Helping a division within an O&G corporation get back to business after a massive reorganization.
Our client was a division within a Fortune 20 Oil & Gas company. They play an integral role in virtually every project—supporting business lines through a project’s entire lifecycle, from site planning and construction, to operations and final disposition.
Our client had gone through a massive reorganization. Everything changed overnight, and a lot of positions were moved or drastically changed.
This shake-up rendered the old corporate culture obsolete. It conflicted with the changed landscape—and disunity, resentment, and confusion were felt throughout the entire division.
Their culture was in crisis. Softway was brought in to help restore it—and to launch their new beginning.
When it comes to changing culture, there’s no single, silver bullet. Our strategy involved focusing the effort on creating a foundation to make change stick, beginning with leadership.
Our client had hundreds of leaders located in over 20 different countries. Softway knows firsthand that lasting change happens together. We didn’t just need to reach all these leaders, we needed to unify their mindsets and show them better tools and practices.
We hosted Seneca Sessions for our client’s top leaders—not as a cure-all, but as a catalyst for sustained change. This catalyst is the individual, personal commitments to change that the participants walk away making—this is what Seneca is designed to activate.
Seneca is based on the idea that foundational culture change is the key to developing high-performing teams and better business outcomes. And, we have seen time and time again that transforming the behaviors of leaders is the key to achieving foundational culture change. If you don’t start with change at the leadership level, culture change will not succeed. The behaviors of leaders create the experiences that define culture.
The two-day event is the start of a transformation journey, but the real work begins when participants commit to their individual transformations, through introspection and owning their own behaviors.
Vulnerability and trust
Misbehaviors of leaders
It didn’t matter where people were from, it didn’t matter where we went, the feedback and results were the same—Seneca Sessions are about humanity. The content resonated across cultures and continents. After every session, individuals sought out the Seneca presenters to share their own stories of misbehavior, feedback, vulnerability, psychological safety, and the revelations they experienced through the Seneca teachings.
“I feel like a lot of the other leadership classes we’ve taken are about what makes an effective leader, where this was more about how to do it, why it’s important, and what you get out of it from a people standpoint.” - Participant Testimonial
Our client initially heard from a lot of participants that they thought it would be just like any other leadership training. After the event, the same people openly discussed how wrong they had been in their assumptions—their mood, vocabulary, and energy changed. They were excited to return to their teams and lead by example with the concepts and introspective tools they experienced in the Seneca Sessions.
The energy and new mindsets that leaders took away from their Seneca Sessions experience carried over into their work, and, according to participants, even into their personal lives.
Because of the success of the leadership events, our client extended the engagement. They asked us to create sustainment content so leaders could continue working on their own behavior transformations, and enable transformation within their own teams.
"Even now, I keep sharing keywords learned from Seneca, introspection, assume good intent, vocabulary lives on. Feels like SS is helping us get through these tough times. 1 year later..." - Seneca attendee
Seneca Sessions has since grown in popularity as news of the experience and the results spread to other divisions. To this day, we have engaged more than 1,000 leaders from 46 different countries.
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