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Case Study

Refocusing a team around new objectives

The make-up of the Teach First Design Team had recently changed.  Belbin was used to bring the team together around a new set of stretching objectives, with transformational results for the team.

Teach First is a social enterprise which aims to address educational disadvantage in England and Wales. It coordinates an employment-based  Leadership Development programme during which trainees are placed at participating primary and secondary schools where they commit to stay for the duration of the 2 year training programme aiming to become inspiring teachers. It is the largest recruiter of graduates in the United Kingdom.

The Teach First Design Team are responsible for designing the leadership development programme that all participants go though.  Recently the make-up of the team has changed and an off-site was organised to bring the team together around a new set of stretching objectives.  As part of this, Brian Willman, an independent consultant, ran a half-day workshop on team issues and Brian included Belbin Team Roles as part of the session. 

Rachel Haak, a member of the team, commented on the day:

“I think it is fair to say that the day was transformational for our team. We had been through a lot of change and turbulence over the past few months, and it helped us come back together, appreciate one another and refocus. The change in the team has been remarkable, we now communicate more often and informally, we draw on each other’s preferred working styles to increase our efficiency and impact and work together more often and more meaningfully. Each member of the team seems to have had a boost in confidence, is clearer on what they uniquely offer the team and are motivated to share it.

In the three days following the day you spent with us, the team far exceeded the objectives and outcomes we had set and did so with energy, enthusiasm and a smile. Some reflections I noted down were:

  • “I really believe we can lead on something transformative; that has an impact on teachers and children’s lives.”
  •  “I’m excited about the diversity of our team, we can now get stuck in to collaborating purposefully with each other based on our strengths.”
  •  “You have really empowered us, I feel like I can offer something now”
  •  “I see the power of what we are able to achieve.”
  •  “I have changed this week, I have re-discovered my confidence and I see how I can contribute again.”


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