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Team coaching programme for digital design agency ThinkBDA

Case Studies, Teamwork

Based in Buckingham, this 25-strong ambitious, fast-growing digital design agency approached us to create a bespoke year-long programme. The programme, entitled ‘Learn more than is normal’, included a range of elements designed to produce change: in behaviour and, crucially, in results. Some elements were delivered directly by Creative Huddle – such as workshops and online content. Other elements – stretch assignments – were facilitated by BDA employees, with guidance from Creative Huddle.

On meeting with ThinkBDA managing director David Knowles, it was clear that he had taken significant inspiration from a quote by Robin Sharma – a collection of statements branded the ‘rules for being amazing’:

Risk more than is required. Be strong. Show courage. Breathe. Excel. Love. Lead. Speak your truth. Live your values. Laugh. Cry. Innovate. Simplify. Adore mastery. Release mediocrity. Aim for genius. Stay humble. Be kinder than expected. Deliver more than is needed. Exude passion. Shatter your limits. Transcend your fears. Inspire others by your bigness. Dream big but start small. Act now. Don’t stop. Change the world. Learn more than is normal.

We loved the quote too, and thought it offered an opportunity for a unique programme of targeted activity. We picked out eight ‘rules’ and designed bespoke three-hour workshops for each. Everything would link back to the ultimate goal of increasing ThinkBDA’s creative potential – to consistently deliver more creative work for clients.

We also proposed allocating one ‘rule’ to each employee, to ensure ownership of the programme throughout ThinkBDA, and to enable individual employees to focus deeply on a specific area and enthuse their colleagues. Each received an individual recommended reading / watching programme, including books, articles and videos that offered relevant content with reference to the Rules. Often these were from popular culture, for example for the ‘Don’t Stop’ rule, one of the pieces of content we recommended was Al Pacino’s captivating “Inches” Speech, from the film Any Given Sunday:

In addition, they were each tasked with a stretch assignment – to hold a lunchtime roundtable discussion on their rule. As an example, we contacted each employee across the year to brief them like this:

Your discussion, for Deliver more than is needed, is scheduled for 25th February. Have you managed to arrange something? We’d like you to ask the group to discuss the following statement:

“Imagine it’s December 2015. For the past year BDA has consistently gone the extra mile – in everything it does. What did you do differently to achieve this?”

You can ask the group to consider their responses to the questions below:

– What did you say?
– Who did you influence?
– What changes did you introduce?
– What barriers did you overcome?
– Where did you fail or take risks?

You can ask other questions – these are just suggested starters for you.

It’s up to you how you arrange and hold the discussion. We suggest holding it over lunch, and if you like you can circulate a few points for people to think about in the run-up to the session. Maybe you could kick off the session by showing a video from your initial content list in the programme document.

A series of short questionnaires after every activity enabled us to monitor the success of the programme and make adjustments and improvements where necessary. These questionnaires also fed results into an incentive programme, where employees were regularly asked which rule was being best championed. At the end of the year we recommended the winner receive a cash bonus.

Watch the video below to see what they thought of the results:

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