For the first time since starting her role, Desiree D’Souza, Director of Partnerships and Social Impact at SeeAbility was bringing her team together for a day out of the office. She wanted to reflect and celebrate the achievements of the last year, get the teams working together on their strategic plans for the next year and provide some practical learning that would help them deliver on their ambitious plans.
‘When I was planning the day I knew that I wanted someone who would inspire the team, but also offer some practical tools that the team could take away and apply. I thought of Lucy straight away because I still use some of the tools she taught me years ago as part of a department innovation and creativity training in a previous role’ Desiree D’Souza, Director of Partnerships and Social Impact
We spent some time on the phone understanding what Desiree wanted from the day and specifically what success looked like. She wanted motivation and inspiration. She also wanted the team to be challenged and step out of their comfort zone, given food for thought and practical tools that would help them deliver on their ambitious plans.
‘The balance between information, inspiration and practical tools always needs to be right. I meet a lot of teams who have experienced painful team activities and pointless ice breakers that have made them feel uncomfortable and weakened team relationships rather than built them.’ Lucy Gower, Director, Lucidity
As a result, the team have decided to start an ‘innovations lab’ to challenge each other to look at problems in new ways and to be much more ambitious about the ways we help our supporters connect with SeeAbility’s extraordinary work.
The group will focus on learning from others, generating our own insight and mostly importantly, trialing and testing small initiatives which we can scale, if they work.
‘Lucy got the tone of the session right, there was a balance of information, stories and practical exercises that put us out of our comfort zone. All the activities had important learning points and we learned so much by experience rather than sitting down and listening to theory. She also picked up on some of the nuanced dynamics in the team and addressed those through examples and stories that made everyone feel included. It was fun too.’Desiree D'Souza, Director of Partnerships and Social Impact
'For a smaller organisation with limited resources, it can feel like there’s no time for something as “flashy” as innovation. After all, we don’t have big teams or big budgets to try new things. What Lucy does is to take away the fear and blockers to creativity, she banishes the mystery and shows you the possibilities. "It’s about marginal gains which together create bigger change." For me, this note that I took down in Lucy’s session, has empowered me to make small changes to our work space and on our “intranet” which is beginning to change the culture in the office. It’s disrupting the office and making people take notice. As a result we’re already sharing more, being braver with ideas and working more collaboratively. Incredible really, it’s so simple.'Debbie Goddard, Senior Philanthropy Manager