Work Together Well
“Steph enabled us to openly and honestly find deficiencies, instead of allowing festering wounds to go forward: some trustees needed to change, and some moved on…We’ve now changed our name, leadership, direction, and governance and this has brought financial assistance and opened doors. We’ve grown into something for the whole community.“
Nick Davis, Chair of Cleobury Community Centre,
(CEO of Hobsons Brewery)
Do you need help with
- a tricky team; big characters, senior people and dominant voices
- a tricky time; big projects, transitions, restructuring
- ways of working; online and in person
- productive conflict; naming the elephant in the room, honest conversations, tough decisions
- clarity; vision, mission, values
- getting stuff done; action, accountability and healthy challenge?
I help people who care do whatever it is you and your people care about. You’re probably facing complex problems under time and financial pressure – which can make it hard to think and work at your best.
I work with teams and multi-agency groups in their meetings on particular challenges, enabling you to trust one another enough to do difficult things and have honest conversations, and to gain clarity on why, what, how, when and where you’re going to do those difficult things. Together we then draw out the issues, the needed outcomes, and how to get to your own unique, workable solutions.
I use simple, sustainable tools that teams can and do then make a regular part of future meetings (online and in person), because they’ve experienced how well they work in action on tough problems that matter to them.
I had some tricky team dynamics but also an opportunity to make a fresh start (after a change in personnel). I’d worked with Steph before and I knew she could help us open up dialogue and help the team take ownership of the issues, particularly around remote working and how we could best work together to achieve our departmental plan.
Our organisation grew rapidly after the pandemic, which came with lots of energy but also stress and tension. We’re a Digital First organisation, with everyone working remotely, meeting in person every quarter, and we needed to make that really work for us. This is a tiny team, working across the whole organisation and we knew we needed to look after our own and each other’s wellbeing, but we also needed to be more accountable, to agree stuff and stick to it, to be honest about capacity and able to say No when necessary.
Steph worked with us for a half day meeting online, helping us to uncover the issues and the outcomes we needed – understanding one another’s working patterns and styles, how we could collaborate – facing into the really important questions. It was an honest conversation that dug deep and then allowed us to make some simple agreements we could commit to. It also stopped us rushing into actions that really weren’t necessary, and gave us a set of questions to take away for future discussion.
Since then, I’ve brought Steph in to train two of our teams in Transforming Meetings®, and we’ve found it incredibly useful in enabling us to collaborate effectively across the teams and create safe spaces for working with participants with Lived Experience. The Thinking Environment® techniques Steph brings really level the power dynamic and enable every voice to be heard.
“It enabled us to openly and honestly find deficiencies, instead of allowing festering wounds to go forward… Just two months later, we presented a major organisational change and fundraising vision. We’ve now changed our name, leadership, direction, and governance and this has brought financial assistance and opened doors.”
Nick Davies, Chair of Cleobury Community Centre, (CEO of Hobsons Brewery)
We worked with Steph to revitalise our vision and put us in a position to win future fundraising. It was a pivotal moment; we had a great head of steam, were growing steadily but wanted to look ahead two years to the end of both our building lease and our funding.
I enjoyed the day. We saw that we’d grown massively but without a structure that’s supported that growth – some of us weren’t in the true spirit of the organisation, some of us didn’t have a role or a role that we were qualified to do, and we needed to put the right people in the right slots. That was quite emotional at times, but it enabled us to openly and honestly find deficiencies, instead of allowing festering wounds to go forward: some trustees needed to change, and some moved on.
Steph helped us arrive at a set of core beliefs that were straightforward, manageable, measurable, achievable – and a lot of them are being implemented for the vision going forward. There’s more simplicity and clarity because we all understand the measures and it’s all a lot clearer.
Just two months later, we presented a major organisational change and fundraising vision.
We’ve now changed our name, leadership, direction, and governance and this has brought financial assistance and opened doors. We’ve grown into something for the whole community, we’re buying the church building, we have clearer roles and tangible engagement that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. We’ve put it on a much stronger footing for the future. Not only did the day enable this to happen, it’s opened up new path to governance and got trustees to look at ourselves.
Tamzyn Smith, CEO Cornwall Museums Partnership
CMP had been through some challenging, unexpected changes and was poised to explore the transition to identify a new business model, securing new long-term funding relationships while maintaining our values-driven practice and offer. As a collaborative leader and with the full support of CMP’s Board, we knew we needed to support staff and enable them to support one another. We wanted to provide spaces together and individually where uncertainties and worries around the change ahead could be explored appropriately, helping us retain talent, to support people through an ongoing a period of unsettledness and feel positive about the future. Steph delivered elective one-to-one resilience coaching, and facilitated some specific team meetings, enhancing a safe, transparent, and supportive team culture for staff through the change process.
The meetings were great – it was very useful to have a well held space for people that was overtly about caring for the team, and which I could be a participant so we could all equally share our concerns, ideas and feelings. Our discussions were forward facing and action-oriented, not just focused on the difficulties. Steph provided a framework for me to work with the team to co-create the agenda and along with a pre-meet with Steph, we were able to usefully ensure buy-in across the team as well as making sure it was relevant to the aspect of change we were facing at that particular time. Those who took up the coaching found it helped to have a space to vocalise their worries confidentially and find ways to tackle them, to focus on their own behaviour, not others, and to reframe challenges into positive goals, and realise how resilient they were.
I was so pleased we could offer this – I really appreciated the way Steph collaborated with us, and her professionalism and compassion throughout. It was a really beneficial process for us as a team.
- A small organisation going through a restructure or redundancy
- A team making a fresh start after difficult times
- A team adjusting to hybrid working
- A manager managing up on a complex project
- A leader wanting to change the culture you’ve inherited
- A member of a board that needs refreshing
Then you’ll have something in common with clients I’ve already worked with to make their meetings matter.