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Case Studies - Facilitation

Case Study 1: Team Development Event

Challenge:
The team worked under extremely stressful conditions with a very challenging client group. In order to provide a good service to clients and, at the same time, maintain their own wellbeing, it was essential that colleagues were able to support each other and communicate well. The team manager was concerned about the inconsistency of approach by team members and felt that there were some underlying problems that he couldn't put his finger on. Colleagues appeared outwardly friendly, but this masked some tensions that no-one was willing to express.

"I didn't think that I would be able to say how I really felt, but the facilitator created such a safe space for us that it just flowed! I love my job - but things had got so bad, that I was on the verge of leaving...I now feel so positive again and really look forward to going to work each day. "

TG, Team Leader

Solution:
Following the initial briefing session with the manager, a series of confidential 121 meetings were undertaken with each team member. This highlighted some deep-rooted concerns and a break down of trust between some colleagues. There was also a growing discontent and morale was starting to suffer. Some individuals blamed the manager for not resolving things sooner. A team intervention was developed that focused on clarifying colleagues' professional support needs; establishing team standards; agreeing boundaries; committing to improved communication and constructive challenge in the future. The team day was designed to be up-beat and high energy - focusing on solutions, rather than problems.

Outcome:
Team members felt safe enough to be open and honest with each other, and felt united in their desire to resolve the tensions within the team. A major, and previously undisclosed, problem was raised by a team member late into the day and the facilitator was able to work this through with the team until the issue was resolved. The team event was extremely demanding for the team, but they all felt the investment was worth their while as it allowed them to create a more effective dialogue between them that would continue well into the future. Feedback from the manager has indicated that the team's new way of working together has had a positive impact upon service delivery and morale.


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Case Study 2: 'Future-basing' Visioning Workshop

Challenge:
The organisation wanted to increase representation of key groups at senior levels, but their current approach had failed to deliver this. They wanted to develop a diversity programme that engaged a wide range of employees and delivered cultural change. They wanted to raise awareness of diversity throughout the organisation and ensure that diversity was integrated within day-to-day activities. Traditional diversity training had focused on compliance and processes which had left many feeling that diversity was nothing to do with them. As a result, there was little appetite for another diversity programme and some scepticism that anything would really change.

"I was really surprised by how enjoyable the session was. I have been on other diversity courses in the past, and they had all left me feeling guilty or powerless to change anything...the Future-basing facilitators were really knowledgeable and skilful, and made the session great fun - I will definitely recommend this approach to others..."

MR, Service Manager.

Solution:
A series of workshops were organised to engage managers and staff in the design of a diversity programme. Each session started with the visioning of what the organisation would look and feel like in the future if it were 'the best diversity organisation in the world'. A technique called 'Future-basing' was used to create the vision of success and then used to develop the key actions needed to achieve the vision. Each group also explored creative ideas for engaging other colleagues throughout the organisation in the diversity programme.

Outcome:
The outputs from the various workshops were collated to inform the design and delivery of an innovative multi-faceted diversity programme. The workshops themselves were part of the attitudinal change process for the organisation, and created a curiosity and energy around diversity that had not been experienced before. The workshops provided an opportunity for different groups to come together on a common agenda and focus on positive outcomes rather than problems.

Case Study 3: Strategic Workshop

Challenge:
The company had existed for many years as a number of diverse and independent business units spread across the UK. Their focus was on housing and social care and the units were overseen by three separate regional offices.
Because the units operated independently, there was already inconsistent policy and practice between units in the same region and this inconsistency was compounded when the three regions came together to form one company.
The Directors of the three regions were committed to further expansion and growth for the business, however, they knew that they needed to raise their game and operate more effectively as a leadership team first.
"It was clear to us from the outset that, as a new leadership team, we needed to have a clear vision for long-term expansion and sustainability. What we hadn't appreciated, however, was how important it was to start looking at the behaviours and values that the organisation would need to achieve this vision. The bespoke coaching programme that followed the workshop was key, and gave me the tools and techniques to get what I needed to perform at my best and allowed me to successfully implement the vision in my region."

PB, Director, London Region

Solution:
A half day workshop was organised for the leadership team. The session started with them envisioning what their organisation would look and feel like in the future if it were the most successful organisation of its type in the world.
A technique called 'Future-basing' was used to create their vision of success and to develop the key actions needed to achieve the vision. As part of the process, the Directors and Chief Executive also identified the culture, values and behaviours needed to sustain their success in the longer term.

The work from the session was written up as an action plan and the Directors committed to implementing this within their regions. They also identified their individual and collective development needs as a leadership team.
Outcome:
This led to a programme of coaching for each of the Directors that equipped them with the skills and capabilities to successfully lead the organisation to further expansion and growth. Individual Directors went on to co-design a number workshops for their staff that focused on developing more positive mindsets and behaviours - something they felt was critical to moving the company forward.
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