12 November 2013

Our client, a division of a leading international telecommunications group established as its business theme for 2013 as “Building Together A High Performance Organisation”

The key elements of which were identified as

  • Customer Experience: Meet and exceed customer expectations
  • Business Performance; Meet and exceed performance targets
  • Our People : Create a great place to work
  • Culture: Embed Vital Behaviors to foster a culture of innovation

Building a world class Cultural Operating System was judged to be the key.  The Vital Behaviours – the norms, practices, behaviours and unwritten rules of an organisation - provide the foundation for success if embedded and lived by all.

Six behaviours were identified as vital to drive the desired organisation culture and help position the organisation to grow and thrive in its dynamic market place.

The Role of Dream Team Catalyst

We were invited to design a companywide process that would ensure that the identified Vital Behaviours were understood, embedded in, and lived by all staff.

The brief emphasised that the process must provide practical opportunity for participants to demonstrate their understanding of, and ability to apply the required behaviours, and not just be a series of discussion workshops.  Importantly there must be a “take away” providing a clear link back to the working environment.

The Process

We began with an off-site two day workshop for the EXCO team members during which the identified behaviours were discussed and unpacked.

It was considered vital, (as key role models and drivers of the initiative), to ensure that the EXCO team shared a common understanding of the identified behaviours, were committed to living them going forward, and had bought into the planned program for staff.

Experiential team activities were used to provide insight into the current team dynamics and behaviours, providing meaningful vehicles for the discussions that followed.

The facilitated discussions were open and frank, with the team members acknowledging their individual and collective past failures to fully live the desired behaviours, and committing to specific remedial action going forward.

The opportunity was also taken to receive input from the team on the design of the staff events that were to follow.

Following the EXCO workshop we designed and facilitated a series of six events for the remaining staff of the organisation.

Staff attended in their business units, including their managers and the relevant EXCO member, as a secondary objective was to develop and strengthen teamwork within the business units, and between the component sub units.  The presence of the EXCO members also added to the credibility and profile of the overall initiative.

Each event followed a similar pattern.  Introductory remarks from a Senior Manager provided the context for the event.  Facilitated discussions followed to ensure a common understanding of the required behaviours, and why they were important to the success of both the individual and the organisation.

Thereafter, the majority of the program was made up of a series of carefully selected experiential team activities to provide a practical opportunity for participants to demonstrate their understanding of and ability to apply the vital behaviours.

Each activity was debriefed with a strong focus on the vital behaviours – the impact that their presence or absence had had on the level of achievement in undertaking the activity.  Other aspects of effective teamwork also featured in the facilitated discussions that followed each activity.

To provide the desired “take away” link back to the workplace, we incorporated our “T-Shirt Masterpiece” activity.

At each event, working in small groups, participants were tasked with creating a design for a T-Shirt symbolically representing the business theme “Building Together a High Performing Organisation” and the “Vital Behaviours” essential to its achievement.

A winning design emerged from each event and went forward to a final round, held after all of the staff events had been completed.  All staff in the organisation voted for their favourite design, and the winning design will be professionally printed onto a T-Shirt to be given to all staff members at a social function.


Feedback received during and after the events indicated that staff had appreciated the practical approach taken.  They had had fun whilst at the same time had learned a lot about themselves and their colleagues, and importantly now had a greater understanding of, and appreciation of the role that the vital behaviours can have in achieving success and a high level of individual and collective performance.

Managers have reported positive changes within their teams and overall the client has expressed satisfaction that the required outcomes have been achieved, and a platform has been provided on which to build the desired organisation culture that will see them “Building Together a High Performing Organisation”