The Study Abroad Director at a large, public institution found herself focused more on day to day operations and less on strategy. She simply could not find the time to get to any strategic planning. New projects were consistently pushed off to the next term. She desperately needed to find a solution to ensure she could achieve her personal goals, as well as the goals that the institution was expecting her to achieve.
To better understand this situation and help our client work through this challenge, we had to answer the following:
- What was the management style of the Director?
- What was the student (customer) journey and how many touch points did they have along their way?
- What did the overall organizational chart look like?
(not on paper, but from the lens of everyone in the office)
- Was there a hierarchical structure or more of a we are one-team mentality?
By mining through pre-project surveys created by our team and on-site assessments, it became clear that a “we are equals” mentality was alive in the space. From the front-desk person to the Director, everyone was treated equally. From an equality standpoint, this is fantastic; from an efficiency standpoint, it was stalling out the team.
The solution IEP presented was an entirely new org-chart and restructure of the office space. We identified new positions that were needed in order to fix the challenge.
Within 6 months of IEP’s initial consultation the Director promoted 2 staff members to better align with the student and program flow of her office. Team members fully recognized who their official report was and 1 key member of the leadership team switched roles based on the skillsets he was bringing to the team. A new Associate Director position was then posted and the light at the end of the tunnel was getting closer for the Director. She found herself beginning to strategize again and even found time to go on a site visit.
“Thank you so much for spending your days with our team and providing us a path and encouragement for realignment! I’m sure that this week will be one that we won’t forget in the history of our office. I look forward to any further information that we get from you all concerning our office!” – Carolina