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By Guest Blogger: Anja Doil, Germany
This is a story of momentum, of something small that kept growing and is still growing strong for an IT consultancy with about 13.000 employees in 28 countries. It might inspire you to bring TetraMap into your organization as well.
A few years ago, as part of a high-potential networking and community event, I was looking for a workshop input for approximately 70 people from 15 countries. I wanted an inspiration that would speak to a very diverse group of individuals in terms of seniority, line-of-business, profession, gender, age, ethnicity and geographies. Apart from celebrating and building on this diversity in a meaningful way, this workshop should create value-adding insights and tangible results applicable to participants’ daily (work) life. If you are an HR professional, trainer or facilitator, you know that there is a lot of creative space to do workshops. You also know that creating something sustainable, something that is remembered for more than a few days and drives change in behaviours is the real challenge!
Finding this input turned out to be catalytic in many ways: Designing a one-day incentive-type TetraMap workshop for a few turned out to become a global people development initiative. It created a common TetraMap language for hundreds of colleagues, shooting for 4-digit numbers these days. By using this language, they can now better explain and understand different behaviours and communication styles as well as more easily relate to each other. Creating a common TetraMap mindset and frame of reference to tackle any project or problem is the next step that is already started. How did that happen?
Choosing TetraMap with a leap of faith
I had this window of opportunity to design a workshop, but I did not really know much about TetraMap at the time. So I took a leap of faith. It was really just trust in a recommendation of Flora García Mesa (Global Head of People at NTT Data Europe & LATAM), a colleague who I respect and admire for the values she holds and how she brings them to her work in another large global consultancy firm.
First event, first allies & ambassadors
I was lucky enough to find two inspiring, highly skilled allies Anne Clews (Curium Solutions, UK) and Sabine Grüner (EQ Dynamics, Germany) with whom I kept promoting TetraMap in my organization over the years.
Also, the people in the workshop were among the most engaged, most open and smartest colleagues in the organization, participants turned ambassadors for TetraMap in their local organization. The right people at the right time.
Patience pull approach and TetraMap working its magic
If I had followed a typical momentum guide (“make your commitment, schedule time for it every day, look for role models, find your Big, Hairy Audacious Goals outside the comfort zone”) this story would have evolved into typical success story mode. It did not. I did not massively champion for or receive a full commitment from our top management to storm ahead. Instead, I let things move forward naturally and let TetraMap work its natural wonders with all original workshop participants. A patient, pull rather than a push approach that is more sustainable in the long run: Something you want is better and more easily absorbed than something that is forced upon you.
Creating momentum, creating a common language
Again, another window of opportunity opened up, creating the chance to certify the first 8 of local HR Heads as TetraMap facilitators, using a global networking meeting synergetically. And again, this was just the right group to introduce and become advocates for TetraMap at the right time.
And then momentum took over, meaning we made TetraMap bespoke for the organization: We set our goals of employees to participate. We created a strategy to cascade TetraMap into our organization (and revised it several times). We built a community of TetraMapAbles (=TetraMap facilitators) to share knowledge and experience and to support each other. And we worked hard to create engaging workshops and celebrated each step along the way.
From common TetraMap language to common TetraMap mindset
After reaching a critical number of employees with our TetraMap offerings, we realized that it indeed had been creating a common language of communication and collaboration, that eased difficult conversations, created better outcomes and added a good portion of humour and fun to work as well. The next TetraMap step is to work with this common language to strengthen a common mindset and use TetraMap as a frame of reference to broader applications: A critical number of employees have participated in “Why Are You Like That” workshops, in some countries all employees. They have “done” TetraMap, but we know, that this can be just a starting point. To make the benefits and learnings of TetraMap sustainable, we need to keep on learning and developing our people development offers to the organization. With a total of 41 facilitators in 11 countries certified, this organization is in good shape to do so and will continue its TetraMap journey.
So here is my learning
If you see a window of opportunity for TetraMap in your organization, the slightest chance to introduce TetraMap to your first group of employees, then go for it step by step: Take a leap of faith, involve wonderful allies, inspire avid ambassadors and exercise patience when necessary and very likely momentum will follow.
Anja Doil is a TetraMap facilitator and systemic coach with 25 years of experience in international people and leadership development, coaching and consulting. Her experience spans from start-up to corporate, from individual to team and executive sparring and support on people topics.
Pictures are license-free from https://pixabay.com/de/illustrations/sonnenblumen-wachstum-leben-konzept-5665223/