CASE STUDY: Greenfield Global Uses Express Team Building to Boost Morale and Camaraderie During a Challenging Project
When Greenfield Global gathered a team of its A-Players to undertake a massive, challenging project, they knew it was important to build rapports among colleagues, encourage collaboration, and have some fun together.
THE CHALLENGE – Help a newly formed team of A-Player employees build rapports and increase collaboration in order to help them successfully complete a challenging and important company project.
- Use team building to help Greenfield Global build strong rapports and encourage collaboration among a team of A-Players working together on a challenging and important project
When Bobbi Franke took on the role of Director for Greenfield Global’s new Enterprise Resource Planning software implementation project, she knew she was getting into a significant undertaking.
“In 2018, we hired a third party to analyze our business,” explains Bobbi. “Our goal was to bring in a consultant who could help better situate us for growth and innovation. And what came out of that is the realization that we needed to completely replace the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform that we’re using to drive our entire business. It’s a three- to five-year project. That’s been my primary focus since September of last year.”
And in overseeing this project, Bobbi understood she’d be taking on a team full of talented and driven A-Players from throughout the organization.
“I have seven direct reports that we pulled out of the business that are dedicated full time to this project,” says Bobbi. “And from the outset, we knew we needed to make sure that we were aware and cognizant of the team dynamic and the emotions at play.”
She elaborates, “We actually pulled out the future leaders of the company to be on this project. So, that’s a big responsibility as a leader for me, having a team full of these people who our corporation views as its future leaders. They’re in the middle the early parts of their career. They’re 30- to 40-year-olds who are growing within the company already. And now we’re asking them to step out and join this project for three to five years, assuring them that they would return to the business with growth potential.”
In addition to altering the mid-term outlook for these employees, gathering a team of A-Players and future leaders was bound to come with its own set of challenges.
“This whole team, they’re all strong personalities,” Bobbi explains. “That’s what makes them all so great. They’re very driven – success-driven people with strong personalities. So, when you bring together a team of people who are all that way, even under the best of circumstances, there’s bound to be friction and that comes with the need to make sure you’re engaging and dealing with that.”
This is a responsibility that Bobbi takes very seriously.
“I’m responsible for the emotional wellbeing of the team,” she says. “We went into this project knowing that an ERP implementation of this size and this length is extremely stressful and that the engagement level and the emotional stability of the team was as critical to the success as selecting the right software vendor.”
She adds, “With that in mind, it was important to build a bit of a team dynamic and to do something lighthearted to ease the inevitable stress of this huge ongoing project.”
With that in mind, Bobbi reached out to Outback Team Building and Training. Having worked with us previously, she was confident that we’d be able to help her achieve her goals.
She explains, “My first experience with Outback was when we needed someone to come in and do a three-day summit during a time when we were conducting a reorganization in response to some significant success in our company. The success of that event is why I now turn to Outback when I have these needs – because I was a beneficiary of that three-day summit.”
So, Bobbi reached out to Anthony Colistro, her Employee Engagement Consultant, to start planning her team building event. And together, they decided that an Express Clue Murder Mystery was the perfect fit to achieve her goals.
“We talked about what we wanted to cover in that four to six hours,” says Bobbi. “We also discussed what kind of skills we might use in this type of an ERP project team. So, Anthony offered us several choices and we landed on the Express Clue Murder Mystery.”
THE SOLUTION – The Greenfield Global team used their unique individual strengths and problem-solving approaches in order to collaboratively solve challenges in their Express Clue Murder Mystery.
- The team at Greenfield Global enlisted an Express Clue Murder Mystery team building activity
When deciding which format to utilize for their Clue Murder Mystery, Bobbi and Anthony landed on an Express format because it would help reinforce the belief among her remote team that a project of this magnitude could be successfully completed, even with the team spread out in different states – and countries.
“We’re doing an I.T. project and I have team members that are in Canada, in Connecticut, and Kentucky,” explains Bobbi. “And while they were all physically there for this activity, it was important to convey the idea that we could tackle this project virtually without being physically present. I wanted to reinforce the idea that we’re going to do this big project and we’re not always going to be all physically present in one location but that’s OK.”
Right from the outset, Bobbi felt comfortable with the self-hosted nature of the Express format for her Clue Murder Mystery.
“The way it was presented in the materials and handed off to us was very helpful,” shares Bobbi. “And I was able to assure the person from my team who was going to be overseeing the activity that they had access to Anthony and your team to iron out any problems or answer any questions.”
She adds, “It really went off seamlessly. The Outback app worked like a charm. We had no problems with it. It was intuitive, it was easy to use. Everyone could jump into it and use it and we didn’t run into any problems.”
Bobbi was also able to use her personal knowledge of each of her staff to strategically craft teams that would lean on each other’s strengths and thought processes to tackle the Express Clue Murder Mystery.
“I purposely mixed up the teams,” Bobbi explains. “I strategically had different personalities on each team that would attack the problem in different ways. This showed everyone how there were different problem-solving methodologies that you could use, and which ones were successful in this environment.”
She continues, “It allowed us to then talk about the approach taken by each team after the Express Clue Murder Mystery activity. It let us look at which kind of strategies were most successful and why, and how could we apply those strategies to solving the problem of implementing a new ERP system to support our business.”
Bobbi also appreciated the way an activity that seemed so simple on the surface could stimulate deep critical thinking and collaboration.
“It was very thought provoking,” Bobbi admits. “It was simple on the surface, and then as you started digging into it, you could tell that it was well thought out.”
She elaborates, “I think that’s the thing that stuck out the most to me is that I could tell the Clue Murder Mystery was engineered in such a way to be challenging even to the smartest minds in the group. I think we had close to 20 people that we divided up into four teams, and to see every team come out with a different solution and a different way of getting there was really interesting. This is a smart group of people, and nobody went about tackling the challenges in the same way, and nobody came up with the same answer.”
THE RESULTS – The Express Clue Murder Mystery was a hit with the Greenfield Global team and received outstanding feedback from our customer.
- 10/10 feedback from the customer
- The teams each relied on their unique skills, perspectives, and problem-solving approaches in order to complete the activity
- In the end , the group was able to have a conversation about what worked, what didn’t, and how these strategies could be applied to their real-world project
Overarchingly, Bobbi believes the Express Clue Murder Mystery was a success and achieved the results she was hoping for.
“We really enjoyed the event and how it helped us focus on different problem-solving strategies,” Bobbi says. “But more importantly, it then facilitated a dialogue afterwards where we could examine how each of those strategies might work and where they didn’t work.”
She adds, “The structure of the event allowed us to have that conversation. I don’t know what you guys do when you design these events, but whatever you did, it actually facilitated that conversation afterward.”
And most importantly, Bobbi feels she has a business partner in Anthony and in Outback who she can rely on to deliver results when she’s in need of team building, training, or coaching solutions.
“I really do view Anthony as my business partner,” Bobbi shares. “He’s someone I’m going to turn to when I’m addressing these kinds of issues.”
She elaborates, “As I begin to see things happening in my team, I’ll reach out, tell him what’s going on, and he’ll help me out with some ideas. And I know that I will be doing that again before this project is over.”
The trust she shares with Anthony goes a long way in making her job easier.
She explains, “The partnership is based in the trust that I know Anthony and Outback are going to work with me to build an activity that meets my goals and that they’re going to deliver what we agreed on. That is invaluable when you’re busy managing so many other things.”
When all was said and done, Bobbi would feel confident referring Outback Team Building and Training to somebody in need of similar support.
“For anyone in need of team building, training, or coaching, I would recommend Outback,” says Bobbi. “I’d tell them that Outback will become a business partner for you. They will listen to you and spend a lot of time talking to you about what your real needs are so that they understand, first of all, the situation they’re coming into and then what your expectations are and the specific issues you’re concerned about at that time. I love that.”
She continues, “I’ve also been able to reach out to Anthony with questions or for help after the fact. So, it’s not like they come in and do their thing and walk away. They are accessible. If you have a question or something specific that comes up afterwards that you’d like some advice on, they’re very receptive to that, which I appreciate.”