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Behavioural Workshops


Setting organisational competencies and behaviours is an easy exercise but getting managers to really understand the importance of living the behaviours and demonstrating them is another!

We are planning a 360 exercise based on the agreed organisational behaviours followed by a workshop to explore the feedback and start the behavioural changes.

Any thoughts on insightful exercises for a workshop?
Gillian Jones

6 Responses

  1. Living it for real
    Hi Gillian

    We’ve had quite a lot of experience in working with organisations, particularly wth the more senior management teams around really living the values or new competencies frameworks every day.

    The key challenge seems to be getting people to talk honestly about how they feel about the behaviours and what they mean to them in everyday working life. Whilst we have utilised some exercises to help highlight issues we’ve found that the strength and empathy of the facilitator makes the most difference in this type of workshops’ success.

    Hope this helps. Contact me if you’d like to talk more.



  2. Changing Behaviour
    You will find it very difficult to change the way that someone does something at a workshop.

    The only reliable way that someones behaviour will change will be if they want it to change.

    What you can do in a workshop is to show the delegates how to create the environment that allows others want to change.

    Behavioural change comes from personal choice.

  3. Could you help people live the new behaviour in a “culture lab”?
    You can get interesting learning experiences in organisational simulations. A group of people form a temporary organisation with (say) a three person management team managing three small groups, with different roles. The organisation has a task to do but you pay attention and review how people behave and communicate in the simulation and it is just like real life. The simulation makes it easy to talk about the behaviour safely.

    I just wonder if you could use this format in your situation? You could do it twice. The first task could be “To plan how the proposed new behaviour and values can be made to work in the organisation?

    The second simulation might be “To use the new behaviour and values in practice to decide how to make our organisation an even more effective, productive and enjoyable place to work”

    Could this work?

    Best wishes

    Nick Heap

  4. values & behaviours
    I think setting organisational values is actually quite a complex exercise when it is taken down to behavioural levels – what behaviours people are willing to “sign up for” and be held accountable for. If people are to be held accountable, then the core behaviours need to be integrated into performance management systems; the CEO needs to be 100% behind holding people accountable; managers need regular feedback (not just once a year 360 degree)and staff who wish to provide feedback need to be able to do so without fear…. and also need to learn how to provide feedback in constructive ways. I ran a values & behaviours program with the top 75 senior managers in an organisation several years ago… 3 days residential workshops (25 per workshop)to identify the values & behaviours; a one day workshop where all came together to determine the shared core values and behaviours they were willing to commit to; and HEAP pf work across the oprganisation to make the values and behaviours live and breathe and be taken seriously. As well, lots of training in giving & receiving feedback; new performance management agreements that integrate the behaviours + 360 dgeree feedback.This was a major cultural change process that was implemented over 3+ years….. and was very controversial! Needs very solid commitment from the top.

  5. Buying into change
    I see some very good answers to the original post, so the only thing I would add is that just because an organisation has decided to introduce defined competencies and values, it cannot then expect all people on the payroll to conform. There will be apathy at best, resistance at worst (although maybe that could be vice-versa!). And very often, the lack of buy-in comes from the senior management – exacerbating the issue. We do quite a lot of work on the issue on organisational values, and can draw on some good experience here.
    I hope your organisation is in it for the long-term. If it is, then are you linking both competencies AND values to your recruitment strategies as well as other areas (performance review, remuneration, etc) ?

    One client we work with has introduced values-based interviewing into their recruitment process because they see that it will take 2-3 years to fully adapt (or lose) those established managers/employees who do not fit the company values but have become part of the furniture. At the same time, they realised that the new blood coming into the company should meet certain criteria otherwise it would be an endless costly cycle.

    Returning to your original question, however, the key is – as others have stated – to establish the workshop as a burning platform. Create an environment which is non-judgemental and encourages awareness of other ways of behaving. The old “A+B-C=Change” motivational tool is often useful, but it will take time. Several people may emotionally sign-up to the changes required, but may not be able to achieve it themselves. Coaching is a good support-tool for these vital few (vital, because if managed well, their change acts as a shining beacon).

    I hope this pre-coffee early morning monologue is helpful, though you can email me if you’d like to pick up on any points.

    Good luck !


  6. Thanks for responses!
    Many thanks for all your comments – deep in thinking mode now!


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