Building Engaged Teams – Case Study

Engaged teamsA virtual team within a global organisation had been set up to deliver a market sensitive and highly confidential project that centred on technology and products that were new to the global and Australian marketplace. The team comprised 20 people from functions across the business.

Recent leadership changes in the project had resulted in uncertainty around the direction and scope of the project. Although there was a great deal of passion and enthusiasm in the team there was also a sense of frustration, lack of traction, communication issues and project fatigue within the ranks and project time lines were not being met which jeopardised the credibility of the project.


Integral Coaching was asked to facilitate a 1 day offsite around building engaged teams that was aligned with its business strategy to meet the project objectives.

The clients desired objectives were:

  • The clarification and definition of the Project Purpose
  • The identification and agreement of a set of rules of engagement, team goals and team objectives.
  • The commitment to actionable outcomes and clear ownership of tasks
  • The creation of a pathway to include new members of the team quickly and easily with attention on helping them to understand the spirit of the team.


After a motivational talk from the company CEO around project backing, fatigue and resilience the team was led through an experiential activity to foster team engagement and begin work on a purpose statement.

Then, after the introduction of an Appreciative Inquiry framework the team began a process of critical inquiry around goals, objectives and desired outcomes the purpose of which was to refocus on key issues, understand progress to date and challenges for the future. From this exercise a clear sense of purpose was expressed and objectives and goals were set.

The process then moved to a focus on people’s personal engagement to the project, what they would like to take a stand and be accountable for and developing a strong team spirit to increase the levels of engagement in the business. This required the group to understand and answer some difficult questions around how they could feel connected as a team. How they could bring together a group of people from across the organisation and get to know and trust one each other at the pace the project required? And what they could be held accountable to?

Once this was complete, emphasis was placed on developing and committing to team behaviours and rules of engagement. The team believed that understanding these issues was a crucial component in capturing the spirit of the team before re-engaging in creating the future.

Moving on from engagement and accountability the team was then led through a change management process to define clear actionable outcomes, execution strategies and develop ways to deal with project deviation. This was underpinned by exploring possible project sticking points and understanding how to remain motivated when project fatigue sets in and remain resilient when the normal challenges of a large project seem insurmountable?

To finish the day the team made commitments to the delivery of goals, objectives, team behaviours and rules of engagement and then participated in some fun team building activities to complete the day.


The team agreed to a high level goal to “Bring the project home with an entrepreneurial spirit”.

This goal was underpinned by action points that included developing innovative and viable alliances, communication and engagement with customers, team, organisation and beyond and to bring the project home by Christmas. These action points were supported by the work the team had completed during the day around developing clear definitions of project goals, team behaviours, purpose and rules of engagement. In particular they believed that these goals would be most supported by their stated team behaviours which included being resilient leaders, tenacious executors, passionate shapers, united team members and generous listeners.


“If what we’ve agreed to today gets actioned this project will succeed.”

“I felt so tired when I arrived but I feel rejuvenated and re-engaged in the project

I really feel we can nail this!”

“I feel like where on track again and I know where going to make this happen.”

“We’ve managed to find the missing elements to the team and the way we were going about delivering this. It’s going to make all the difference now we are working in this way.”

“Today is the first day I’ve really felt part of this team.”

Building Achievement Focused Teams – Case Study

Achieving TeamsThe marketing team within a global education and publishing company had established a plan to achieve their strategies and identified key focus areas to ensure their success and value in the business. Limiting them was way they were perceived by the organisation and that the team leadership position had been vacant for nine months until the current manager had come on board three months ago.

Each individual in the team felt they were highly committed but all felt they lacked team cohesion. The team felt they lacked a vision, direction and a sense of team accountability and that this had contributed to members feeling let down by other team members.

They also felt there was lot of ”baggage” and destructive behaviours in the group. The new leader believed that communication in the team was very poor and all these team and interpersonal based problems needed to be resolved in order to achieve team cohesion and deliver the desired business outcomes.


Integral Coaching was asked to run a 1 day offsite and implement the required elements of building achievement focused teams and meet their stated business objectives. The clients desired outcomes were:

  • To develop trust within the team, creating an environment of mutual support for the achievement of the strategy
  • Provide a common experience and language upon which to build a constructive and achievement-oriented team culture
  • Provide a strong base for ongoing personal and team development • Provide insight and direction for further team development by management


After an introduction to the purpose of the day and a discussion around desired outcomes the team was given a simulation exercise where a challenge/task needed to be completed. This opened the team to understanding the way they worked together and what group norms had been created from past experiences and interactions.

From this exercise group thinking and behavioural styles were measured. This allowed participants to see how the groups desired outcomes were influenced by their mindsets, behaviours and the way they managed intrapersonal and interpersonal issues with each other in one-on-one and group settings.

This was achieved through an in-depth debriefing which furthered their personal and team learning, encouraged discussion and expression of team issues and roadblocks and started a conversation around setting future direction.

In the next phase of the program these exercises and the learning that transpired from them were linked back to the team strategy. Understanding that how they worked together was equally important to what they were working towards, the team completed their final planning around the key objectives through a facilitated session.

Moving on from the planning phase the group worked through structured exercises with each other to develop interpersonal skills. This was followed by creating an individual development plan for each team member to support their understanding and learning that had occurred throughout the day and to ensure follow through on further learning and the development of clear actionable goals to facilitate the functioning of the team.

Finally, group operating principles were developed to encourage openness and discussion and establish the ground rules for a culture of trust and encouragement.


As result of the program the marketing team recreated their purpose for contributing to the business through the concept “We are the creative force: Driving innovation and influencing others to achieve the highest results.”

Having aligned around the purpose of the group and developed an understanding of the elements needed to perform at the level they desired the group embarked on a process of changing their perception within the business. This was achieved through increasing their networks, educating the business of the value they could add and producing high quality innovative outcomes that were driven through a team focus.

Firstly, they met to agree on role clarity and worked through old issues around what people’s areas of responsibility were. They then decided to host Friday evening drinks to re-establish their presence in the business and start the process of being perceived as a needed, credible and creative force within the organisation.

Following this they created and implemented a strategy to further understand the needs of their internal customers and set clear expectations around goals and way of working together. Having worked through and resolved the issues that consumed some much of their time and energy and having established clear goals and implementation paths the team has been able to deliver some key objectives to the organisation.

In order to maintain their momentum and consolidate their learning the team agreed to meet informally weekly and have a two hour group session once a month where business as usual was put aside to focus on goals and objectives agreed at the offsite (or the previous session) and developed action plans for moving forward.

Building Strategically Aligned Teams – Case Study

Strategic TeamsAfter 3 restructures in 12 months a Customer Insights team in a global telecommunications company was stretched to the limit. With a total of 16 team members communication was stilted and although there was a pre-tense for getting on in the team there was a distinct lack of trust between members and a view that if I just put my head down and do my own job everything will be OK.

The team also felt there was a divide between the old team members (some of which had been in their roles or the previous team  for up to 6 years) and the new members of the team.  The leader of the team had formulated a plan for moving forward that incorporated team values, a BHAG and a strategy for the forthcoming year.
While the direction for the team had been set the next step was to establish a strong and dynamic team culture to execute the strategy by building a strategically aligned team.


Integral Coaching was asked to design and deliver a two day residential workshop using diagnostic tools, experiential outdoor activities and skill building exercises to build a strong, resilient and High Performance team culture. The objectives of this workshop were:

  • To develop trust within the team and create an environment of mutual support for the achievement of the strategy.
  • Provide a common experience and language upon which to build a constructive and achievement oriented team culture


Using the concepts of emotional intelligence, relationship building, outdoor experiential learning and diagnostic tools we designed a program that would build the trust required for the team to move forward and gain perspective. With the leader’s and team members setting expectations of the program the group was led through a process of understanding the framework and applying the elements of emotional intelligence from an individual and team perspective.

This was followed by a complimentary session around developing stress management & resilience traits and skills. Using diagnostic tools as a strong base for ongoing personal development the group completed Human Synergistic’s LSI 1 & 2 inventories that provided them with both a self assessment of thinking and behavioural styles and 360 degree feedback from 5 others in the team. This allowed them to understand how their mindsets and behaviours affected the team culture and performance as well as being the process of understanding how constructive mindsets can be implemented and contribute to effective outcomes.

This process was supported by developing skills in self awareness, management, personal capacity, conflict resolution & active listening. To tie this together an LSI – action plan was developed to support learning and change back in the business. Having built the personal aspects of high performance the group engaged in several team based games and outdoor rope events to build awareness of team mindsets, behaviours and group norms.

Once awareness of these states were established, discussed and debriefed the group set about building a plan to tackle avoidance issues in the team and develop an accountability and achievement culture. This was supported by formulating, agreeing and documenting the Rules of Engagement for working together moving forward as well as establishing a strong team purpose.


  • Rules of Engagement were formulated and agreed this resulted in feedback from the group that people were getting on and able to engage more productively with each other and get the job done rather than worry about what side people were on.
  • The group reported increased skills in dealing with day to day conflict not only within their team but with other teams in the wider organisation.
  • The individuals developed solid LSI action plans that resulted in clarity and ongoing implementation of effective thinking and behaviours.
  • The agreed GSI team behaviours impacted team cohesion and outcomes as reported by leaders and this was instrumental in building the foundation for their future.
  • The group were meeting monthly to continue to build on both their LSI plans and check in on their team behaviours The group still feels motivated and resilient in working towards being “the leading customer insights group in Australia”


  • “Exceeded expectations” “I never thought I could get to know a whole group of people so quickly – I feel like we’ve done 6 months work in two days!”
  • “We’ve got some repairing to do but I feel like I’ve come such a long way in two days”
  • “I now feel ready to really nail that strategy!”
  • “I’ve been in this country two months (from the UK) and I was beginning to think I’d never get to know anyone here. This residential has changed all that – I feel like I’ve known you all for years. I can’t believe it. Thank you.”
  • “Outstanding – there is no doubt in my mind that we’re heading toward becoming the best customer Insights team in Australia!”