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Learning in retail

DECJUBA
Leadership Development, 2020 – Ongoing

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1. What was the objective?

This program was designed to give DECJUBA leaders practical tools to perform at their peak. Taking into account the ‘growth mindset’, a concept heavily embedded in the DNA of DECJUBA, this program continued to stretch the team through an aspirational learning experience called D:LEAGUE.

2. How did we do it?

Using a four-part learning approach made up of Self Awareness, People Leadership, Team Performance and Driving Results, we crafted a learning formula that was practical and aligned to the DECJUBA brand. Delivered using both face to face workshops and virtual sessions, each interaction saw the application of learning through the lens of the DECJUBA core values. The program had a strong focus on tools leaders can use when on the frontline with their teams.

3. How was it integrated and what were the results?

The integration of learning was led by State and Regional Managers who continually brought the team back to the key messages and themes shared in each learning interaction. The ongoing results of the program can be seen through enhanced leadership capability and the succession of leaders into more senior roles.

Munro Footwear Group
Workshop Series, 2022-2023

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1. What was the objective?

As part of a larger learning initiative at Munro Footwear, Thinka were engaged to run a series of seven in-person workshops. These workshops would support a capability uplift in human skills across the business. As the workshops were opt-in, there was a need to map the deliveries to the days when most people would be in the office, and create early buy-in as a new initiative in the business.

2. How did we do it?

A mix of Thinka facilitators delivered on a range of human skills; communication, presentations, priorities, adaptability, and problem-solving for team members. For leaders, Thinka ran Drive Accountability as well as an introductory workshop to CliftonStrengths, which provided a framework for leaders to assess Strengths in their team and maximise them.

Every workshop was in-person, for three hours in length. Impactful experiential activities kicked off each session to drive participants’ buy-in and establish the tone of each Thinka workshop; an application-focused, activity-driven learning experience.

3. How was it integrated and what were the results?

By mapping the workshops to the days when most people were in-office and available to attend, Thinka maximised turnout for each workshop. Contemporary models and theories explored in the workshop were supported with various activities, discussions and tools.

Each workshop included a range of experiential activities to embed contemporary models and learnings. Discussions and deep exploration of the skills supported the application of these skills, and there was strong feedback that the workshops positively impacted participants’ human skills development.

Specsavers
Inspiring Communication, 2023

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1. What was the objective?

Specsavers is an optical retail chain with a range of services in optometry and audiology, operating across multiple countries. Specsavers identified a need to target specific areas of communication across a leadership cohort, specifically around communicating upwards (emerging leaders to senior leaders, partners and stakeholders).

Thinka had previously partnered with Specsavers to deliver on a range of skills (such as difficult conversations, feedback, and hybrid leadership), and was engaged to develop a series of workshops to address specific skills gaps. The objective was to provide leaders with a ‘communication toolkit’ to draw the relevant skills from needed to manage difficult conversations, give feedback, and collaborate in a hybrid workplace.

2. How did we do it?

Thinka collaborated with Specsavers upfront as to how to address their specific needs and to identify the learning outcomes of the workshop series.

Thinka then designed and facilitated three workshops, beginning with an in-person workshop on communication, accountability and empathetic listening. This led into a second virtual workshop covering communication, connection and collaboration in hybrid workplaces. A third workshop rounded up the series, covering feedback and radical candour, concluding with complex experiential activities to apply the learnings from all three workshops. These experiential activities were heavily scenario-driven, with each scenario designed based on client input and data collected from the workshop participants directly. This kept the activities authentic and practical to their communication challenges.

Pre- and post-work supported each workshop where practical, for example, giving participants case studies to read ahead of time, and supplying peer coaching resources to upskill their peers who could not attend the workshop.

3. How was it integrated and what were the results?

Feedback and continuous improvement insights gathered over the series’ lifetime allowed Thinka to adjust their approach to the design to cater for a broad range of experience levels in the cohort.

Evaluation measures featured heavily in this workshop series and were integrated into the design of the materials. The second and third workshops featured pre-work to measure application of the skills, while each experiential activity was supported with a customised evaluation tool to capture key insights. Data collected from these evaluation tools suggests that successful application of the workshops’ content was high in these activities.

Clarins
Build Resilience, 2022

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1. What was the objective?

The purpose of this workshop was to support Clarins Area Managers to build personal resilience as leaders, and uplift resilience within their teams. To achieve this, we focused on recognising ‘quit points’ to achieve long-term behavioural change, reframing negative self-talk, and practical strategies to cultivate grit.

2. How did we do it?

The Build Resilience skillset is one that we’re experienced at facilitating at Thinka, but we re-imagined the content and learning outcomes to suit a leadership audience who were facing challenges associated with leading geographically dispersed teams. After the workshop, we followed up with links to some further reading, refresher materials, and an application tool that leaders could take back to implement with their teams.

3. How was it integrated and what were the results?

The workshop was delivered virtually as a stand-alone session, and there was strong anecdotal evidence that participants found the concepts and strategies highly relevant and beneficial to their personal growth. Comments from participants include “Loved learning about the inner coach – I’ll be dialling it up more often”, “The shared experience made me realise I’m not alone in having an inner critic”, and “The practical tips and audience engagement were the best part for me”.

Specsavers
Radically Candid Teams Workshops (Senior Managers), 2022

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1. What was the objective?

Leaders at Specsavers needed to be assertive when communicating to achieve a win-win outcome. To achieve these, they wanted to deliver two workshops for 30 Senior Managers, Managers and Executives. Each workshop would run for three and a half hours, focusing on the skill of delivering compassionate but direct feedback using the ‘Radical Candor’ framework. The workshop targeted individuals’ understanding of the role of self-awareness, mindset and bias when providing feedback as a leader.

2. How did we do it?

The workshop was a balance of theory and practical application. We started the workshop by exploring how their mindset and potential biases could impact the effectiveness and outcome of a feedback conversation.

Through bespoke scenarios applicable to the client, the participants learned about potential language traps and what assertive and passive speech impacted the power of their message.

The participants workshopped how to prepare and execute a ‘Radical Candor’ conversation with their peers. This practical application builds muscle memory for the participants and enables them to get real-time feedback on their delivery.

3. How was it integrated and what were the results?

The participants were given a post-workshop video to watch and an application tool to further embed their learnings of Radical Candor. Specsavers has continued to engage us with further work.

DECJUBA
Building Strength with the Gallup Strengths Diagnostic Tool, 2020

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1. What was the objective?

DECJUBA is a forward-thinking retail brand that puts its people front and centre. With a people-centred approach of ‘focus on the good and the good gets better’, we built up the strength of the State and Regional Leadership teams using the Gallup Strengths Finder diagnostic.

2. How did we do it?

Each leader completed the Gallup Strengths Finder profiling tool that explained what their top strengths are and how these work. Then, at a three-day face to face conference, we explored the tool in more detail and started to understand how the combination of strengths work together.

We also looked at the collective strengths of the team of 25 and how these complemented each other. Through a series of practical activities, we explored how each person can use more of their strengths to take their leadership to the ‘next level’. A series of coaching follow-up interactions would embed the strengths culture.

3. How was it integrated and what were the results?

A focus on building strengths has now become common language at DECJUBA, with leaders both playing to their strengths but also leveraging the strengths of others. This approach of designing a ‘common language’ meant that the learning didn’t just stay in the classroom but is lived and breathed every day.

lululemon
Storytelling Program, 2019 & 2020

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1. What was the objective?

These workshops were designed to give each leader a chance to reflect on their life to date and start to craft stories they can use to lead and inspire their team. We used a combination of pre and post workshop learning to inspire people to think and reflect and deepen their experience.

2. How did we do it?

Through a series of workshops, we worked with the team to help them craft their stories using The Hero’s Journey formula. Prior to the crafting of each story, we drove a series of self-reflection activities that allowed the team to embrace vulnerability and share insights about themselves that would help each team member craft their story.

3. How was it integrated and what were the results?

The results were integrated through a series of storytelling sessions that followed each workshop. In these sessions, each participant was able to share a story that they had crafted. These sessions allowed each participant to practice the storytelling formula and become more comfortable with opening themselves up and the art of storytelling.

The Good Guys
Team Building with The Winners Circle Activity, 2017 – 2019

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1. What was the objective?

The Good Guys were looking for a learning solution to encourage a ‘win-win’ culture and greater team collaboration. It was about team members realising the value of shared knowledge and peer-to-peer support.

2. How did we do it?

We developed ‘The Winners’ Circle’ – a playful, five-hour collection of activities where team members would compete in groups against each other. The difference is that they would learn results were better achieved when they pooled their knowledge and resources with other groups. With a strong emphasis on debriefing and exploring the process and team dynamics present in the activities, individuals could reflect on how this relates to the workplace and their ability to play as a team.

3. How was it integrated and what were the results?

Team members returned to store understanding how collaboration and looking for the ‘win-win’ in every situation benefits the business and their individual roles. Improved morale and better team engagement has meant a more supportive workplace culture at The Good Guys.

The Good Guys
Conference Team Building Activity, 2018

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1. What was the objective?

The Good Guys’ first SEM (Store Executive Manager) Conference was about inspiring self-belief.

2. How did we do it?

THINKA was engaged to lead an activity on the final day of the conference. ‘Take Off’ challenged participants to break through and achieve something unexpected. The ‘Take Off’ theme featured colourful banners, blow-up planets, old arcade games and a DJ playing 80s retro hits that elevated the mood.

Working with ‘Code Like a Girl’ and The Good Guys’ Learning and Development team, participants worked in table groups to learn how to code a game similar to ‘Space Invaders’. Working quickly and together, they each applied their new coding skills before selecting the best game from the table for the ‘challenge round’. This challenge and live polling to find the best game and table culture gamified the learning, offering a real sense of achievement.

Live crosses to participants and careful facilitation helped to draw out the themes around self-belief, teamwork and pushing out of one’s comfort zone.

3. How was it integrated and what were the results?

The challenge for store managers was to inspire and integrate lessons around self-belief back in stores, ahead of the busy, pre-Christmas period.

Bardot
Sales & Service Video Collection, 2017

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1. What was the objective?

Bardot wanted to refresh their STYLE customer service model and provide real in-store examples of each step. The idea was to model best practice to clarify expectations, correct behaviour and boost the performance of their primarily millennial employee base. In turn, this step-by-step focus on changing behaviour would lead to improved results.

2. How did we do it?

We produced a series of 10 x 5-minute videos for both Bardot and Bardot Junior stores, showing each step of STYLE. We reimagined boring sales training videos by using a light, fresh tone and using visually appealing montage footage to back a voice over which explained each step. This was supported by stylists roleplaying each step in a ‘How to’ – with some cute freeze framing with style tips along the way. Add music and animated titles and voila! – a package that suited the millennial audience and could be used flexibly and frequently.

3. How was it integrated and what were the results?

Bardot’s integration involved store managers talking up each step of STYLE and holding team members accountable to watching the videos. Coaching cards would support store managers to work with team members on excelling at each step. There is now alignment of expectations across stores and a consistency in the customer service approach used on a national level.

Boardriders
Sales & Service Rollout, 2017

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1. What was the objective?

Boardriders (Quiksilver, Roxy, DC Shoes) wanted to refresh their SURF customer service model. While many store managers believed SURF was part of store culture already, there were inconsistencies that needed correcting and clarification of exactly what behaviour was expected at each step.

2. How did we do it?

We humanised the SURF customer service model by designing the ‘ideal team member’ for both their retail and outlet networks. We gave them names, personalities, animation and told their stories. We supported this by a ‘4 x 5 model’ for each step identifying: ‘5 reasons we do each step, 5 examples of language to use, 5 examples of body language to show, and 5 results to expect.’

This information was delivered as part of their conference in a series of interactive, hands-on workshops involving scenarios, roleplays and even a ‘Thank God You’re Here!’ improv segment. We answered the ‘why’ and the ‘how to’ so Boardriders could achieve consistency across stores.

3. How was it integrated and what were the results?

The ‘new wave of SURF’ model with practical resources was rolled out to support a 90-minute SURF training session and further in-store training. Posters featuring tips from the ideal team members and the 4 x 5 model were created as in-store visuals – to ensure consistency in behaviour and to hold teams accountable to the new standard.