically, participants: 

  • Developed a Multiplier mindset to get the most intelligent contribution from their colleagues, their teams, and their cross-functional partners. 
  • Identified their own multiplier and accidental diminisher behaviors (which are actions and words that, despite the best of intentions, lessen the team’s contributions) and how to avoid potential diminisher moments. 
  • Learned to cultivate a Multipliers culture, which enabled sustained growth for all leaders in the organization. 

Participant quotes 

“The self-reflection and Multipliers tools have been invaluable to me and my team. I’ve realized I can change my style and use these tools. I don’t always have to rely on my instinct – because if I did, I will only be a multiplier a fraction of time…” 

“The Multipliers Experiments have helped me step away from a defensive position and turn what would have been venting sessions into productive conversations where the whole team is focused on next steps.” 

“I now know when to give my direct reports the room to share their thoughts and how to make the space for them to say what THEY want to achieve. I’ve seen my direct reports smile and light up when I ask more questions.” 

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