• Organisation: Berry Simons
  • Programme Participants: 2 Partners and 10 Team Members
  • Location: Auckland CBD
  • Core Business: Environmental law
  • Opportunity: To create two bespoke team performance workshops that provide Berry Simons with tools, knowledge, and understanding to improve team performance and engagement

A bit of Background

Berry Simons partnered with Blacksmith to understand the current state of their team culture and then to help develop a model for sustaining the best of that culture by leveraging the diversity of thinking and ways of working inherent within their team.

Given their previous experience in other law firms the founding Partners, Simon Berry and Sue Simons, wanted to avoid any toxicity in their working environment. Right from the firm’s initial founding, Simon and Sue worked consciously to create a healthy internal culture where their people enjoyed coming to work and felt a sense of fulfillment.

After five years in business, Simon and Sue felt it was time to shake things up. They wanted to ensure that the firm continued to be as internally strong as it was externally successful. They wanted to be the best, not only as specialists in their area of expertise, but as a great place to work. Sue, Simon and their team engaged Blacksmith as objective experts who could create new value for the firm by building a strong, cohesive team culture.

What did we do?

Working closely with the Berry Simons’ leadership team, Blacksmith co-created two bespoke workshops that built on the core operating principles which Berry Simons was founded upon.

The Team Management Profile (TMP) as well as Blacksmith’s own leadership practices, including ‘Create Space in the Pace’ and ‘Be Positively Contagious’, were the foundations of the two workshops attended by the whole firm. Through a well-crafted programme and skillful facilitation, Blacksmith gave the team the skills they needed to engage in meaningful dialogue about how to work more effectively together.

Specifically, the Team Management Profile provided an awareness of how diverse a group of individuals the Berry Simons team were and how they could leverage their diversity to create greater cohesion and performance as a team.

What were the results?

Berry Simons attributed a fundamental shift in the culture across the firm due to the work they completed in partnership with Blacksmith citing factors:

  • Working more collaboratively and communicating more effectively, even under times of stress;
  • Identifying their individual ways of working and how they function as a team means they are working more cohesively;
  • Having a higher level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence has contributed to a more inclusive culture; and
  • Tools and actions from working with Blacksmith have been integrated into daily firm life and incorporated into their foundation operating principles.

What clients say

You have highly skilled, professional, intuitive people who are able to give you a message which actually has value and weight

Sue Simons, Partner - Berry Simons

What I like most about working with Blacksmith was the mix of ‘human-ness’, ‘easiness’, and professionalism. When you can get all of those in one package, so that someone is easy to work with but you know that they are the very best in their field and they are going to get results, it makes it really easy

Simon Berry, Partner - Berry Simons

We learnt a lot from each other while having fun

Kate Storer, Associate - Berry Simons