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Workshop 16: Team Culture Shaping Lab

Welcome to our Organisational Excellence Workshop Series. This series seeks to provide a launch pad for building professional skills and organisational success. Each workshop provides a jumping-off point for a different theme, exploring innovative strategies and practical exercises to enhance work and team dynamics. See more in the series here:
The objective of this workshop is to equip participants with the tools and knowledge to identify current team culture, envision desired changes, and develop actionable plans for cultural transformation.
Full-Day Workshop (8 hours)
Materials Needed:
    • Tools for cultural assessment (e.g., surveys, questionnaires).
    • Materials for visioning exercises (e.g., poster boards, markers, magazines for vision boards).
    • Templates or guides for gap analysis and change planning.
    • Role-play scenarios for communication practice.
    • Feedback forms.
Facilitator's Note:
    • Create an interactive and collaborative environment that encourages open discussion and idea sharing.
    • Be prepared to guide the groups through the various stages of planning and address any challenges or questions.
    • Focus on practical application, enabling participants to relate workshop activities to their specific organisational contexts.

1. Culture Assessment & Analysis

Assessing and analysing the current team culture through discussions and surveys.
Desired Outcome:
To gain a clear understanding of the existing team culture and its impact on employees and business processes. This activity aims at understanding the current team culture and its effects on business processes.
    1. Provide participants with tools to assess team culture (e.g., surveys, questionnaires).
    2. Facilitate group discussions to analyse the results and identify key cultural attributes.
    3. Discuss the alignment (or misalignment) between the current culture and team/organisational goals.
Potential Challenges:
Bias in self-reporting or reluctance to critique existing culture. To help overcome this, emphasise the importance of honesty and objectivity for effective assessment.

2. Visioning the Ideal Culture

Envisioning the ideal team culture through collaborative brainstorming and visualisation techniques.
Desired Outcome:
To create a clear and shared vision of the desired team culture. This activity helps establish a vision for desired culture is essential for guiding effective change processes.
    1. Lead a brainstorming session where participants describe elements of their ideal team culture.
    2. Use visualisation techniques (e.g., vision boards, mind maps) to capture these ideas.
    3. Facilitate a discussion to consolidate these ideas into a cohesive vision.
Potential Challenges:
Diverse opinions and lack of consensus. To help overcome this, guide the group to find common ground and establish shared values.

3. Cultural Gap Analysis

Comparing the current culture with the envisioned ideal to identify gaps and areas for change.
Desired Outcome:
To clearly identify the specific areas of the team culture that need to be changed or improved. This activity uses gap analysis to provide a clear roadmap for cultural change.
    1. Participants compare the current cultural assessment with the envisioned ideal culture.
    2. Identify specific areas where changes are needed.
    3. Discuss potential challenges and barriers to achieving the desired cultural shift.
Potential Challenges:
Resistance to change or feeling overwhelmed by the scale of change required. To help overcome this, explore how to break down the process into manageable steps.

4. Change Agents Identification

Identifying and discussing the roles of change agents within the team.
Desired Outcome:
To understand the importance of change agents and strategies on how to engage them effectively. This activity explores the role of change agents in driving team change.
    1. Discuss the concept of change agents and their role in team change.
    2. Identify potential change agents within the team (or wider organisation) and their specific roles.
    3. Plan strategies for engaging and empowering these individuals.
Potential Challenges:
Identifying appropriate change agents and ensuring their commitment. To help overcome this, highlight the benefits and support available for change agents.

5. Developing a Cultural Change Plan

Creating a detailed plan for initiating and sustaining cultural change within the team.
Desired Outcome:
To develop a practical and actionable plan for cultural transformation. This activity focuses on creating a structured plan to guide the cultural change process and measure progress.
    1. Guide participants in outlining a cultural change plan, including timelines, milestones, and responsibilities.
    2. Discuss strategies for implementing the plan, including communication, training, and reinforcement mechanisms.
    3. Each group presents their plan for feedback and refinement.
Potential Challenges:
Unrealistic timelines or lack of resources. To help overcome this, assist the team to create realistic and achievable plans.

6. Communication Strategies for Cultural Change

Developing effective communication strategies to support and reinforce the cultural change process.
Desired Outcome:
To ensure clear and consistent communication about cultural change initiatives within the team. This activity highlights effective communication for gaining buy-in during change processes.
    1. Discuss the importance of communication in change management.
    2. Develop a communication plan that includes messaging, channels, frequency, and feedback mechanisms.
    3. Role-play different scenarios to practice communication strategies.
Potential Challenges:
Overlooking diverse communication needs or resistance to messages. To help overcome this, emphasise the need for inclusive and responsive communication approaches.

7. Workshop Debrief & Feedback Session

Gathering participant feedback and summarising key workshop learnings.
Desired Outcome:
To reinforce key concepts and gather insights for continuous improvement. This activity helps to ensure an understanding of the workshop content and provides insights for enhancing future workshops.
    1. Open discussion for participants to share their thoughts on the workshop.
    2. Summarise key concepts and learnings.
    3. Collect written feedback for future enhancements.
Potential Challenges:
Limited participant engagement in feedback. To help overcome this, encourage candid feedback by creating a safe and open environment.

Thank you for joining us in this edition of the 'Organisational Excellence Workshop Series'. We hope the insights and strategies from the Team Culture Shaping Lab workshop have inspired you and provided a valuable tool to kick-start and customise your own workshop. Remember, each workshop in this series is a step towards enhancing and enriching your team culture. Stay tuned for our next edition, where we will explore another vital aspect of professional development, continuing our journey of learning and growth. Until then, we encourage you to implement what you've learned and share your experiences with your peers.
Trevor O'Sullivan

Trevor O'Sullivan

General Manager. Since the early 2000s, Trevor has worked with thousands of Talent Management professionals to develop and apply assessment-based talent management solutions for selecting, developing and managing people. Trevor is an active member of the TTI Success Insights (TTISI) Global Advisory Council, contributes to TTISI product development and is a regular presenter at TTISI-R3. He is honoured to have received multiple Blue Diamond Awards and, more recently, the Bill Brooks Impact Award recognising his contributions to the TTISI global network.

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