Improving the recruitment process & getting better results

Due to popular demand, a UK-based law firm decided to embark on a new endeavor: providing e-business legal services. They recruited team members for this project, requesting “talented internal staff to join us as we make our legal services available online, for the very first time.”

After nine months of working together, they had made very little progress, but had created a host of problems. The team had promised a series of directors that they’d make their legal services available online. However, they had not delivered on these promises.

Increasing staff morale

This also created a problem for the e-business team, causing the firm to seek help in the following areas:

  • Increasing staff morale
  • Ensuring that clients get promised results
  • Getting service to the marketplace

We were brought in to help enact these changes.

Assessing how the individuals could work best as a team

A KAI practitioner was contacted to help because of the e-business group’s failures. Upon entering the room, the practitioner noticed Post-It notes plastered across the walls. Even though the practitioner had not performed the inventory yet, he found this behavior noteworthy because each yellow square had an idea on it.

He completed the following procedure:

  • Administered the KAI inventory
  • Discovered the group of five had scores between 104-131
  • Noted the group’s mean was about 116
  • Recorded the leader’s score (131) was the highest

These results confirmed his assumptions about the Post-It notes: this team was full of ideas because they were innovators; however, this group’s innovative preference was not creating convergence.

The team had no shortage of ideas, but they were struggling to create deliverables. Specifically, they were struggling to find the structure to:

  • Firstly, prioritise their different business opportunities
  • Secondly, agree on a process for deciding how to proceed

Improving the Recruitment Process

Though the team had great ideas, they were missing adaption. After introducing the team to A-I theory and debriefing them on their results, they were thrilled with how their understanding of KAI allowed them to understand the problem: they had unconsciously recruited innovators in their advertisement wording. Fortunately, they were able to to recruit more members.

Because they now understood that they needed people with a systematic, process-minded mentality, they felt confident about their next search, and they actively sought people with a more adaptive approach.

Helping the client to deliver on their promises

Nine months later, the practitioner learned the team had successfully brought their first digital service to market in the field of employment law. In their second round of advertising, the knowledge of A-I theory helped in these ways:

  • Addressing weaknesses in their team
  • Learning techniques to recruit more adaptive members
  • Helping them deliver on their promises

This shows that as a KAI practitioner and outside consultant, A-I theory can be highly pragmatic. Organizational teams and leaders can use it to influence results. In this case, the practitioners ability to translate A-I theory into a meaningful understanding of team dynamics allowed this team to understand how their previous and future advertisements could affect their workplace teams.

More adaptive staff were needed, were welcomed into the team and the new team composition led to substantial, positive change.

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