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Ask Kate- best training for culture change

ask kate

This Week’s Question is:

I’ve tried teambuilding and speakers, but nothing seems to be making a lasting change or turning around the negativity in our group. What is the most effective training I can offer that has shown the best results for an all-in culture shift in an organization, department, or team? What tips do you have that I can start immediately?

Motivation to create positive change can be a powerful tool, but because motivation itself is based on a feeling it can disappear as soon as the first obstacle strikes. There simply is no substance behind the spark to keep it going and build it into a stronger flame. That’s why training that takes both the powerful vision of what your team can be when at your best and combines it with your group’s specific challenges, commitments, perspective, and relationships is key to shifting everyone together towards a stronger, more positive culture.

Over and over huge corporations to small athletic teams struggle with the positively driven members supporting positive changes, while negatively driven members are thinking these measures being created to cultivate a better culture is a waste of time. Because of this, frequently team building, motivational attempts, and new policies meant to create unity actually create a larger rift between those who welcome the change and those who want no part of it.

How does training help and what’s the best method to close the gap and bring your people together? Training takes concepts that your organization may already be founded on, and it makes them tangible, purpose-filled, and applicable to everyone involved. In training, they have the opportunity to discover what their position means to them, why it matters that they are in that role, and how bringing their best self will not only elevate the team, but transform their own satisfaction and fulfillment overall. They are given a chance to share, be heard, to truly hear each other, and to connect below the surface for greater understanding of how their thoughts, actions and beliefs are truly contagious. Best of all, throughout the training, as perspectives shift and relationships form, there is an excitement that begins to grow as change is no longer just an empty promise but a reality that’s happening right in front of their eyes. The motivation that builds is now being coupled with the tools to maintain it and to feed it, bringing the entire group closer to their vision and more connected to their purpose.

What is the most effective training method that I’ve used in culture turn-around or simply in reigniting a flame that’s gone out? Culture is built from the top down and comes to life from the bottom up (Jon Gordon, Mike Smith, You Win in the Locker Room First) When Jon comes into an organization and gives a talk, the energy in the room is powerful. There’s an excitement that builds for tackling issues, creating, moving forward and connecting. This creates a receptive learning environment and the perfect opportunity to follow up with training to make the buy-in and the motivation move from spark, to flame.

I recommend a two-part approach for the best results. First, a leadership training. This allows leaders to take the concepts and principles they heard Jon speak about (or read about, becuase reading the books is vital to success) and gain the tools to make them tangible and applicable to their specific needs and personnel challenges when they are leading.

Because the team is what brings it all to life, it’s important that they also understand how they can apply the principles to their own roles and relationships within the team and not just with the leaders. In addition to reading the books,  the second part is a training with the teams as well focusing on their perspective.

By the end of these two trainings, there are commitments that have been formed, relationships that have been built, a greater connection to their own and the collective group’s purpose as well as a clear understanding and excitement about the vision they are all moving towards. They are learning the tools to get them back on track when common pitfalls and challenges return, and their belief about what they can handle if they work together grows stronger.


Jon Gordon’s Power of Positive Leadership full day or half day training

Jon Gordon’s Power of Positive Teams half-day Training

Consulting- allows for follow up, or for large scale trainings to be brought throughout many departments over a course of time, especially valuable for large organizations

What things can you start doing right now to create change?

To make change you must know where you are. That’s a difficult task when teams often don’t have the relationship that makes them comfortable being honest.

Get an anonymous survey out with a 1-10 scale. Here are some ideas for questions. Some answers may surprise you and others not so much.

  1. Ask how connected is your team, or your leadership with your team?

  2. How connected are you personally to our organization’s mission?

  3. How valuable do you feel to the team and what it produces?

  4. How valued do you feel to the team?

  5. How comfortable are you to bring honest concerns, feedback, and ideas to the table?

  6. How much do you feel heard, and that action is taken when you do bring concerns, feedback, and ideas?

  7. How much is your environment encouraging, positive, and seeking to overcome challenges?

  8. How often do you feel defeated to overcome challenges before you begin?

  9. How open are you to creating a more positive environment?

  10. How well does your leadership/team communicate?

For more information on I can help with training, training packages, and consulting options reach out at

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