CASE STUDY

Moving team culture beyond the status quo.

 
 
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A large electric utility company based in the Midwest was looking to build a creative, innovative culture for their financial services team of 25+ people.

The company had previously worked with an external consultant to conduct strategic thinking workshops. However, the leadership of the financial services team wanted to find a partner who was the right fit for their department to help them define and implement strategic changes.

 
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The Situation:

The financial services team made significant effort over the past 12 months to finally put the right employees in the right positions. Their focus was shifting from “crisis mode” toward creating a positive culture and work environment for their team.


The leadership team believed they could move beyond the status quo and establish a culture where employees truly wanted to come to work. They desired for their team to feel creative, innovative, and empowered to bring about change, not only in their department but throughout the entire company.

The original plan was to do a single workshop. But the leaders quickly realized they might miss an opportunity to grow and develop their team for the long-term if they didn’t make a greater investment.

 
 
 
I didn’t want our culture to be defined by default, but instead, to intentionally mold the culture into what we wanted it to be. That way we would end up with a place where people wanted to come each day and enjoyed being there. When you get people into that mindset, the work follows suit.
— Laura, Vice President & CFO
 
 
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The Solution:

Bravium worked with the leadership team to outline a 1-year plan to define and build a company culture that didn’t settle for the status quo but instead challenged and empowered the financial services team.


In an early planning meeting with the Bravium team, the leaders warned Bravium that “we have a really quiet group so you have your work cut out for you.” The Bravium team assured the leaders that they hear this from leaders often and have several creative ways to encourage creativity, fun, and engagement in teams of all kinds.

• • •

 
We had to be open and accept that when you’re having fun you can still accomplish serious work! Trust that they’re going to get you to the end, and you’ll see the results!
— Laura, Vice President & CFO

• • •

 
 

The work began with the leaders and employees participating in an innovation workshop, to help them access their natural creativity to solve business problems.


In subsequent workshops, Bravium helped the leaders articulate the department’s culture strategy of transforming from transactional to value-added partners, and the employees developed a set of shared operating norms that would enable the strategy and communicated the teams emerging personality.

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Bravium’s process for helping the leaders articulate the culture strategy included an assessment of the current state and establish a desired future state. Using a series small group exercises and thought-provoking questions, Bravium helped the leaders determine a set of how we will win choices that would create a winning culture and transform themselves into value-added partners to the organization.

  1. Build credible partnerships

  2. Aim for simplicity

  3. Innovate with data

  4. Drive automation

  5. Provide actionable information

 

The Transformers provide a framework for making decisions, prioritizing projects, and talking about performance.


Bravium helped the team keep their ambition, transformers, and operating norms front of mind by co-developing a broad set of visual and experiential tools, such as branded posters, screen savers, laptop stickers, recognition cards, notepads, and a six-part video series produced by the leaders. At the official culture relaunch party employees explored the strategy with the leaders while enjoying Transformer cookies baked and decorated by the leadership team.

 
 
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THE RESULTS:

While this company is in the middle of their culture transformation, they have already seen tangible results in their workplace from new levels of creativity and engagement to increased team unity.

Bravium provided the energy, process and tools for reinforcing that leadership cares about each individual’s growth and that reinventing the department culture.


The team established:

  • A weekly 19-minute meeting providing an overview of key happenings in the department.

  • An indoor “patio” space where people can collaborate and be creative.

  • Five defined “transformers” how we win choices, providing direction for the team.

  • A set of agreed upon operating norms that informs employees what is and what isn’t acceptable behavior.

 
 
 
In every single meeting I have, it’s right in front of us. I think about it every day and I communicate with my staff daily as well. We’ve started asking, ‘Is this something we shouldn’t be doing because it doesn’t bring value?’ We’ve got a game plan together with Bravium.
— Emily, Director of Finance
 
 
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 Ready to move your team culture beyond the status quo?

 
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