How To Build A Cathedral

Martin Crump

By Martin Crump.

Martin is a Director and co-founder of Evolution.  He is a certified NLP Master Trainer with a wealth of experience of working with organisations of all sizes and types across the UK.


We have recently finished a really interesting piece of work with the Diocese of Truro.

The Church of England, like many old established organisations is currently going through a time of massive change.

We have been working with Truro’s Diocesan House to help them plan how they are going to help the Diocese manage this change and continue to thrive in the current climate.


We have so far used a mix of ‘Navigator’ (To develop the Strategy for change), coaching for the Diocesan Secretary, an Employee Survey (to set a benchmark and understand the initial level of employee engagement and a structured Away Day with the whole team to introduce the reason for change and the future approach to meeting the needs of the changing environment.

In the initial strategic sessions we used ‘Navigator’ to look at the current environment, behaviours, capabilities, beliefs and values and identity of the Diocesan House.

We then moved on to define the purpose of the team.

We used this purpose to define the required identity, beliefs and values, capabilities, behaviours and environment.  This described a cultural change within the Diocesan House which was necessary to continue to provide an excellent service and help drive the changes within the Diocese of Truro.

We devised an employee engagement survey to establish where the team were in terms of engagement with their job, their team, their managers, and the organisation as whole.

This exercise will be repeated regularly to measure change in employee engagement over time.

We designed and ran a team development day (the first one the organisation had ever had) to introduce the reason for change, the strategy to implement the change and to help the individuals to understand how they will need to work as a whole organisational team, rather than as small ‘silo’ teams.

The day began with the Diocesan Secretary introducing the above.  She used a         4MAT structure to pace and lead the team to the understanding of the key points.

The rest of the day was an exercise to illustrate the need for whole organisational team working.  This exercise took the form of a construction exercise.

The objective was to build a model of Truro Cathedral, the only stipulations were that the model had to have a height of 1m up to the main roof eaves and had to be recognisable as the Cathedral.

There were three teams, each team was responsible for a part of the Cathedral.  These parts had to fit together at the end of the exercise.



The teams, true to form worked hard and enthusiastically to construct their part of the model.  Unfortunately, they worked in isolation and after an hour realised that all three teams were building to different scales.  After a discussion, the components had to be adjusted to the same scale.


This was a great learning point and illustration of what had to change within the organisation.

The completed Cathedral (in nearly an hour less than expected) was extremely impressive.

The key to the day is that the learning needs to be transferred back to the office and become a permanent change in behaviour.

We will continue to support Diocesan House to help them through this cultural change. The work done to this point by the Diocesan Secretary and the Senior Management Team has created excellent foundations to build on.





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