• Ariana Friedlander

Annual Staff Retreat Builds Trust and Improves Collaboration at Water for People


When we were brought in, Water for People was in the midst of many changes. They had new leadership and the organization had been going through tremendous growth, hiring many new staff members. They were preparing to host their Annual Reflection retreat for the second year, and they were rolling out a new 5 year strategic plan.

One of the changes that the new CEO brought to Water For People was implementing a Balanced Scorecard (BSC). The BSC is a tool that sets organizational and departmental goals for the year, aligned with the global strategy. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are also set by quarter for each goal to measure progress, which is assessed during quarterly reviews. The 2016 Reflection Session was a review of the effectiveness of the BSC to measure overall progress of Water For People globally and hold departments accountable to their work plans and KPIs. We were asked to provide Organizational Development Consulting to co-create and facilitate an Annual Reflection Retreat to move these initiatives forward.

How Did We Help?

Rosabella Consulting guided the Senior Leadership Team thru a co-creating retreat experience. We facilitated retreat planning meetings with the leadership team, led discovery meetings with the staff, provided master facilitation for the retreat experience, and shared insights into how to best design an Annual Reflection retreat that fit their unique culture and needs. During the retreat we conducted an experiential training in Conversational Intelligence where we introduced the Conversational Dashboard and Amygdala Hijack. We also took detailed minutes of the discussions at the retreat. Afterwards, we guided the leadership team through a debrief where they were able to leverage the energy and ideas of that day moving forward.

What Happened as a Result?

All Smiles During Our Warmup Activity photo by Madisen Golden


The 2016 Reflection Session was designed to review what worked and didn’t work with the first BSC in 2016, and prepare the draft BSC for 2017. Behaviors within and between departments were discussed and commented on – what should stay, what should go, and what was missing – to improve the ways of working for 2017. The result was a much more thoughtful and deliberate BSC for 2017, with greater buy-in and ownership by department, stronger departmental and organizational goals and more cross-departmental goals.

The retreat was a great success. It proved a valuable experience for on-boarding new staff and for getting team members on the same page. The open and constructive conversations about what it would take to achieve their goals and aspirations enabled the team to identify realistic key priorities for 2017. And they were able to leverage lessons learned to refine their annual goal setting process. We also equipped the team with a new language for talking about conversational patterns so they could better navigate cross-departmental collaborations. As a result of the retreat, there has been less negativity and gossip around the office. And there has been more trust throughout the organization, which has improved collaboration.

Breakout discussion of BSC photo by Madisen Golden


What Do They Have to Say About It?

“We brought Ariana, with Rosabella Consulting, in to support our current stage of organizational development. She helped us think about what we were doing without being prescriptive in how we needed to change. Ariana’s approach was open, calm and flexible. As a result of our work together, we made progress in bringing new staff on board and in understanding our key priorities for 2017.” – Nick Burn, Chief of Global Programs

“Rosabella Consulting was great to work with! Ariana got us to where we needed to go with the big group, which is not easy! Her open, collaborative style, made us work together better and helped us accomplish what we set out to do.”  – Eleanor Allen, CEO

“We hired Rosabella Consulting to provide facilitation and guidance in our Annual Reflection process. We didn’t have a complete idea around how to approach this effort this year, and Ariana provided guidance around defining the approach and then moving through all the steps necessary to get us to the day of reflection and through that day. Ariana helps her clients discover what they need, guide them through building a process/program/event that matches their needs, and she does this in way in which she creates ownership for her clients so that it does not feel that she is imposing what she thinks is best for the organization onto the client.” – Sandy Hillenbrand, Chief of Staff

“Rosabella Consulting helped the leadership team get more organized and aligned so our annual reflection retreat was a success. I appreciate Ariana’s engagement, and the way she mirrors her consulting model. Ariana is an absolute pleasure to work with!” – Sara Orens, Chief People Officer

A Moment of Levity Energizes the Team to Finish Strong photo by Madisen Golden


Quiet Self-Reflection Encourages Full Participation by Everyone photo by Madisen Golden


#Perspective #LocalBusiness #Leadership #personalmastery #Learning #Teams #Community #LimitingBeliefs #Creativity #Productivity #vulnerability #ParticipatoryFacilitation #OvercomingAdversity #CompanyCulture #Business #Values #Inspire #Relationships

 

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