Company type: Private   •   Size: 160 employees   •   Topic: Building trust

A European banking institution's lack of transparency causes insecurity and isolation

A critical European banking institution brought together its top executive leadership team of 30 people to explore its strategy over the next 5 years. Through administering a set of psychometric assessments we learned that major information-sharing gaps existed between the top 5 managers and the rest of the leadership team. This resulted in insecurity and distrust throughout the larger leadership team. 

“Breaking down barriers, building up mutual respect”

In partnership with Hendrik Backerra Consulting, we realised that before the team could talk strategy, they first needed to feel safe with one another. Our methodologies allowed the group to discover that some leadership qualities of the upper management team were coming into conflict with other qualities common to the larger leadership team. The findings and experience of this interactive session proved to be the turning point in bringing the entire team together. 

“A willingness to openly listen and share”

The subsequent participation, sharing and openness noticeably improved throughout the rest of the off-site. The energized team was now ready to move forward into exploring strategy with an open-mind and an eagerness to listen and respect one another. Since 2012 we have continued working with this same top leadership team through off-sites every 6 months as well as 1-on-1 coaching.  We have used a variety of creative, experiential and deep-dive transformative approaches to address their most difficult challenges. At our most recent off-site one participant summarized their journey when she said, "The progress we have made towards a more unified, aligned and connected leadership team has been incredible. The way we offer honest feedback and make decisions together would have never been possible 5 years ago when we first started this journey." 


Company type: Public   •   Size: 29,000 employees   •   Topic: Merger

A multinational energy company announces a merger and incites fear and distrust among employees

A multinational energy company announced its intention to merge 3 of its country business units under one operational unit. Almost overnight the company was plagued by mistrust and fear as employees worried about the merger and possible related layoffs.

“Finding a common language through non-verbal exercises”

In partnership with Hendrik Backerra Consulting, we designed an off-site that brought 150 employees from 3 different countries together in Berlin. Since the participants lacked a common verbal language, our challenge was to first establish a baseline of trust and connection before developing adaptation and resiliency skills for dealing with the merger. Our interactive and movement-based session broke the ice, allowing the participants to have fun together and explore existing communication and trust-related issues within the company culture. We then facilitated deep dialogue between employees and their leaders where both sides could share their concerns and ideas.

“Becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable"

Our off-site workshop allowed participants to temporarily leave their concerns aside and try something new. Despite the prevalent tensions, several minutes into the session the participants could be seen entering curiously into a space where becoming “comfortable with the uncomfortable” was encouraged. In this space laughter and fun made way for deep sharing and exchange around the real issues that were worrying them. The conversation was then able to shift towards a creative exploration regarding how the company leaders could support everyone affected by the organizational transition. This workshop was a significant milestone in the ultimate success of the merger.