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Case Study

PROVIVI

Founded in 2013 by Dr. Pedro Coelho, Dr. Peter Meinhold, and 2018 Nobel laureate Dr. Frances Arnold, Provivi is the world’s first mass producer of insect pheromones that are used as an alternative to insecticides to reduce pest populations and minimize crop damage (such as corn, rice, and soy) in a safe, easy to use, and affordable manner.

SITUATION

The Leadership Team of Provivi was looking to improve the way they communicate, collaborate, and disagree while continuing to make progress and decisions to achieve aggressive product development targets. The Leadership Team is culturally and geographically diverse, representing different educational backgrounds and experiences ranging from science and academia to business. They work effectively within their functional areas and teams; that effectiveness diminishes in cross-functional communication and decision making, primarily because there is less clarity about shared, common, aligned priorities, and differences in interpersonal communication styles.

CHALLENGE

Facilitated an Executive Leadership Workshop during the Annual Leadership retreat to establish leadership team connection and cohesion.

  • We started by naming and aligning together on the company’s values
  • Given the highly scientific group of executives, we continued with Cognition and Neuroscience – how our brains and bodies work, are wired for safety, and why connections matter
  • We explored cross-cultural complexities that affect team and individual interactions and, therefore, day-to-day effectiveness
  • We spent time writing and sharing personal stories– about people and experiences that inspired us or traumatic experiences that we learned from. The theme was stories that have shaped us as human beings and naming how we thrive, despite challenges, and rise above to access greater joy, compassion and CONNECTION.

KEY OUTCOMES

The Leadership Team, most of whom have worked together for several years, learned new facts about each other and found commonalities – being the youngest in the family, socio-economic status growing up, hobbies, etc. This brought the team closer together, reminding them that while their backgrounds are diverse, there are similarities among them; they enjoy working together and that humor can be a useful part of work meetings. This session set the tone for the rest of the multiple day retreat, allowing for greater compassion regarding others’ perspectives, respectful disagreement, shared focus on company goals, as opposed to operating independently or one department being “right” above all others.

There was a named and felt sense of team cohesion after this engagement that fueled problem solving and team connection that carries forth as sustainable growth for the team.

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