Team Development on the Global Stage of a Venture Investor

Multicultural team development“Whether from Russia, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or India, you have a strong voice and it is important we hear that voice”. This was the message from a venture investor as they invited their colleagues to commit to beginning a team development journey with Coach Mentoring Ltd.

A wish to spend quality time together and to get to know each other at a deeper level, may be a regular request of an organisation wishing Coach Mentoring Ltd. to support them. But this, coupled with a wish to embrace the benefits of an incredibly multi-culturally diverse, bright and ambitious team and during a period of new direction and new leadership proved to be important additional factors for one organisation…

Designing a multi-cultural journey of personal and team development

Abu DhabiA venture investor approached Coach Mentoring Ltd. in 2019 wishing them to support their employees on a journey of personal and team development. The company, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, are a highly successful global emerging markets venture investor, providing capital and support to emerging tech unicorns. Their portfolio companies have grown up to 30 times since initial investment. They are proud that they have supported the creation of over 5,000 jobs in emerging economies across the globe.

Following several conversations, we decided Lisbon, Portugal in February 2020, would be an ideal location. It would bring the eleven team members together for a week involving social activities as well as an intensive two-day workshop. This time-frame would allow for some productive discussions and engagement. Plus time to get to know each other socially and importantly to relax following an extremely busy few months.

With this effectively double-length ‘team day’ we wanted to:

  1. include a wish to celebrate what is working well for the organisation,
  2. challenge what the participants could improved and
  3. also look ahead to the vision of the organisation.

Team Management Profile to provide important psychometric insights

A key tool which would be used within the workshop, and also for ongoing reflections, was the Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile. We knew this highly robust psychometric tool would provide important insights. We chose TMS Development International Ltd., based in York, in the UK, to supply the reports. Importantly, both the reports and the associated researched models were key learning platforms for the workshop.

Team Development in Lisbon, PortugalHaving been in Portugal for a day already, enjoying social and recreational time together, the team were in a positive place to begin the workshop.

The first day of the workshop mirrored the positivity within the team. It began with an exploration of what success looks like for the organisation. The language of the Margerison-McCann Types of Work Model was used as a basis to unpick successful criteria, to ensure that the successful components are maintained and to critique what needs to be improved. The team was highly creative and shared many ideas as how to develop.

Each individual had completed the Team Management Profile Questionnaire in advance. When the team saw the results of the work preferences there were many smiles of recognition, but also an appreciation of the diversity within the team. This was one of the key moments to hear for everyone’s voice.

For each of the four work preference measures, the team members stood where their net scores were and provided feedback to each other.

In fact the team members were very different and the team discussed these differences in a positive way; positively explored perceptions and also each shared how differing work preferences might positively enhance the team.

The team often described themselves as a family and were extremely trusting and open in their honesty with each other.

What did the team learn about their collective decision making?

Interestingly, one key area of learning was around the team’s collective preference towards decision-making — whether more of a preference towards an analytical decision-making style, or a belief-based preference, or a balance between the two. Interestingly, the majority of the team displayed strong analytical work preferences which they felt was also very important to what they offer clients.

Team collective decision makingOne important piece of learning, however, was the fact that a long-serving individual in the team had a statistically very high beliefs-based work preference. They were able to provide feedback to this individual about what they valued from her and also to reflect on what they might need to do to ensure her voice is always heard. A second area of learning was that it was also felt some of the CEOs of organisations who approach the company for funding and support have a beliefs-based preference, having a feeling of future success but sometimes not seeing the reality of the challenges ahead. The team discussed ideas to better “pace” and “link” these stakeholders.

Hard copy reports of the profile were shared and reading time allowed, enabling some of the chapters within the report such as leadership strengths, interpersonal preferences, areas for development, to be digested. There is a huge amount of learning which can be found within the reports. Importantly, the group took their time to consider this.

Understanding the vision of the organisation

The second day built on the ambition of the team and considered the vision of the organisation, the values and behaviours to be demonstrated and began to look at what concrete changes could be made to make their organisation even more successful.

Vision of the organisationThe team was split into two to consider the vision of the organisation. Encouragingly, all team members were very clear about where they felt the organisation was heading. Importantly they were able to articulate this.

They had historically generated seven key values which they felt would be important to the organisation going forward. Small groups spent time discussing what behaviours would be seen if the values were to be demonstrated and how this would benefit them. In this way, the groups “translated” espoused values into best practice.

The tangible benefits of team development

It was important to the organisation that there were some tangible take-aways from the session as well. Four working groups spent time looking at specific mini projects. They discussed how best to progress these projects building on the learning from the programme. The groups identified key internal sponsors to take these projects forward and ensure they stayed on the radar for the business.

Finally, individuals were able to reflect on key learning from the programme which they felt would enhance their development from an individual, team and organisational viewpoint. Sharing thoughts openly amongst each other effectively demonstrated ownership of their commitments.

Following the workshop, soft copies of the Team Management Profile were shared with each individual via, providing each person with their own login opportunity to read and share the report with others.

Overall, the ambitious nature of the workshop mirrored the ambition of the team. It provided them with lots of opportunities to take things forward themselves on their own future journey.

Why Choose The Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile?

Coach Mentoring offered the Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile as a critical component for the multi-cultural team development workshop for many reasons:

  1. The tool measures work preferences, not preferences outside of work. Discussions can immediately focus on the implications of the learning for the workplace, providing a feeling of relevance for a working group.
  2. The Team Management Profile is underpinned by a model of high performance, a model of success; the Types of Work Model. This researched model effectively enables discussions around the current and hoped for successes of the team. Teams can use this in prioritisation of resources and effort.
  3. The Team Management Profile Questionnaire and the resulting Profile are available in many languages. This works well for diverse, multi-cultural teams. Individuals can complete the questionnaire in their first language, with the output in a different language to support workshop discussions.
  4. The colourful models within the Team Management Profile have both immediate impact and are memorable too. This can support an individual and team’s ongoing reflections and learning.
  5. The Profile can be read and digested as a personal development tool, in addition, to being shared for the learning of the team. Having relevance to the individual and to the team is hugely empowering.
  6. There are 208 textual variations of the narrative within each Team Management Profile which is important to the face validity of the report.


Should you wish to learn more about how Coach Mentoring can support you and your organisation, please do get in touch.

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About Janet Leonard

A learning and development consultant and coach specialising in Motivation, Performance, and Development, helping individuals, teams and organisations define and achieve success. She works globally, offering both face-to-face facilitation and virtual coaching. Janet loves working with diverse, passionate teams and is a certified Master Trainer in the suite of TMSDI development tools and enjoys incorporating these in her approach.

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