Cricket Wellington uses the Emotional Culture Deck

A catalyst for positive change

 
 

The challenge: Rebuild a high performing culture

Cricket Wellington's mission is to create outstanding experiences for the people of Wellington to grow the game of cricket, ensuring it’s a Wellingtonian pastime for life.

A new CEO came on board during a challenging period of change, which included a restructure. The team was searching for a way forward, displaying low satisfaction and engagement levels. This showed up in declining Net Advocate scores on the organisation’s Let’s Talk employee engagement platform.


Cricket Wellington’s goals

We strive to be the most committed, passionate and customer focussed regional sports organisation in New Zealand. A positive team culture with high levels of employee engagement is critical to us delivering our aspiration.

– Cam Mitchell, CEO, Cricket Wellington

Cricket Wellington has a strategic goal of organisational excellence – a high performing culture adding value to its community. The CEO’s mandate was to reconnect the team with its mission through building trust, increasing engagement, and supporting individual development.

Net Advocate scores on the Let’s Talk platform would be a partial measure of success. More broadly, if the CEO could help grow the team, they, in turn, in turn would help grow the game of cricket. This crucial link between internal culture and outward performance was understood and embraced by Cricket Wellington’s leaders.

Working with the Emotional Culture Deck

“The thing I love the most about using the decks with our team is that it provides a deep insight into the key emotional drivers for staff (positive and negative). This understanding of self and others supports the creation of an environment that is people focussed, and driving better external outcomes for the people of Wellington”.

-Chris Nevin, Pathways Manager, Cricket Wellington

riders&elephants worked with Cricket Wellington for 12 months, using the Emotional Culture Deck as a tool for ongoing structured conversations across the organisation.


Individual conversations were shaped by what people want to feel and not feel at work, and establishing ways to support this.

Team conversations built on the individual, with everyone working together to define Cricket Wellington’s desired emotional culture and what it should look and feel like. Collective behaviour and rituals were identified, agreed, and committed to.

By running the 9-month programme we supported a consistent focus on building the desired high-performance culture, with ongoing conversations and followup that ensured the process was more than a ‘set and forget’ or superficial team away day exercise.


Results: Team culture becomes a strength

  • Cricket Wellington’s Net Advocate score has steadily improved on their Let’s Talk employee engagement platform, now sitting within the ‘very good’ range, indicating high employee satisfaction and engagement

  • Team members report that they’re working better together with open communication, high levels of trust and accountability

  • Culture has become a strength, with a shift in focus from managing change towards how to best support each other and deliver on Cricket Wellington’s mission.

Connecting people through change

Ten months on from the Emotional Culture Deck programme, the Cricket Wellington team are more focused and determined than ever.

Change can be disruptive, and ongoing uncertainty is a challenge for any organisation. But when you bring people together through change, and support them in connecting on an emotional level, this empowers them to actively create the emotional culture they want rather than falling victim. Simple tools like the Emotional Culture Deck, applied smartly and consistently over time, help catalyse this. The resulting high levels of trust, open communication, and accountability can drive strong performance improvements and organisational outcomes.  

"Thanks for this and for everything you’ve done for us over the past nearly 12 months. Hands down the best “culture” sessions I’ve ever been involved in. Great stuff.”

-Cricket Wellington staff member

 
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We strive to be the most committed, passionate and customer focussed regional sports organisation in New Zealand. A positive team culture with high levels of employee engagement is critical to us delivering our aspiration.
— Cam Mitchell, CEO, Cricket Wellington
 
When you bring people together through change, and support them in connecting on an emotional level, this empowers them to actively create the culture they want rather than falling victim. Simple tools like the Emotional Culture Deck, applied smartly and consistently over time, help catalyse this. The resulting high levels of trust, open communication, and accountability can drive strong performance improvements and organisational outcomes.
— Jeremy Dean, Founder, riders&elephatns
 
 
 
 
 

Westpac New Zealand Adopts the emotional culture deck

Driving engagement by injecting emotion into the workplace

 

An interview with Derri Evans, Scrum Master, Westpac New Zealand Community of Practice

 
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"The results have been incredible. I have managed to help my squads improve their productivity and a more high performing and connected team... We have been able to create an environment where people can bring their whole selves to work and have an awesome day every day – which in turn has increased our productivity. Simple!" – Derri Evans

 
 

We interviewed Derri Evans, Scrum Master at Westpac New Zealand, who is one of the leaders behind the adoption of The Emotional Culture Deck at Westpac New Zealand. 

This is what Derri had to say about The Emotional Culture Deck, why she's using it, and what she's hoping she will be able to achieve by injecting the deck into Westpac New Zealand Squads.

So Derri, what did you want to achieve with your squads?

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In my role as a Scrum Master, I find too many people are afraid to share their feelings and ask each other if they are OK. I think that it is key to the culture. I’m trying to create a place where we bring humanity and empathy into the workplace.

Every day I strive to create a safe environment within the squad. Where all squad members feel cared for and look out for each other. I want us all to be able to identify when someone is not feeling themselves or seems to be acting in an odd behaviour, and they can just feel free to ask each other “are you ok?”

What’s your current obstacle to achieving this goal?

Talking openly and sharing our feelings, fears and motivations is alien to a lot of people. From a young age, people have been told to not talk about their emotions, and especially not bring their emotions into work.

So trying to get people to understand that emotional intelligence is super important in the workplace and that it is OK to share and have empathy for one another is quite a challenge.

Some people are naturally more open than others. But I think the key to a high performing team, is one where empathy and inclusion exist at high levels.

Why did you choose to use the Emotional Culture Deck with your squads at Westpac?

It’s an easy way of getting people to talk about emotions, without needing to think too hard about it. All the feelings are written down for them and they will either have an attachment to a word or not, so it’s easy for them to work with. The deck has easy to follow the step-by-step flow, and it’s easy to understand and run with anyone in any area.

I’ve found it’s especially effective with more introverted people who don’t normally like to talk about these things.

What have the results been so far?

The results have been incredible. I have managed to help my squads improve their productivity and become a more high performing and connected team. Using the deck has helped us understand each other’s motivations and desires. We have been able to create an environment where people can bring their whole selves to work and have an awesome day every day – which in turn has increased our productivity.  Simple!

What’s next for Westpac and The Emotional Culture Deck?

We’re currently rolling the deck out across every squad in our Westpac Staff Assist business unit. Soon every squad in the unit will have gone through the exercise and worked together to define the emotional culture of their team with their scrum master.

We’re planning on running Summer School workshops where we will help other leaders from across Westpac learn about how the emotional culture of their team influences how their people think and behave. Plus we’ll teach leaders how to use The Emotional Culture Deck with their teams.

It’s exciting to think that more people within Westpac will be having these conversations and I can help inject more empathy into the way we all work. My hope is that one day we will all be having open conversations about our emotional well being at work, which will create an even higher-performing culture.


Keep an eye out for more updates from Derri and Westpac New Zealand as they plan a wider rollout of The Emotional Culture Deck across their Wellington and Auckland offices. 

 
 
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Customer EXPERIENCE Research Project

Uncover customer motivations.

 
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“Through this human centred-research we were able to identify a series of insights that now informs their customer experience strategy.”

 
 

Too often organisations can assume how people perceive their brands and assume they know their customer’s desires, needs and motivations. Making assumptions about this is important, but it’s more important to find out what the gaps are between your assumptions and what’s occurring in the minds (and lives) of your customers.  

Before we got involved in this project, the client had undertaken an internal brand discovery workshop. Here they explored the DNA of their brand, who their customers are, and what they believed their customer's needs, desires and motivations were. 

We were contracted to undertake customer empathy research to validate or invalidate assumptions they were making about their brand and their customers motivations.

We didn’t spend time discussing what they wanted from the brand. Instead, we explored the how their customers think, what they believe, how they feel and what their motivations were. This helped us unlock the social and emotional drivers of their customers. We then compared what we found with what was currently being delivered. 

After spending time with customers exploring their lives, their desires and fears, there’s now no more guessing around the Leadership table. 

Through this human centred-research, we were able to identify a series of insights that informed how they’ve started looking at their brand, customer experience and business strategy.

These insights also informed four core brand values that will now guide how the brand delivers more engaging and memorable customer experiences in the future. 

HUMAN CENTRED-RESEARCH, CUSTOMER EMPATHY, BRAND VALUES, CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE DESIGN PRINCIPLES

 

Uprise digital 

Define the emotional culture of a high-growth company.

 
 

Uprise Digital is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing companies. They’ve spent numerous years on the Deloitte Fast50. So they’re no stranger to growth and the pressures it puts on the culture and their people.

Uprise was already aligned around a common purpose and set of values. But we wanted to recognise the emotions in their workplace, and consciously shape them to help the team live up to their purpose and vision.

We started with the leadership team and defined how they believed their people should (and should not) be feeling at work. 

Once we came to a consensus on how we want Uprise people to feel, we explored how Uprise leaders needed to act as leaders to help people feel and manage those emotions. 

We asked questions like: What would you observe if people felt this way? How do we help people feel this way? What do we need to do to make sure people don’t feel this way? How do we help people manage and cope when they are feeling this way?

In a series of workshops with the entire team, we used The Emotional Culture Deck to help Uprise people define and share with each other what they want to feel and not feel at work and why. 

We explored what triggers those feelings and how they need to act to reinforce the desired feelings and avoid the undesired feelings. Through story sharing, people learnt more about their peer's motivations and desires. 

The response from these sessions was overwhelming. People shared their feelings, motivations and fears with each other. By inviting people in, we learnt about each other as people and not just as employees. 

The leaders are now working with their people to develop ways to continue to reinforce the desired feelings and negate those underside feelings.

Our next step is to create a way to measure and track their emotional culture to ensure the Uprise leadership team stay aware of how their people are feeling and the impact that has on their performance and well being.

 
 
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Matt Rowe & Tim Pointer – Founders of Uprise Digital

 
 

Emotional Culture Deck
Pilot Workshops

We design and run Emotional Culture Deck Pilot workshops to help teams define their emotional culture, learn about human and empathetic leadership and help them adopt The Emotional Culture Deck within their organisations. Each workshop is designed to help people better understand and define their emotional culture and how The Emotional Culture Deck can impact different parts of their business: their culture; their leadership, and their employee experience.You'll also walk away from these workshops with the understanding and skills to use the deck in a variety of different ways within your organisation. 

Here's what a few people are saying about our Pilot Workshops....

 

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People Experience Team

Kiwibank People & Experience Team

"It's been awesome to experience this – a simple game with such a huge impact - loved it! Organisations who want to truly connect with their people simply can't ignore this stuff. Looking forward to seeing how far we can take this tool!" – Hillary Palmer. Head of People Experience Kiwibank

"Jeremy's understated style was great, good presence but relaxed and made us all feel at ease. I like the focus on feelings, this is missing from a lot of organisations (not necessarily our team, we're quite good at talking about this) and managers often don't know how to operate in this way (with a good level of EQ), so this would help. I really enjoyed the individual part plus agreeing as a team how we wanted to fell. Thanks for joining us, it was a good exercise!"

"You had a warm, easy, and engaging manner. And the content was great - a structured and safe way to bring emotions to the fore."

"It created a platform for everyone to really express themselves as individuals. The card game meant truths were revealed that were subconscious, and everyone was on equal footing - we're all the SME's of our own feelings."

"Jeremy’s facilitation style. Ability to go “deep” quickly with peers and get real honesty."


Senior Leadership Team

Fletcher Living Senior Leadership Team

"Thanks Jeremy! Was a great session with our SLT on culture! We are a passionate group when it comes to our people, and especially about retaining and building on our ‘pixie dust’! The culture deck was a very useful tool to engage our leaders and discuss/test what makes our culture so great! Even better, we’ve come away with some tangible actions! Culture is and will be a continued topic of discussion amongst our leaders and teams!" – Fiona MacKenzie People & Performance Manager at Fletcher Living

"Really pleased at how the session went. Feedback from leaders in attendance was really favourable, and certainly an appetite to continue to have culture as a regular topic of discussion through our meeting forums."

"The card deck was a useful tool to provoke thought/discussion, and that the real value is in coming away with agreed actions…which we are now working on!"

"Yesterday we ‘gifted’ them each a pack of the culture decks….they were super excited to get their hands on the tool, and I expect they will be engaging with each of their BU’s on a similar session"

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Scrum Master Community of Practice

Westpac New Zealand 

"At Westpac, we pride ourselves on driving our success through our people. Today we invested in our people going through The Emotional Culture Deck with the founder Jeremy Dean. This provided us with some incredible insights and ways to shape our culture moving forward."
– Derri Evans, Scrum Master at Westpac New Zealand

"A wonderfully thought-provoking session. Reflecting on this session has helped me connect with my personal ‘Why’."

"Excellent session today on culture using the emotional culture deck by riders & elephants. Brought out great conversation and really honest discussions nicely facilitated by Jeremy Dean. Will definitely be using and encouraging this exercise again in many different contexts and teams."

"I really enjoyed the session today thank you. Thought provoking and got me thinking about how I feel when I’m making to a difference and, conversely, struggling."


Organisation wide

Cricket Wellington

"The thing I love the most about using the decks with our team in these workshops we're gaining a deeper insight into the key emotional drivers for our staff (positive and negative). This understanding of self and others supports the creation of an environment that is people focussed, and driving better external outcomes" – Cam Mitchell, CEO of Cricket Wellington

"I loved it. It was different to anything I had done in the past when it comes to a culture. I’ve been to a lot of culture sessions, and you turn up at them with an expectation of what keywords you’re going to write up on a whiteboard and then all buy into. This was nothing like that."

"It was different to the traditional "Values" session that have been involved in before. Dug deeper and was more relevant."

"I loved the way it got people to think about how they want and need to feel in order to enjoy their work, and how people were in an environment where they were prepared to share."

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Human Resources & Organisational Development Team

Wellington City Council

"I love we were able to facilitate a meaningful and productive conversation about workplace behaviours because this is usually really tricky! I was wowed by how it enabled all of us to really think about and discuss the emotional aspects of our work environment.

The uses for the deck are limitless and I’d really recommend people managers add it to their toolkits!.

As I scanned the room full of small working groups they were animated and fully engaged in identifying the behaviours they did and didn’t want and when they reported back they had clearly grappled with the tricky bits and were able to share their thoughts as well as some potential solutions."
Vicki Mclaren – Organisational Development Manager, WCC


Key Account Team

Panasonic New Zealand

“Thanks very much for the session. The team got a lot out of it. A few of them afterwards mentioned specifically they really enjoyed that compared to some other forms of ‘culture and growth' sessions we have done in the past.”

“We just had some first-half reviews yesterday and got some more really positive feedback on the session. I even started the reviews with the Check-in exercise using the cards where you pick a white (positive) card that represents what you felt last week. I then asked my team to pick a black (negative) card you want to avoid with the end of month pressures looming."

"I loved the openness in the group, and talking about things that don't tend to get talked about at Panasonic."

"I enjoyed how easy it was to flow from one 'subject' to another in the workshop using the deck. The time seemed to fly by. It was great how using the deck allowed all of us to be fully immersed in the discussion about the type of culture we want to create to be successful"

"I was amazed to hear about how many similarities there were in the group around some of the negative thoughts and feelings that we were all experiencing.

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Defining The  Emotional Culture of a team

Westpac New Zealand Emotional Culture Pilot Workshop

 
 
 

We recently worked with Derri Evans, an infectious people-leader that likes to step out of the box and look for new ideas and ways of bringing teams closer together. She's fascinated in how to increase people's EQ in and out of the workplace.

Derri recently bought the Westpac Community of Practice (aka the COP) together to go through The Emotional Culture Deck as a group. The Westpac Community of Practice (aka the COP) is a group of 30 Scrum Masters that each lead squads of eight developers within Westpac. The COP ran this session as an experiment in defining and codifying the culture of their COP.

We held a 2.5-hour sprint where each scrum master explored what they individually want to feel and not feel at work. Then worked together as a group to define the collective emotional culture of the COP. We finished the session by considering the behaviours, undesired behaviours and rituals that will reinforce the COP's emotional culture moving forward.

The Scrum Masters are now running Emotional Culture sessions with their squads at working with their people to understand how their people want to feel and not feel at work. Plus how they can conciously shape those emotions to build a more empathetic and inclusive environment. 

This is what Derri had to say about using The Emotional Culture Decks:

"At Westpac, we pride ourselves on driving our success through our people. Today we invested in our people going through The Emotional Culture Deck with the founder Jeremy Dean. This provided us with some incredible insights and ways to shape our culture moving forward."

If you’re interested to learn more about how we ran the session using The Emotional Culture Deck, you can steal the 2.5 hours workshop plan here.

Here’s what some of the other Scrum Masters had to say about using the decks:

"A wonderfully thought-provoking session. Reflecting on this session has helped me connect with my personal ‘Why’."

"Excellent session today on culture using the emotional culture deck by riders & elephants. Brought out great conversation and really honest discussions nicely facilitated by Jeremy Dean. Will definitely be using and encouraging this exercise again in many different contexts and teams. Thanks to Derri Evans for organising and the amazing Westpac Scrum Master community for stimulating discussion."

"I really enjoyed the session today thank you. Thought provoking and got me thinking about how I feel when I’m making to a difference and, conversely, struggling."

 

Leadership Coaching

The Emotional Culture Deck Masterclasses

 
 

So far we’ve run Emotional Culture Deck Masterclasses in Wellington and Auckland. We’re running a Masterclass in Melbourne in November and currently planing Masterclasses in Sydney, Los Angeles and Toronto early in 2019.

If you’re interested in joining a Masterclass please fill out the form below and let us know what city you’re in and we will figure out a way to run a Masterclass in your city soon.

Here’s what people from our Wellington and Auckland Masterclasses have had to say about these events:

What did you like about the masterclass?

"This has been quite possibly the most insightful course I've done all year."

"Such a great course - thank you Jeremy Dean. The cards and the system are so easy to use, however your extra insights and input from the group has really added that extra level of understanding. I highly recommend getting on one if you want to add a bunch more skills, and applications for the cards, to the tool box!"

"1. We got real world practical skills - I can directly apply to my context. 2. Meeting and working with people who are also interested in this stuff - a refreshing change from cynical engineers! :) 3. We got practical tools and a framework for application to take away"

"I liked the small class size = better conversations. Conversation style training rather than lecture format and no slides!"

"The chance to meet new connections and talk about the things that drive us. Gaining a deeper understanding of how to use the decks and the realisation that even with the best practice guidelines they can in fact be altered to suit any group and any situation, making it a very versatile tool. The relaxed format because it allows people to open up which allows better gain from the sessions"

"I loved we got real world practical skills - I can directly apply to my context. We got practical tools and a framework for application to take away. Meeting and working with people who are also interested in this stuff was a refreshing change from cynical engineers!"

"A wonderfully thought-provoking session. Reflecting on this session has helped me connect with my personal ‘Why’."

"I like the simplicity, clarity and effectiveness"

"Spending time with like-minded people, talking about the different formats you could hold for workshops and getting ideas"

"It was great to see the tool being used in action by the one who designed it; hearing others speak about the different ways they have used the cards; just having some time out to invest in developing my skill"

"Opportunity to experience ways the Emotional Culture Deck can be used; Good tips from Jeremy to give context/explanation to the process; Opportunity to meet other people interested in the concept"

What were the most interesting things you learned during the Masterclass?

"Loved all the tips I learnt from everyone from what they are doing to ask better questions and shape their culture."

"The little hacks here and there to get the most out of the tool!"

"The psychology of it all (loved the succinct mantra of 'emotions>behaviour>actions', also that as coaches or managers, the most important thing we can help our people with is to increase self awareness), and the wider readings were really interesting. I was interested to learn/think more about the connection between the personal value sets and team culture, and the links between team emotions/values/culture/experience and desired customer emotions and experience"

"The importance of being aware of people’s feelings"

"The different ways in which the cards are being used and incorporated into the everyday rituals of a team

"The use of the canvas and how it can bring everything together"

"The different ways that the deck can be used"

We’re always interested in running Masterclasses in different cities. If you’d like to join a Masterclass, fill out the form below and let us know what city you live in. When we get enough interest from people in a certain city we’ll quickly organise a Masterclass in that spot!

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Here are the Auckland and Wellington Masterclasses. Keep an eye out for the Government Leaders Masterclass, Melbourne and Sydney Masterclasses coming soon. Plus we have a Los Angeles Masterclass in the pipeline.