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Success Stories 

Transformation & The ECD with James Roberts, Chief Digital Officer, Wellington City Council

"There are a lot of different kind of organisational behaviour and management, development and leadership methodologies and practices and things that you can do and we've all done loads and loads of them. But this one is incredibly effective and powerful in the change it can influence and it's so easy to use and so accessible."

Watch the full interview here >

Sir John Kirwan Foundation Journey with The ECD

Tim Corbett, CEO, says the decks from R&E are gems. We used them to uncover what makes us thrive, from the ‘inside, out’ and then used that to shape the wairua and ‘glue’ of our team. The ECD was a great process to peel back the layers and then rebuild what works for us; adding on the Wellness Deck enabled us to add in the fuel that invigorates us and makes us strong. We’re now using the CX deck to refine our systems and touchpoints to help us better serve our school communities. Such a great set of resources, especially for non-profit organisations as a way of empowering your people and boosting your impact. 

Watch more from Tim Corbett >

National Kindergartens Association Hui

The recent Hui for Senior Teachers from the National Kindergartens Association featured The Emotional Culture Deck in a transformative workshop. Teachers used the deck for self-reflection, relationship management, and organisational change. 

Read full story here >

Sparking Emotional Culture Conversations in Early Learning. Goodstart's Journey with The ECD

Through the past few years, Goodstart Early Learning has used The Emotional Culture Deck across their Leadership Teams, Centre Teams, and Centre Support Teams as a way to be playful about talking about emotions at work. "The gold didn’t happen in the workshop itself, it’s actually what happened outside." As a result of the workshop, the Centre's emotional culture was defined, and a safe haven was created for its educators. The desired feelings were also incorporated into the team's KPIs, which created a habit of checking in on how the team was feeling during project delivery.

See how Goodstart use The ECD >

Bringing Heart to Healthcare. Using The ECD To Create Emotional Connections

Healthcare teams deal daily with the unpredictability of patient needs and the relentless pace of change. This healthcare organisation found in The ECD a way to articulate their emotional landscape. This wasn't about adding another task to their workload; it was about creating space to understand and support each other better.

Read the full story here >

The ECD's Role in Uniting a New Healthcare Team

When a new team comes together in healthcare, it's a bit like ducks landing on a pond – all at once, a bit messy, and everyone trying to find their space. That's precisely what happened with a small group of healthcare professionals who, despite being newly formed, needed to quickly gel and work effectively together.

Read full story here >

Leading with Emotions inside a national sports organisation

Cricket Wellington has been playing with The Emotional Culture Deck for the past four years. According to CEO, Cam Mitchell and General Manager Liz Green, The ECD has changed so much at Cricket Wellington. Coaches, players and administrators have all adopted the game and told us:

"I've never been part of a culture that's never been closer or tighter, everyone feels like they're part of something."

“The best change I've seen in the group is the vulnerability."

“Without the Deck, we wouldn’t have been as connected, and we wouldn’t know each other like we do at every level”

Going Remote with Emotion. IBM Romania's Success with The ECD

During the COVID-19 lockdown period, Lili Mesesan used The ECD to run a remote workshop for 70 team members at IBM Romania.

Hear how IBM used The ECD >

Transforming Leadership Conversations at IAG with The ECD

Melissa Cantell, Chief Operating Officer of IAG NZ, took her leadership team through the Map your Emotional Culture Workshop. Two weeks later her leadership team took 60 of their senior leaders through the workshop.

Read more from Melissa >

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment 

Find out the reflections from the people in the MBIE Property Project Team before and after they recently started using The Emotional Culture Deck.

Watch video here >

Leading Change and Connection at KPMG Enterprise New Zealand

Eva Perrone, Innovation Manager at KPMG Private Enterprise shares just how well The Emotional Culture Deck was received at a change leadership workshop with 60 KPMG leaders from around New Zealand.

"The workshop not only opened up communication channels but provided connection and created a safe space for deep and meaningful conversations. Following the two hour session, KPMG leaders were eager and ready to take the cards back to use with their own teams and clients (and some already have!)."

Read more >

Enhancing Employee Experience. Molly Workman’s Journey with The ECD

Molly Workman’s experience showcases The ECD as a transformative tool in the People and Culture space, offering invaluable insights into creating more empathetic and engaging workplace and recruitment experiences.

Watch Molly's advice here >

Farmlands use The ECD to navigate through change

"We have recently been through a massive period of change that has impacted on our people and our business, and this complete change has taken the best part of three years to complete. Add Covid19 to the mix and another period of change which is on the horizon…it seemed an absolute no-brainer to use The ECD to help people manage during these times of stress, anxiety and possible insecurity."

Read more from Melissa >

MBIE BAS Leadership Team

"The ECD appealed as a fun and engaging way to figure out what we want the culture of our newly formed team to start to look and feel like. As a team, we were drawn to the simplicity of the game. As well as the good things I had heard about it. But what appealed the most was how different this way is of approaching an age-old problem."

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"As an organisation, we’ve recognised that we have a role to play in building a culture where emotions are not only talked about openly but are used proactively to build our strategic vision and goals."

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Hurricanes Rugby

"The player's engagement really surprised me. The 'mode of learning' rugby players are very kinesthetic, active learners they enjoy this type of delivery - however, I also know there is growth in what challenges us. The players were open, vulnerable and willing and wanting more."

Hear the players reactions

A good start for Goodstart Early Learning

As a believer of the concept that organisations can’t change, but people can, Learning Partner Shavaun Petrie knew riders&elephants was just what she needed to help change the culture at Goodstart Early Learning.

"I was looking around pulling stuff together and nothing was quite right. But then I found The Emotional Culture Deck,” Shavaun said.

As an organisation made up of 690 early learning centres, Shavaun needed an efficient and effective way to get team members aware of their emotional well-being at work and understand how it impacts and contributes to quality outcomes for children...

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New Hampshire University 

"I was impressed by how easily the cards got a faculty of engineers talking about feelings, and pretty authentically. The group’s leadership was very excited and happy with the tenor and quality of the conversations."

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NZI, SME & Branch Distribution 

"The use of the cards as a 'game' took all fear and insecurity away and allowed the conversation to flow easily around a topic that may not always allow for this level of engagement. We could have carried on for the rest of the afternoon to fully engage around our team approach!


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"We had people tell us they would go home and try the exercise with their families, employees share that it was the best session they had ever participated in during their time here, leaders requesting to use the deck with their teams and some big a-ha moments created for leaders that have shifted their relationships with their employees and how they can create a more positive employee experience through change – the ECD played a huge role in all of this!"

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New Zealand Rugby 

"A lot of organisations struggle to make culture real: what do values truly mean? What does performance look like? But it’s much easier to start with ‘how do I feel’ then work outwards to ‘what shall we do’. The Emotional Culture Deck is a powerful way to make empathy a key part of how you deliver success."

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"It's easy to use but once you give people the freedom to open the discussion people have som much to share. One of the comments was – it was the highlight of the two days. We're going to do it at all of our leadership boot camps!"

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"At Harmoney we have been using the Emotional Culture Deck and what it has shown us is that sharing emotions actually makes our agile team retros more fun and helps create stimulating conversations about what supports change."

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"I enjoyed how easy it was to flow from one 'subject' to another in the workshop using the deck. The time seemed to fly by. It was great how using the deck allowed all of us to be fully immersed in the discussion about the type of culture we want to create to be successful."

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I wanted to do something different when it comes to the way we talk about and work together to strengthen our team culture. Part of this was doing something to bring the team closer together with regards to understanding the way in which emotions impact us at work both positively and negatively"

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"We held two 2-hour sessions where everyone in our company used the card deck as prompts to talk about their emotional motivators and 'demotivators'. We then applied those desirable and undesirable feelings to scenarios relevant to our daily work environment."

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Wellington Firebirds Cricket Team

“I’ve been blown away by the team culture work we've done this pre-season. No sporting team I’ve ever been involved in as a player or coach has gone through this type of work."

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"Yes yes yes – it was a really interesting experience. The sounds of some eyes rolling at the start of the process was bewilderingly deafening but the results showed the power of the tool. One of the big surprises was our merry team of fishermen landing on a leading emotion of Love! Made my heart swell as they shared their stories and commitments they would like to live into."

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Air New Zealand

"I have never felt so close to my team mates. Suddenly we were able to have time to reflect on our emotions but also we could build empathy for each other. Can’t wait to see how it would impact our day to day interactions as a team."

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"We can figure out where they are with their journey with CanTeen. When they first walk through the door, their emotions will be very different than in three months’ time, six months and nine months’ time. Based on what we uncover by using the deck with them, we might be able to tailor specific support around what that person needs, quickly and more easily.” – Kerrie Waby, CanTeen Youth Support Coordinator

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"The results have been incredible. I have managed to help my squads become an even more high performing and connected team. Because of this success, we’re currently rolling the deck out across every squad in our Westpac Staff Assist business unit. It’s exciting to think that more people within Westpac will be having these conversations and I can help inject more empathy into the way we all work."

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Public Trustee, Queensland 

"Good news is that over the past two weeks my change ideas are taking off in a very positive manner. I already had a little bit of attention from our decision-makers but the Emotional Culture Deck activities with the teams on the 5th sealed the deal. Feedback is now flowing in and some people stayed back for an hour after the session."

Fletcher Living

"The Emotional Culture Deck was a very useful tool to engage our leaders and discuss and test what makes our culture so great! Even better, we’ve come away with some tangible actions! Culture is and will be a continued topic of discussion amongst our leaders and teams!"

Wellington City Council

"We used The Emotional Culture Deck as a leadership team and then with our wider team of 30 and I was wowed by how it enabled all of us to really think about and discuss the emotional aspects of our work environment."

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Trilogy International

"We wanted to run a workshop to help get an understanding from our people on what they think constitutes a ‘Great Place to Work’. This understanding was then used to flow into the TIL FY19 Strategy whereby ‘A Great Place to Work’ is one of our strategic pillars.”

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"Session went really well this morning, a small team of five, taking turns at using the decks. They responded well, opened up the conversation about how they can observe and recognise the triggers that affect their behaviour. The team even see potential in running a smaller session as part of debriefs on projects."

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"It's been awesome to experience this - a simple game with such a huge impact - loved it! Organisations who want to truly connect with their people simply can't ignore this stuff. Looking forward to seeing how far we can take this tool!"

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Fairway Resolution

"As a dispute resolution professional, I purchased The Emotional Culture Deck because I saw that it had real value in team facilitation where there were breakdowns in communication — particularly where some voices were louder than others.

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