Save The Children Case Study: Team Resilience 

Client Profile

Industry sector: Not for Profit

Location: Worldwide

Company

Save the Children (STC) is the world’s leading independent organisation for children. Working in 120 countries, they save children’s lives; fight for their rights and help them fulfil their potential. They work with their partners to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. STC’s origins lie in emergency response and this has remained central to their work. The Response team plays a key part in STC’s humanitarian strategy. It comprises of Humanitarian Advisors and Officers covering different countries across the whole world and serves as the interface between donors and STC International, and ensures the right relief and support gets to those most in need. The Response team have a particularly challenging role in that they are frequently working in highly stressful situations where lives are at stake, and taking the right course of action is critical. They are highly committed to their work and passionate about the values of the organisation.

Challenge

STC’s Head of Response engaged a&dc to work with the Response team to build individual and team resilience. The team are currently in the midst of change and are redefining their role in relation to critical stakeholders. Now finding themselves in a position of mediating between stakeholders, rather than controlling activities, influencing others and finding new innovative solutions have become more critical. If they are not able to influence effectively they may continually see decisions being taken that are not optimal. It was seen as important to cultivate resilience from both an individual and a team perspective in order to increase clarity and confidence in new ways of working and to identify how the team could support each other better.

Solution

a&dc facilitated an event for 15 members of the Response team. Each individual completed the Resilience Questionnaire™ beforehand and an interactive session was used to explore their individual resilience profiles as well as team resilience. Through discussion the team identified the dimensions that would be critical to develop going forward – Ingenuity and Support Seeking. They recognised that working in different countries can be quite isolating and therefore it was beneficial to connect with each other more and share successes so that they could learn from and support each other. Although it wasn’t deemed practical to have more meetings, they agreed to change the style of their existing meetings slightly by building in time to share successes and also to present challenges that would benefit from input and collective brainstorming of ideas. They identified that this would allow them to be better informed as to what each other’s strengths are and what each individual could potentially contribute to in order to add more value. The team also identified a collective need to prioritise more effectively and to focus on influencing, rather than doing everything themselves.

What the Client says

“Thanks for the great work on helping to build our team resilience. I think it will be very useful to the team (and of course me!) and I look forward to working with them on ensuring that we remain strong, focussed and able to work with integrity despite / within the constant change we are in the midst of.”  Fiona McSheehy, Head of Response, Save The Children.