Improving staff motivation

How an hospital used Synthetron to improve staff motivation


The top management of a large hospital complex had gone through a major restructuring and sensed unrest among the staff. They wanted to take action to improve staff motivation.


To capture the main motivators and de-motivators directly, the management organised a series of 12 segmented Synthetron discussions for employees (doctors, nurses, administrative and cleaning staff).


The approach addressed the feeling in some parts of the organization that they didn’t really belong, or that all the decision were made in HQ.
It also helped build team spirit as every month staff had the experience of working with global colleagues on an important question.

Team building for the new CEO

How the CEO of a small charity use Synthetron to understand the real story of why things weren’t working.


As new CEO he was struggling with team building. He needed to find out what was really going on. Who’d have thought that such a small charity would have such complex personal dynamics? In their large open plan office it was proving hard to get to the bottom of what anybody thought.

He was keen to improve the effectiveness of the organisation, increase its impact and demonstrate how he could add value to a cause he really believed in. But first he had to understand the real story of why things weren’t working.


A donation in kind had given him access to a Synthetron dialogue. He decided to invite everybody from the London office plus some of the regional managers who dealt with volunteers and partner organisations. The topic was simple – what is working and what’s not. Synthetron helped craft the questions that would give him the answers he needed and he watched the session closely. “Maybe you don’t need to do a report” he ventured afterwards, “Since I saw everything already.”

But the Synthetron consultant suggested doing it anyway to look at what was going on below the surface. Not just WHAT people were talking about but also HOW. Understanding the team building dynamics, their motivations and sources of resistance.


The most surprising discovery was the crisis of confidence inside the organisation. He knew there had been some bumps in the road under the previous leadership but he hadn’t realised how deep it ran for employees. No wonder they were struggling to convince partners to get on board if they felt so unsure of the mission and vision of the charity. He was happy to get such a clear steer on the problem blocking team building. And on what they wanted to address it. He set up small action teams straight away to address the issues of what they offered partners and the materials and prospect lists that people needed to get cracking. Let’s move from shy and uncertain to clear and confident he declared.

Leadership meeting needs an agenda

Give citizens a voice with a Synthetron stakeholder dialogue

How a large multinational used Synthetron to focus the agenda for a top leadership meeting


A large multinational was planning the agenda for its Top 100 Leadership meeting. They did this every two years. This time they wanted to discuss how to implement the new strategy. Head Office had created it and they wanted to see it in action.


Prior to the meeting the team used Synthetron to work out where to focus the agenda. They wanted to discover which aspects of the strategy were most important. Before developing the script, Synthetron consultants asked if the strategy was well known and accepted. Although the answer was yes, the script allowed for both scenarios. All of the meeting participants were invited to join in the discussion to help shape the agenda.


In fact the discussion highlighted a lot of confusion. This was true at various levels. Many people were not aware of the strategy and few understood it. Leadership discovered the trouble spots and could start to tackle them. Knowing the Hot Topics for the meeting meant the meeting planners could give them the priority the meeting attendees were looking for. They fine-tuned the agenda and focused on what would generate energy and engagement. In the end they could all move forward. Together.