You work in the HR Department in a large, global enterprise. The HR organization is centralized, with the compensation/benefits, HRD, labor relations, and HRIS functions all located in the corporate HQ. There is also a corporate staffing department at the corporate HQ, and there are small, regional HR offices located at each 5 regional locations that handle staffing and limited benefits services. The locations of the 5 regional offices are: US - Midwest, US - South, US - Northeast, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe.
You have set up and will lead a team to implement a new HRIS system that centralizes the personnel records for the first time, and makes all HR information accessible to all HR reps via the internet. Previously all records were kept in the corporate office and regional reps kept their own, limited files. This new system is scheduled to be "live" in 6 months.
At the two-day kickoff meeting to launch this project team, the purpose of the team was clarified, and specific goals and interim target dates were quickly established.
Here's some information on the team members:
US - Midwest: Janna Starker: Director of HR for one of the Midwest plants, 20 year veteran with the company, has seen it all, understands the history, was with the company prior to the acquisition of the European operations, is tolerated by peers and perhaps respected, but probably not liked.
US - South: Jack Downey: Been with the company for 5 years, previously was VP of HR for a larger organization, currently Director of HR for the Southern operations, probably being groomed for a higher position. Not well known throughout the organization, but presents a generally favorable impression.
US - Northeast: Al Cohen: Been with the company for 15 years, known as the guy to see if you want to get something done. Worked his way up through the ranks, perhaps has a bachelors degree but nothing higher. Understands the organization and various players well, has worked in all 3 US facilities. He is the HR Manager for one of the Northeast plants.
Eastern Europe: Aliya Bossanova: Previously in the plant's operations, she took over as Director of HR about 2 years ago. Very personable. Although she speaks with an accent, her American mannerisms make you forget she's not an American.
Western Europe: Jacques Chirac: An arrogant Frenchman, he does know what he's talking about. He understands the business, the markets, and the internal players very well. He also is very knowledgeable about various European employment laws. He is an attorney by training, and has been practicing HR for over 20 years. He has been with this company for 7 years. He is the VP of HR for Western European operations.
You: VP of HR for the enterprise. You've been with the company for 7 years, serving previously as Director of HR for Midwest operations, and as Manager of HR for one of the Northeastern plants. You are very well-connected throughout the organization, and in fact the reason that you have your current position is because throughout your career you've made a point of getting to know a wide variety of individuals throughout the organization. As some of these individuals have risen through the ranks, your relationship with them has helped your career.
How might the various members' titles/positions impact the team dynamics?
How would you characterize this group's development level, according to the Situational Leadership model?
Which leadership style do you think would be most appropriate for this team?