Microsoft’s Success Story with The Five Behaviors®
How do you unite three global groups into one cohesive team and set them up for success?
Achieving high performance in the competitive tech industry is a challenging endeavor. Discover how, through The Five Behaviors solution, this Microsoft Business Unit acquired a unified language and essential tools for fortifying their teams. Their advancement in accountability helped clarify individual roles and expectations, as well as those at the company level, boosting their productivity and organizational visibility. As team members started aligning with the goals and priorities set during their offsite, silos diminished. This alignment led to a noticeable improvement in their daily work routines and interrelationships across Microsoft.
Finding a sustainable solution to that question ranked at the top of Darci Kleindl’s task list when she accepted the role as general manager of sales enablement and sales excellence for the Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) organization within the Dynamics division.
Kleindl entered a unique and challenging business situation with her new position. Three weeks into her role, the Dynamics business leaped from being Microsoft’s eighth-largest business to being at the core of Microsoft’s strategy. With a global team of customer support managers, all of whom work with diverse clientele, and a team of leaders who drive worldwide standards for sales basics as well as internal and external readiness, Kleindl needed a way to understand her team while redefining their purpose and place in the company.
Invest in Impact
As a business leader, Kleindl’s natural instinct drove her to seek out the best solution to this workplace challenge rather than settling for a temporary fix. She was determined to develop a comprehensive leadership and team development program—enriching her work culture with trust, collaboration, and accountability. Kleindl sought the expertise of her trusted advisor, Bruce Leamon, President of the Leamon Group, and a Five Behaviors® Authorized Partner. Together, they created the Organizational Capital Program, a multi-year program that focuses on developing leadership, coaching skills, emotional intelligence, and a culture of teamwork.
“I wanted to give my colleagues an end-to-end picture of who they are, from their own understanding as well as from other people’s perspectives—to understand how your personality can relate to your leadership skills,” Kleindl says. She wanted to provide her team with an opportunity that would influence their personal and professional growth.
Leamon recommended The Five Behaviors® Team Development to be the foundation for the Organizational Capital Program. The Five Behaviors® is a unique learning experience based on Patrick Lencioni’s New York Times best-selling leadership fable, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. The assessment and accompanying facilitated learning experience help intact teams understand how they score on the pillars of The Five Behaviors model: Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and Results, and how they can improve on these behaviors to become a productive, high-functioning team.
“It was critical for us to adopt a common language and framework that fit within our existing initiatives. The Five Behaviors provides a comprehensive assessment of the team’s current state while providing crisp guidance toward next steps,” Leamon explains.
Powered by Everything DiSC®, a personality assessment that helps people communicate better and develop more effective relationships, The Five Behaviors encourages teams to have challenging, productive conversations that will guide them toward building a truly cohesive and efficient team. Before starting the program, each participant takes a DiSC® assessment to identify and understand their personalized profile. Comprised of D: Dominance, i: Influence, S: Steadiness, and C: Conscientiousness, participants see how their style impacts the group’s overall success and can use this information to learn how to effectively communicate with their peers, which is crucial for any successful Five Behaviors program experience.
The Evolution of Teamwork
To kick off the Organizational Capital Program, Kleindl arranged for her global teams from the US, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and Asia to gather in person for a two-day offsite for The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team workshop. Leamon facilitated the program and began by establishing vulnerability-based trust, the foundation of The Five Behaviors model.
Using the common language of DiSC, the team felt comfortable enough to be vulnerable and share personal experiences with each other. This allowed them to build relationships beyond the workplace. By connecting through stories about personal challenges and accomplishments, Kleindl’s team felt safe to have crucial conversations about their current and future state as a group.
“There was suddenly a feeling that you were part of a bigger entity here and you weren’t just an individual,” said participant Dilip Popet, EMEA Enterprise, CSM Director. “When we started talking about our values, we started connecting at a different level.”
They dove deep into The Five Behaviors and identified areas of improvement, particularly in conflict and commitment, and defined actionable next steps. When establishing their core values, they participated in healthy conflict and, as a result, experienced a huge payoff: all forty participants came to complete agreement.
Turn this into an inline graphic: “When we started talking about what our values are, we started connecting with each other at a different level.” — Dilip Popet, EMEA Enterprise, CSM Director
As the team progressed, Kleindl noticed a physical shift in the team’s energy level and engagement. “I would say it went from a little resistance to excitement, to surprise, to really full engagement, and ultimately, at the end, to fun,” she said. Everyone was an active participant and took accountability to be present. In just two days, the MBS group established team camaraderie that would help keep them grounded and connected when they returned to the workplace.
An Ongoing Transformation
To be a high-performing team in the competitive tech industry is no easy feat, but with The Five Behaviors set as their foundation, Kleindl’s agile MBS group has the common language and tools needed to strengthen their teams. The team’s progress on accountability allowed them to understand their roles and expectations on an individual level as well as company-wide, which has increased their productivity and visibility as an organization. Silos faded as people began to embrace the goals and priorities they had established at their offsite. They began to experience a positive shift in their daily work routine and relationships throughout Microsoft.
“I truly enjoy what I’m doing. The program enables me to do the best work I can possibly do in the organization,” says Popet. “I definitely feel more at home in this team. Our environment truly cares about people and empowers me to reach out more, bringing out more from within myself.”
The Five Behaviors prepared the team to address emotional intelligence, coaching, and leadership development as they moved forward in the Organizational Capital Program. “This program actually gave me something actionable that the team could see, more at a collective level but also at an individual level,” says Kleindl. “I got emails from people saying, ‘No one has ever invested in me in this way. It’s fantastic!’”
With The Five Behaviors integrated into their work culture, the MBS team has harnessed the power of teamwork as their ultimate competitive advantage. This ensures that they can not only adapt to challenges but can consistently elevate their collaborative dexterity, positioning them for success in an ever-evolving business landscape. Learn how The Five Behaviors can help your teams soar.