On Tuesday 2 June, Lieutenant Colonel Frank Andrews and Mr Paul Sewell led a one-day workshop providing a grounding of the JWC’s "One Team" organisational culture programme to a small group of senior leaders and staff.
The workshop explored over 20 mindsets and principles used by healthy, highly-effective organisations all over the world which have been integrated into the JWC's "One Team Programme" over the last two years.
During the day, the participants were exposed to a variety of topics delivered in a number of different and engaging ways rather than the common "death by PowerPoint" approach. The goal was to make the content as practical as possible to ensure that the learning and insights made that day would be transferred into their daily working practices. Therefore, the participants were heavily involved taking part in the various experiential exercises.
This event, however, is only one element of a comprehensive two-week training plan. It was also a timely opportunity to help prepare our collective mindsets of the JWC staff prior to the move into the new optimisation trial structure starting after the summer.
This ambitious trial is focusing on a new organisational matrix structure, which aims to meet the demanding needs of JWC's operational level training mission.
As a consequence, many of the existing structures within the JWC will soon be completely reconfigured into new teams.
Organisational change is a large undertaking in any organisation which is why this two-week program has been developed. For some, this will be the first time that have worked together with their new team members on a daily basis as reassembling these groups into new formations can provide challenges and unnecessary resistance.
The main aim of the two-week programme therefore is to provide staff at all levels the best opportunity to align in their new teams before the trial begins. Rather than a"one-size-fits-all" approach, considerable thought has been given to the different kinds of training required to best prepare the organisation.
The programme presented on Tuesday provided a grounding the foundation concepts of the JWC's "One Team Programme", just as importantly, these concepts provide a common language for the diverse team to align on.
A series of team-building events have also been developed to help the new teams come together and form as a cohesive unit. One of these programmes was conducted earlier this week and one of the new groupings of staff came together to start forming their new team. This half day programme helped the staff get beyond their counterparts' names and formal job titles, with the understanding that the better we know each other the quicker and more efficiently we can work as a team.
One particular exercise which proved fruitful was the "give and get" exercise. This simple, but powerful exercise required each of the participants to write down what they would like to "get" (knowledge gaps, experience, advice) and what they could "give" (prior experience, best practices, etc.) to be more effective in their team. Using only post it notes and a wall, the team was able to find out more about each other and their skills within 30 minutes than they would have by chance in three years!
The two-week programme continues and will help build the "JWC One Team", laying down the foundations of the smooth flow of information and resources that will be vital for this important and focused change in the organisation.
Check JWC's Facebook page for more pictures: facebook.com/NATO.JWC