Case Study - Oury Clark

Overview

Sometimes advisors need advice, too

What started out as a high-level company values workshop led to an in-depth examination of a company’s culture and some challenges its leadership team wanted to overcome within their operations and communications.

At Bracket, we help teams build high-performing, collaborative cultures through workshop facilitation and coaching. Oury Clark, a multidisciplinary professional services firm, approached us to guide their leadership team on defining their company values; however, two initial workshops with the partners uncovered some pain points they realized they wanted to resolve. Like our other clients, this group had many strengths, but wanted to partner with a collaboration expert like us to improve in specific areas.

We uncovered two pain points: 1) partner meetings were not always as productive as they could be, and 2) although they had an agenda, the format meant they got stuck on details rather than looking at the big picture. These pain points impeded addressing strategic issues quickly because the discussions were not interactive and forward-looking.

Through these discoveries, they worked with our founder, Alison Coward, to resolve these pain points to support the fast growth of the organization.


“We are a complex group of professionals and we struggle to take advice as advisors. Alison is a talented collaborator and communicator because she knows how to navigate various personality types. She balances being direct and firm with fun and open, which helped us move forward in areas where we’d been stuck for a long time.”

Andrew Oury, Partner, Oury Clark

Approach

Company-wide culture workshops uncover valuable insights

Alison broadened her approach to this engagement to include both leadership engagement on the values to an evaluation of the culture across the company through several workshops she designed and delivered.

First, she conducted a visioning session for the partners so they could align on their business strategy. Second, she led a series of workshops across the company with all of the staff to understand their perspective on the existing culture and what could be improved. This allowed the larger staff to express their feelings, which helped the partners gain valuable insights about the company culture and their leadership.

Finally, she provided results from the staff workshops with recommendations to the leadership team on the next steps to address what was causing challenges in day-to-day operations and communication. This helped the partners realize what they needed to continue, stop, or start to build a better culture and environment for their staff. It also helped them understand how to attract and retain talent.

Significant changes

A regular weekly meeting to discuss urgent matters so that longer quarterly meetings could solely focus on big, strategic issues.


Fast-tracking the hiring of a COO so that the specialist partners could spend more time serving clients.


Bi-monthly innovation meetings where anyone in the business could introduce new ideas to benefit the company in a variety of ways.

Results

Making positive changes that support happy employees and faster growth

Alison led the next series of workshops and individual coaching sessions to execute her recommendations. With a smaller group of partners, they examined the work they needed to do and what they were responsible for. Since these partners also dealt directly with clients and generated large amounts of revenue for the company, it was difficult for them to spend time on strategy and driving the company forward. This resulted in hiring an operations director to free up their time. They also put some specific meetings in place and re-structured others to ensure productive discussions.

Lastly, she facilitated a full-day strategy session so the equity partners could define a 5-year business plan, identify the areas of the business that would fuel the most growth, and delegate responsibilities for specific members to lead.

Outcomes

Some of the significant changes Oury Clark have made include:

  • A regular weekly meeting to discuss urgent matters so that longer quarterly meetings could solely focus on big, strategic issues.
  • Bi-monthly innovation meetings where anyone in the business could introduce new ideas to benefit the company in a variety of ways.
  • Fast-tracking the hiring of a COO so that the specialist partners could spend more time serving clients.

This engagement empowered the leadership team to solve issues on their own through more effective communication, cultivated a more positive culture and working environment for the staff, and greater efficiencies in their operations to increase sales.

Need help solving your team’s challenges?

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The Founder

I'm a strategist, workshop facilitator, coach, trainer and author of "A Pocket Guide to Effective Workshops". With over 15 years’ experience working in, leading and facilitating creative teams, I'm passionate about finding the balance between creativity, productivity & collaboration.

book a free consultation

Virtual services

Virtual services

Services delivered remotely, to help your team adjust to new ways of working and strengthen your culture in times of change.

While most of our workshops, programmes and services can be delivered remotely, those listed below work well to help teams re-adjust, build resilience, find their rhythm and explore how they can continue to do their best work.

Lunch-and-learn: Great teams

This one-hour interactive talk introduces your team to the principles and framework for designing new ways of working, enabling you to start a discussion on how you can build a creative and productive team culture.

Workshop: Designing new ways of working

A 3-hour facilitated workshop, delivered in two parts, to empower your team to build new habits and routines in order to boost creativity and productivity.

In the session, we’ll take a closer look at your team and your culture, work to develop a clear plan on how you can work better together, and your team will leave practical methods and awareness of how to maintain and design their culture on an ongoing basis.

Team Culture Programme

A unique programme tailored for your team, that brings together training, facilitation, coaching and consultancy using our methodology, to help you build a high-performing culture that aligns with your values.

We explore your team’s vision, what each individual brings and the context you work within to help you create the environment for your team to thrive now and in the future. Find out more.

Team coaching: 1-hour sessions

An opportunity for your team to talk through a challenge they are facing, work through points of tension or use the session as a space to explore how they’ll approach change together. Book a one-off session, or a series of sessions to build momentum and accountability.

Have questions?

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“Alison helped our team at Scriberia look at the bigger picture from a perspective of growth and opportunities, so that we can be more intentional about how we work and cultivate helpful routines as well as new rituals.

Alison combines facilitation and business strategy with attentive listening and kindness so everyone in the group feels heard and involved. We left the session feeling inspired and ready to try out new ways of working and communicating better as a team.”


Giulia Vaccari

Head of People & Operations, Scriberia

Alison was a much-needed breath of fresh air and perspective to Nice and Serious.

Her seamless workshop facilitation and invaluable team coaching skills have meant we’re having an essential conversation to understand our individual working behaviours and we’ve already seen started seeing the improvements. We highly recommend the program!”


Philippa Brawn

Operations Director, Nice and Serious

About the Facilitator/Coach

Hello, I’m Alison Coward, the founder of Bracket and author of “A Pocket Guide to Effective Workshops”. I’m an experienced facilitator and I’ve been working in and leading creative teams for more than 15 years. I’m passionate about finding the perfect balance between creativity and productivity, helping teams to use the best of their talents to develop great ideas and make them happen.

Clients include:  Barclaycard, Barclays, British Library, Central Working, Channel 4, D&AD, Emerald Group Publishing, Etsy, Future of London, Google, M&G Investments, Oury Clark, Planet Earth Institute, TrendWatching, UnLtd


Coaching & Consultancy

Coaching & Consultancy

Creating a great team is all about creating the right environment for people to do their best work. Each team is unique, with different strengths and organisational challenges. 

High-performing teams develop when individuals are brought together and find the balance between creativity, productivity and collaboration. 

Our coaching and consulting packages explore the ways in which you can reach your full potential together. 

How can we help?

If you’re experiencing a lack of clarity and alignment as a team or trying to overcome a specific hurdle, our coaching and consultancy packages are designed for you. 

We help your team do great things. 

We work with you to generate new ideas, boost creativity, develop better communication and use new ways of working so that you can gain alignment quickly and more forward with projects successfully. 

What can you expect? 

All of our sessions are structured around you. 

We get to know how your team works best and, from here, we build a programme that enables you to gain clarity, identify your next steps and focus on growth and development. 

This could take the shape of a series of facilitated workshops, coaching with individual team members, onsite support or a blend of all three – whatever suits you. 

What can Bracket do for you?  

You’ll get hands-on support from us to empower you to refine your creative process and take action. 

We aim to reignite your motivation, help your team build lasting, productive relationships that allow you to move forward and implement the next exciting steps of your team culture.

By working with us, you can make more time for doing what you love and work better together.

Want to discuss your specific challenge?

We’d love to hear from you.

Get in touch using the form or book a call below.

Book a call
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Blog design tests


Team Culture Programme

#TeamCulture

Great teams are more important today than ever

Most of our work gets done in teams, yet research reports that many of us find collaboration isn’t working. Even though 75% of workers believe that collaboration and teamwork are important, 80% feel stressed due to ineffective communication*. If teamwork makes up such a big part of our working day, when we pay proper attention to it, we can make a huge difference in how happy, engaged and productive we are at work.

And there is an impact. According to Gallup, higher levels of engagement lead to 17% higher productivity and 21% higher profitability.

When we are able to thrive at work, this has an impact on how we feel and the work we do. We stay longer in our jobs, experience less stress and burnout, and this impacts positively on the overall performance of the team and company.

*Queen's University of Charlotte / Dynamic Signal

We created the Team Culture Programme to enable teams do their best work together

The Team Culture Programme equips your team with the skills to facilitate and co-create better ways of working whilst at the same time guiding you all through the work that you have to do. It’s a blended approach that is shaped to the needs of your team based on the stage you’re at – FIX, BUILD or SUSTAIN.

We work with teams that:

Need to FIX

Is ongoing conflict affecting engagement and productivity?

Aim to BUILD

Are you ready to take your team and culture to the next level?

Want to SUSTAIN

Do you have a great team culture and want to keep it that way?

Let’s see how your team is doing

Take this 5-minute quiz to assess your team.

Free Team Assessment
Impact at multiple levels

This is more than “team-building”

Time and time again, research shows that teams that pay attention to their culture set themselves up for greater long-term success. High-performing teams have regular conversations about how they are working, review their habits and design new ways of working for their environment, who is on the team and the work they need to get done.

The Team Culture Programme gives your team the space and tools to start these conversations within the work you’re already doing, with structures to maintain them long after our engagement.

We use a powerful blend of facilitation, coaching, training and consultancy to support your team’s transformation over 3-6 months.

Practical

Designed to integrate into your team’s existing work so that you can see the immediate benefit.

Skills development

Helps your team develop valuable professional skills that can be used across any project and role.

Behaviour change

Works to embed positive habits, shift mindset and change behaviour for the long-term.

Through the programme, your team will:

Create strong alignment: identify team vision and values for faster decision-making.

Communicate better: understand different working styles, value contributions, manage conflict more effectively and build team cohesion.

Run effective meetings: facilitate conversations so that your time together is collaborative, productive and inclusive.

Increase connection and engagement: build team rituals, routines and processes that foster high trust and open communication.

Build resilience: be more able to adapt and respond to change, uncertainty and disruption.

Here's how to get started

Understand your team's current situation with our assessment.

Book a discovery call to talk through your team's unique challenges.

We tailor the programme around your team's culture and goals.

Start Your Team Assessment

Ready to get started? Book a discovery call today.

What our clients say

“Alison was a much-needed breath of fresh air and perspective to Nice and Serious. Her seamless workshop facilitation and invaluable team coaching skills has meant we're having an essential conversation to understand our individual working behaviours and we've already started seeing the improvements. We highly recommend the program!”

Philippa Brawn, Operations Director

The Team

Alison Coward

Programme Lead, Facilitator & Team Coach

Alison Coward is the Founder of Bracket. She is a strategist, workshop facilitator, coach and trainer and author or “A Pocket Guide to Effective Workshops”. Alison has spent over 15 years helping teams work better together, working with clients such as Google, Channel 4, Barclaycard and D&AD. The Team Culture Programme brings together everything she has discovered about building high-performing teams, and finding the balance between creativity, productivity and collaboration.

Professional coaching

Alongside your team’s transformation, we provide one-on-one professional coaching to support each individual’s performance and potential, in line with the team’s collective goals. Our coaches are trained with Co-Active® Training Institute (CTI).

Caroline Storey

Coach

Caroline has over 20 years’ of marketing experience managing cross-functional teams and working on strategy, insight and capability projects for a number of well-known brands.

Daniela La Vigni

Coach

Daniela has experience leading operations in hospitality, handling the setup, recruitment, training and management for new restaurants across international sites.

Helen Blantz

Coach

Helen is an experienced conference director working with C-level global experts, and has run teams in corporates, start-ups, local government and third sector.

Take the 5-minute quiz to assess your team

Free Team Assessment

Team Workshops

Team Workshops

Explore the power of better team collaboration and discover how to work productively and creatively together.

We offer a range of workshops to tackle a different area of collaboration, from facilitating great meetings to building your team’s strategy.

All workshops can be delivered in-person or remotely.

Team Habits: Design Your Way To Better Collaboration.

This half-day facilitated workshop empowers your team to build new habits and routines in order to boost creativity and productivity.

We’ll take a closer look at your team and your culture, working with you to develop a clear plan on how you can collaborate better together.

Great Teams: lunch-and-learn

This one-hour interactive talk introduces your team to the principles and framework for designing new ways of working, enabling you to start a discussion on how you can build a creative and productive team culture. Packed full of actionable insights and practical tips.

Team Strategy Workshop: Big Picture Thinking.

Our Team Strategy Workshop is all about getting focused, creating alignment and feeling motivated.

We facilitate the half-day session so that you can step back and look at the bigger picture, generate fresh ideas and gain clarity on how you can move forward as a team.

Book a one-off session, or a package of quarterly sessions to keep your team on track and aligned throughout the year.

Facilitating Great Meetings.

Learn how to design meetings with purpose and impact through a number of tried-and-tested collaboration techniques.

We help you to inspire and engage your participants, empowering them to bring great ideas to the table and deliver their best work.

Want to know more about these team collaboration workshops? We’d love to hear from you.

Get in touch at info[at]bracketcreative.co.uk or use the form below.

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“Alison ran a session on Building High-Performing Virtual Teams for our Learn Fest 2021 event. The workshop went down brilliantly well, with many attendees reaching out to tell me how insightful they found the session, whilst also really practical with stuff for managers especially to apply right now.”


Ellie Oretti

Learning and Development - Digital Developer, Vodafone

“Alison offered a practical and insightful session on Facilitating Great Meetings for our team of managers, which covered everything from understanding group dynamics to how to design and facilitate the meeting itself. Most importantly it helped us to understand the value of meetings and think about what we really wanted to achieve from them.

It was a well planned and fun workshop and everyone was actively involved. Alison as the facilitator was professional, well researched, encouraging, smart, funny and engaging.”


Victoria Fabbri

Events & Enterprise Manager, University of the Arts London

About the Trainer/Facilitator

Hello, I’m Alison Coward, the founder of Bracket and author of “A Pocket Guide to Effective Workshops”. I’m an experienced facilitator and I’ve been working in and leading creative teams for more than 15 years. I’m passionate about finding the perfect balance between creativity and productivity, helping teams to use the best of their talents to develop great ideas and make them happen.

Clients include:  Barclaycard, Barclays, British Library, Central Working, Channel 4, D&AD, Emerald Group Publishing, Etsy, Future of London, Google, M&G Investments, Oury Clark, Planet Earth Institute, TrendWatching, UnLtd


Blog


Bracket - helping teams work better together

#TeamCulture

Helping teams work better together

We partner with ambitious, forward-thinking companies to help them build more collaborative and high-performing team cultures.

book a free consultation

Workshops

Great Teams

Explore the power of better team collaboration and discover how to work productively and creatively together.

Learn more

Programme

Team Culture

Build a collaborative, engaged and high-performing team culture that aligns with your values.

Learn More

Facilitation

Collaboration

Gain clarity and turn your team’s ideas into collective actions with a dedicated and experienced workshop facilitator.

Learn More
The Founder

I'm a strategist, workshop facilitator, coach, trainer and author of "A Pocket Guide to Effective Workshops". With over 15 years’ experience working in, leading and facilitating creative teams, I'm passionate about finding the balance between creativity, productivity & collaboration.

book a free consultation
what our clients say

Speaking

Speaking

Book Alison Coward to speak at your conference, event or workplace. Her talks are packed with insights and practical tips on topics related to collaboration, such as effective workshops, teamwork, company culture and the future of work.

Get in touch: alison[at]bracketcreative.co.uk.

Keynotes

Workshop Culture for a Better Workplace

How can leaders build a more creative, collaborative and engaged culture with their teams?

This talk covers why we should strive for great workshops rather than typical meetings, the role of facilitation in leadership as well as practical tips for better workshops and meetings. 

The Changing Face of Teamwork

Teams are nothing new, but they are starting to look different. Has our thinking evolved as much as it needs to keep up with technology, the need for innovation and the demands we have for a modern workplace?

This talk covers how to build happy, engaged and thriving teams in times of change.

Designing a High-Performing Team

Effective collaboration remains a challenge for many. How can we make the most of the collective expertise in a team, whilst ensuring that each person can work in a way that enables them to do their best work?

This talk shares both practice-based and research-backed insights on characteristics of high-performing teams, principles for designing an effective team culture and how to create good team habits that stick.

Great Workshops, Great Teams

Workshops are an essential part of our projects for gathering information and generating ideas. But sometimes the energy and motivation is lost soon after they finish. How can you make sure your workshops have a longer-term impact, to influence the way your team works together throughout a project?

This talk covers practical tips for designing and facilitating workshops that generate concrete outcomes, and how to keep the momentum going that contributes to a collaborative team culture.

Testimonials

Alison’s wonderful talk about designing teamwork hit the nerve of our audience when she identified that a huge amount of our working time is actually spent on dealing with people – and how important this is.”


Sascha Eggenberger

Frontend Conference Zurich

“With Alison’s talks focussing on workshops and team culture we thought, correctly as it’s turned out, that she would be a speaker with a message that not only resonated with all, but gave our attendees actual things to try upon their return to work.

She was a genuine pleasure to deal with in the months building up to the event and also on the day itself. Any prospective conference organisers out there considering Alison really shouldn’t hesitate.”


Matt Stroud

Northern UX

Previous talks