Middle management taking ownership and accountability

Zambia, Sept 2014: A relatively new entrant to the financial services sector in Zambia faced challenges that came with success in its strategy to reach profitability. After several years of fast growth, middle managers were under high stress and compliance issues were emerging. Top management wanted them to be both supported and challenged to take ownership and accountability within their span of control. Previous coaching support had been via remote connection with services in the foreign headquarters of the company.

Coach Nankhonde Kasonde

Coach Nankhonde Kasonde-van den Broek

Each of 32 managers all over Zambia felt heard and understood, clarified their roles, took ownership and improved communications through a local Zambia-wide process that included:

  • Three-day foundation workshops built around ORSC methodology, one in the Northern and one in the Southern region of the country
  • Four personal coaching sessions with a Zambian coach, at least half of which were on site in their home towns across the country.

Participants experienced growth in self awareness, understood the power and the responsibility involved in being a voice of the system within the company, and explored the personal and team challenges of aligning personal goals, team goals and overall company strategy. Some of the ORSC work done included clarifying roles, understanding other teams’ perspectives using “lands work”, deep democracy to understand the often-buried intense feelings within the organisation, and powerful work around toxic communication and its antidotes.

“We really see things differently now” said participants, acknowledging that the process had a healing and empowering effect through making time to look at how each of them shows up as a leader and a team player. The emphasis on revealing the whole relationship system at work was helpful in making uncomfortable issues more discussable. In particular the toxic communication work was very impactful – patterns affecting the whole of Zambia were recognised – and participants committed strongly to new and less toxic communication.

For more information, please contact Nankhonde Kasonde-van den Broek.