Workshops, Retreats and Strategic Planning Sessions are costly exercises and my aim is to always ensure the value far exceeds the cost.
P2R Workshops are game-changing catalysts that achieve positive outcomes and real results, in real time. Here are a number of real case studies to help you see what’s possible for you and your team…
*Note: Names have been changed to respect client confidentiality
Although they had 'approved' a carefully created Strategic Direction, the Board and Executive of this national non-profit organisation were still unclear about what it meant and were at risk of going backwards and starting all over again.
Before COVID-19 restrictions became a reality, a 2 1/2 Day Board and Leadership Retreat at a regional venue had been scheduled to deepen understanding, create alignment and gain commitment.
While the need still existed, it quickly became clear that a traditional, in-person retreat would not be possible.
Working with the CEO, Leadership Team and Board, the workshop format was pivoted to be delivered fully online. Recognising that building online connection, counteracting 'Zoom fatigue' and maintaining focus requires a different approach I designed and facilitated 4 x 2 hour iterative sessions and using Microsoft Teams tools to recreate the in-person experience - break out rooms, use of whiteboards, experiential activities, preparation and reflection actions.
- Participants had time between sessions to consolidate learnings and prepare more thoroughly for the next session
- New connections and relationships were created, blowing away the myth that online is not as good as 'in person'.
- Break out conversations enabled deeper exploration of the Strategic Directions, identification and sharing of what they actually meant, resulting in shared understanding and alignment.
- Previously hidden potential was unlocked to ensure everyone would be more actively and personally involved in ensuring the successful implementation of the future Strategy.
- Participants were surprised by how good the sessions were, reflecting that they had gained way more from them than they'd expected, all from the comfort and convenience of their own homes!
Don't fall into the trap of believing that 'online isn't as good as in person' workshops! They provide the opportunity to reflect and research between sessions, avoiding the often hasty, under-informed decision making that can occur with traditional off site retreats.
Take time to clarify what needs to be achieved and why and use an experienced facilitator who knows how to adapt the format to achieve your desired outcomes and maximise engagement and participation.
Wondering how Virtual Strategic Planning, Problem Solving and Team Building could work for your team?
Facing rapidly increasing demand for services, changes to funding models and the challenge of working smarter with limited resources, this leading non-profit, community palliative care provider needed to develop a clear strategic direction and a robust business plan to achieve it.
Meeting increased demand with diminishing resources meant that if the organisation didn't pivot to a new operating model it would soon be unviable.
Interviews with the CEO, Board, Senior Leadership Team and key partners identified the organisation’s aspirations, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and priorities.
Through a series of facilitated Strategic Planning Workshops, the collective knowledge of the organisations’ leaders was harnessed. This helped them create a shared vision and clear future direction, aligned with its core purpose and underpinned by four key pillars.
- A three year Roadmap and Business Plan with a supporting budget and resource plan provided an achievable way to implement strategic change whilst maintaining high levels of daily care.
- Documented in an easy to communicate format, the CEO shared the new business strategy, quickly gaining support and buy-in from staff, partners and other providers.
- A clear, concise and compelling Strategic Direction, helped the organisation clarify its role and desired position in the provision of community palliative care.
- Funding was successfully secured to create a co-ordinated model of care which actively engages specialist partner providers to collaboratively lift the quality of care.
Failing to acknowledge increasing risk is like an ostrich sticking it's neck in the sand! Yet changing circumstances also create the perfect opportunity for growth. Once you convert the problem into an opportunity, you'll soon develop a clear and sustainable path forward.
Caroline – my experience of working with you has been energising and inspirational. The strategic planning process with the Board was the most engaging that I have ever been involved in. You seemed to be able to keep the ideas flowing and adapt the process according to the information exchange as it was happening.
You worked with teams through all levels of the organisation to not only focus on our core business, but to do some magical thinking about the future and where it could take us. Thank you for all your help and guidance.
Helen Warne - CEO
Curious to learn how to convert risks and issues into opportunities and strengths?
Marking 10 years of service provision and facing increased community expectations triggered the need for this Branch of a government department to regroup and change direction.
Charged with providing an essential and highly sensitive government service, the Branch was recovering from a period of significant upheaval and change.
Disruptive managers and staff had been replaced but remaining staff bore the scars and the culture had become passive aggressive.
Breaking with the normal practice of strategic planning being ‘secret executive business’, the leaders of this Branch chose a different approach.
All 40 staff attended Strategic Planning Workshops, to set the future direction together. The first workshop helped them reflect, resolve and learn from the past, identify where they were currently, what they wanted and needed to achieve and what this would result in.
Innovative yet realistic ideas were explored and the energy visibly lifted as the team gained clarity and built commitment.
Small teams further developed the most likely options. In the second workshop, a consolidated 5 year Business Plan, aligned with the Corporate Strategy was created.
- The Strategic Direction and supporting Business Plan were approved and vital senior executive support was gained.
- Buoyed by the success of their unorthodox approach, leaders and staff immediately refocused their effort to bring their strategic initiatives to life. Within 6 weeks four major projects got underway without dropping the ball on daily service provision.
- Many of the attendees had never been exposed to strategic planning before and gained both insight and skill to regularly revisit and refine their Business Plan.
- Empowered to develop the Branch’s strategic direction converted a formerly disengaged and change weary group into a united, committed, results oriented team.
If your team is 'change weary', jaded and cynical, actively involving them in the design of your Workshop will give them a sense of agency and empowerment. Set the scene with a commitment to honesty and respect to build trust.
Keen to know how to heal the scars of the past so your team can move forward in a positive and constructive way?
Needing to develop his future leaders, the General Manager of a division of one of Australia’s largest corporate companies enlisted my help to deliver a leadership development program that would deliver tangible results.
Highly capable technical leaders had received little exposure to leadership training and even less opportunity to learn and put into action critical leadership skills.
Working collaboratively with the HR Advisor, we designed a 6 month intensive, internal program combining proven leadership models, tools and resources integrated with the company's defined leadership competencies.
Participants attended 3 x 2 day highly interactive learning workshops, completing pre and post workshop action learning assignments.
Course Content included:
- Introduction to Leadership
- Building a Leadership Toolkit
- Emotional Intelligence
- Learning from our Leaders – ‘on the couch’ sessions with internal leaders exploring all aspects of their leadership experience
- Influencing, Communication and Your Brand
- Advanced Communication Skills including the use of power and influence
- Authentic Leadership
- Career Planning
- Next Level Leadership – Strategic and Critical Thinking, Leading and Developing Teams, Managing Priorities, Principles of Engagement
- Ongoing development – Group Action Learning projects to have a positive impact on the whole division
All participants -
- Gained clear understanding of what it takes to lead successfully in their organisation
- Created their own Leadership Vision
- Developed techniques to strengthen their leadership
- Learned how to give and receive constructive feedback
- Increased self awareness, self regulation and confidence
- Set professional goals and created Leadership and Career Development Plans
- Developed deep and ongoing relationships with their peers to enable the successful delivery of 4 national Action Learning Projects
- Participant Program Rating: 85% Excellent, 15% Good
This program exceeded all my expectations. There’s always a risk of trying to cram too much in but this program covered the right amount and type of topics for me to grasp and apply what I’ve learned.
Spot on! I feel way more confident in my skills and leadership abilities now – this course is a must do for all emerging leaders.
Caroline is engaging, knowledgeable, supportive, challenging and inspiring! She was well prepared and knows so much about different aspects of leadership.
Caroline is great. She is a great communicator and fantastic facilitator – very insightful, inclusive and interesting. She’s very skilled at challenging everyone and creating a safe learning space. I’ve learned and grown so much throughout this program.
Caroline was excellent – having been through several similar courses, this program was by far the best I’ve ever done.
It's tempting to think you have neither the time or budget for developing your future leaders. But before you dismiss it, consider how much more time and effort it will take to achieve high performance if your leaders don't learn how to lead...
Let's see how a Leadership Development Program tailored to your orgnisation's needs would significantly lift the capability of your high potential future leaders.
Teaching is a demanding and constantly changing profession where teachers relentlessly juggle the challenges of student learning, parental expectations and a relentless administrative burden.
Under constant pressure created by reduced staffing, increased tension and re-modelled workspaces, the teachers from this primary school were struggling. Tired, jaded and turning on each other, the Principal knew that they couldn't go on the way they were.
A tailored P2R Professional Development Day was designed to help them:
- Identify and reflect on their achievements and challenges
- Discover how to take their strengths to the next level to ensure success and ease
- Build a Self Care Thrival Kit to take anywhere and use anytime to overcome any challenge
- Learn how to integrate what they learnt and developed into their work
- All participants were individually validated and appreciated
- Protocols for sharing workspaces were designed, creating shared understanding and respect
- ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ posters were created to provide visual reminders of key resilience strategies
- Each participant developed their own Thrival Kit to build and sustain resilience
- 6 months after the ‘Today is All About YOU‘' Professional Development Day, staff reported improved relationships and increased ability to manage through stressful situations and ongoing change.
Very very helpful, thanks! Very appropriate content. Clearly applicable to my professional situation. I feel much more positive.
This has been a wonderful day and I really believe you have given us the direction to go forward.
Thank you for making me think, react, question and cry – you’ve given me lots to choose to do.
For me the choice of DO/ DON'T Do has been a stand out.
This PD was great – Thinking tools, Team work and building, Pearls of Wisdom – I’m a lot ‘wiser’ now.
Helped me learn how to better deal with different problems - I particularly enjoyed the 'pearls of wisdom' and strengths.
This course helped me to recognise my innermost strengths and the values that make me the person I am. Thank you. I had the thrival kit in me all the time – you tapped it out. Thank you. I shall now face this year with renewed vigour.
Very much enjoyed this PD. I now have lots of positive ideas to deal with anything I’m thrown. Thank you
Great, really informative, very useful. A fantastic day much needed.
Don't wait for things to get 'bad'. If your people are struggling reach out and get help. There are many simple interventions that can and will help them move from stuck to empowered.
Keen to see how to help your team turn the corner from disempowered, victim mode to resilient and in control?
The Board of this non-profit membership organisation supporting a conservative, male-dominated industry was facing the challenge of how to increase female participation.
All key roles were held by men and the top industry influencers were also male. Yet, new graduates coming into the industry are 50/50 male/female.
They knew they had to change if they were going to meet the needs of their members and gain the advantages that come from higher female representation.
A one day Diversity Problem Solving Workshop was held with the Board to identify how to address the gender gap and better meet the needs of current and future members.
- Barriers to gender equity were identified
- Specific needs of female members were converted into service offerings
- A targeted Female Membership Engagmeent Drive was designed and implemented
5 Key Initiatives were developed to increase female representation including
- Changes to their constitution;
- Female Mentoring program
- Engagement Strategy to run interactive information sessions and Listening Posts with universities
- Establishment of a Women in Industry Network and
- Development of online apps and webinars to better utilise existing and emerging technologie
If diversity is a challenge for your organisation, ignoring or simply talking about it won't make it go away! A professsionally facilitated workshop to co-design initiatives will convert into action and results.
Curious to explore effective ways to tackle gender and diversity issues in your organisation?
With limited resources and great ambition, this non-profit organisation was struggling to roll out its innovative program to Victorian schools, within the time frames its Board had set.
To make matters worse everyone was working incredibly hard and, without realising it, were working against each other in the battle for resources. Pet Projects were supported whilst other, equally deserving ideas were squashed creating a divisive and competitive culture.
A 'One Team - Stronger Together' workshop was designed to create the foundations they needed to become an interdependent, united and high performing team, unlocking their potential to achieve far more together.
By the end of the day, they successfully:
- Decided the reputation they wanted – what they wanted our team to be known 'for' and 'as'
- Gained deeper understanding of their own and each other’s strengths, preferences, capabilities and goals
- Designed an integrated plan and agreed approach based on how they best work together
- Moved from vested interests to mutually shared goals
- Developed closer relationships as they go to know each other better
Within 3 months this team
- Was 'back on track' with their refreshed, mutually created program, roll out plan and approach
- Had sustained and built on their 'One Team' approach and embedded it into their culture.
If you're noticing conflict within and across teams, take time to identify and understand the root cause. It's rarely what it first seems! Park assumptions and judgement and establish agreed values, principles of engagement and behaviours before tackling roles, responsibilities and work tasks.
Wondering how engaging and experienced facilitator and professional, independant coach would help?
P2R Workshop Facilitation and Strategic Planning Client Experiences
Everyone got so much out of it!
Caroline did a brilliant job with our team and we've got some very worthwhile projects to work on as a result. I heard great feedback from other team members too - everyone got so much out of it.
Spot on! I feel way more confident in my skills and leadership abilities now – this course is a must do for all emerging leaders.
Energy, Drive and Patience
Thank you to Caroline for your energy, drive and patience with us. We set an ambitious target of defining our purpose, setting our vision and working out how we could achieve it. After a very full and draining day, I am proud of what we achieved as our foundation and particularly the spirit in which we all got there.
Exremely positive feedback - people very much enjoyed the opportunity to reflect
Thank you for the workshop you provided yesterday as part of our planning and review day. The feedback from the team was extremely positive and people very much enjoyed the opportunity to reflect on their work in the context of past, present and future directions.
A rare combination of broad experience, powerful questions, deep insights, high inter-personal skills, unquestionable work ethic, high integrity and low ego
I have known Caroline for over a decade, initially as a consulting colleague and more recently I’ve engaged her on strategy and high performance team development assignments to support my own clients. I can recommend Caroline without reservation as a consummate professional, thoughtful advisor on change and transformation, brilliant facilitator and accomplished coach. She brings that rare combination of broad experience, powerful questions, deep insights, high inter-personal skills, unquestionable work ethic, high integrity and low ego – it’s all about YOU as the client and getting YOUR results, and on that basis I don’t know of any projects within Caroline’s influence that haven’t worked. So, when it’s about strategy or transformation I choose to work with Caroline whenever I can.
Ability to understand our desired outcomes and then create a program which had a clear journey for the team to achieve the set objectives was superior to other facilitators I have worked with
We recently engaged Caroline on very short notice (less than 2 weeks) to facilitate a coming together of a new Top 25 leadership team as a result of the merger of an external acquisition with an existing internal operating business.
Caroline took our brief and desired outcomes and crafted a thoroughly engaging and rewarding 2 day workshop which was about aligning culture and creating a consistent vision and set of tangible business objectives for a large business unit (greater than 500 people). All the requirements of our brief were achieved without question.
A post workshop survey conducted with the team gave Caroline a 100% score for exceeding expectations as the facilitator.
I found her ability to understand our desired outcomes and then create a program which had a clear journey for the team to achieve the set objectives was superior to other facilitators I have worked with in the past. I would thoroughly recommend Caroline to anyone looking for a facilitator who can ensure your objectives are met and exceeded, who is consistently engaging and who can work the group and their individual characteristics for maximum team and business outcomes.