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Coaching a Sustainability Team to Collaborate

We helped co-design a cross-region workshop that aided the sustainability team to articulate and realize the shared results they needed.

With 4,500 people in the UK and 40,000 worldwide, Grant Thornton is one of the world’s largest business advisory and accounting firms. Their purpose is to help shape a vibrant economy, based on trust and integrity in markets, dynamic businesses, and communities where businesses and people can flourish.’

The Challenge

Grant Thornton UK’s Sustainability team is mandated to improve the company’s social and environmental footprint. With more than 25 offices around the UK, the team has an established network of colleagues who have volunteered to work on sustainability issues in each office in addition to their main role.

Roughly once a year the Sustainability team runs a day-long workshop, bringing together all the regional sustainability representatives (reps). In addition to inspiring more commitment and action from these reps, this year’s particular purpose was to align the more recent Vibrant Economy mandate with their other sustainability programmes.  It was clear that energy and enthusiasm for this was not consistent across regions.

How We Helped

We coached the Sustainability team in their overall role as ‘purpose enablers’ and helped them articulate and realize the results they needed to achieve from this workshop.

Using techniques inspired by design thinking, we added a number of sessions to the day that encouraged the participants to work together to co-create their own vision for the future. By exploring what excited each individual rep and back-casting from that future point, we helped them appreciate the steps needed to make progress and determine the role they most wanted to play in making that vision a reality.

We encouraged the sustainability team—a group of volunteers—to acknowledge their many challenges, and we established a safe, generative space in which they were free to share their difficulties and explore solutions.

Junxion established the generative space to share difficulties and explore solutions

By introducing a session on measuring impact and establishing accountability buddies, we built a platform to help maintain momentum after the day and ensure that the workshop is a key milestone in making progress towards shared sustainability goals.

Measuring Success

The workshop was characterised as the ‘best one we’ve had’ by the team who said that the regional reps were the most engaged they had ever been. The reps themselves agreed, giving this event the best feedback of any of the annual workshops.

While the work of blending the Vibrant Economy purpose with sustainability is ongoing, our report of the event offered the team some useful recommendations for continuing to build on the outcomes of what everyone agreed was a very successful event.

By challenging our thinking and sharing their wealth of expertise, Junxion supported us in the development of our annual workshop, which resulted in a great day of delivering our objectives with an engaged and enthused team.

– Karen HigginsInternal Sustainability Senior Manager, Grant Thornton
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