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Why clarity comes from listening to the voices already in the room

We sometimes catch ourselves, as individuals and as organisations, going from one fire drill to the next. It can be empowering and it can give us great momentum in the moment, but it can also drain us, silo us and veer us away from accomplishing our longer-term goals.

To get ahead of the game, sometimes the most important thing is to pause, take a step back and visualise the future — and then, together as a team, make it happen.

Willis Bermuda approached Bermuda Clarity Institute (BCI) with a simple but powerful goal: to get back on track by listening to every voice across the team. As a local entity, Willis Bermuda wanted to better connect, communicate and work with one another — all the while operating under and aligning with a larger, global entity.

Scoping and engagement

Through a series of conversations and assessments, BCI scoped a three-workshop, four-month plan. This multi-workshop strategy provided a space for the entirety of the team to hear one another and to complete critical evaluations of their values and their north star.

BCI’s hybridised experience provided the structure not just for local team members to walk through the door, but for remote employees to feel connected via 4K video and monitors. This created an immersive, collaborative experience for employees to interact with one another as well as co-create.

Kirsten Beasley, CEO of Willis Bermuda, said: “The Learning Lab is so unique and special, and it was a big part of what got our team engaged. Stuart and Fiona’s professionalism and passion in how the sessions were facilitated allowed for easy discussion.”

Session 1: Values and North Star

Employees were seated in the BCI Lab, remote workers were poised at their computers, and the first session began: a re-establishment of the Willis Bermuda values and north star.

The team moved through the process of weighing and ranking each company value, first individually and then in a collaborative, team-wide session. By the end of the time together, the five values of Willis Bermuda had been re-established and aligned with Willis Global.

The process created agency and domain for both Willis Bermuda and team members, with each individual’s input incorporated and guiding the final product. These were then aligned in service of clarity in the definition and measurement of the company’s north star*.

* an organisation’s north star is defined as the moment a customer experiences the intended results from the organisation’s product/service and is delighted that it meets and/or exceeds their expectations.

Ask yourself, does your north star express value? Is it actionable and quantifiable?

Session 2: Stop/Start/More

Before the second session, BCI distributed a survey for employees to list out five things Willis Bermuda should start doing, five things the company should stop doing, and five things the company is doing but should be doing more of.

The next time they were seated in — and dialled into — the Learning Lab, the Willis Bermuda team rationalised hundreds of Starts, Stops and Mores both as a group and then in breakout sessions. These were collaboratively prioritised into the top five for all team members to look at more closely and to query, understand and consider.

As Einstein always said, “Given 60 minutes to save the world, spend 50 minutes asking questions and understanding the problem, and only 10 minutes then solutioning.”

Throughout the process, BCI moderators also ensured everyone’s voice was heard so that they all shaped the end results.

BCI later delivered the Stop/Start/More outputs to the senior leaders in an executive session following the workshop. The outcomes of this exercise, alongside the north star and the values session, were then applied to the third and final strategic session.

Session 3: The way forward

In the final session, the Willis Bermuda team gathered in the BCI Learning Lab one more time. The team identified two key north star metrics to guide their path forward and addressed the top three things the company had to do that had been prioritised by their employees. For each metric and finding, the team broke out into groups led by subject matter experts to work on these targets, then came back together to share what they had learnt with the larger team.

Aligned and ready, the Willis Bermuda team left BCI to take their learning and apply them with purpose and clarity to their 2023 strategy.

Kirsten later shared “working with Clarity on our values, north star and year-end strategy was a clear value add to Willis Bermuda. The strategic sessions were creative and informative, and the team-building elements provided a safe space for transparent collaboration”.

On track and in sync

By pausing to not only take a step back, but to step into the Learning Lab, Willis Bermuda employees worked together to visualise the future. This intentionality across the team, this deliberate reset and reorientation in a new space, united the workforce and optimised the organisation’s strategy moving forward.

BCI is often heard saying that “the answers to most company questions are often already in the room”, we just need to pause long enough to listen and consider them. Throughout the sessions, as teams unpack ideas, BCI facilitators surface solutions and let them grow as a product of the people in the room, continually fostering an environment of inclusivity and collaboration.

“Thank you, Clarity — you delivered on a carefully curated journey which met the objectives we agreed,” said Kirsten, adding, “Clarity helped us pause, listen and collaborate — guiding us through the process of surfacing answers that already existed within our team.”

As we all pause to reflect on this journey — we leave you as our reader and possible future collaborator with these questions: does your team live your values? Do they clearly know where you are going? How fast are you moving, is it measurable and is it in the right direction? Are voices across your team coming together under one unified vision? If you want to explore what’s next for your team, please stop by or visit Bermuda Clarity Institute at https://bermudaclarityinstitute.com/.

Why clarity comes from listening to the voices already in the room (Photograph supplied)

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Published March 07, 2022 at 7:54 am (Updated March 07, 2022 at 7:54 am)

Why clarity comes from listening to the voices already in the room

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