Challenges

A sense of belonging affects every aspect of your business. It affects performance because it connects teams across all parts of the organisation. It’s complex and multifaceted. The ways in which belonging helps or harms your organisation may not be obvious at first sight. 

Here’s a look some of the belonging challenges that often prove the most critical.

Products

We have developed robust approaches to common problems. Our core products provide reliable methods that we can tailor to specific circumstances. There’s no one-size-fits all, culture is always personal to each company, so we apply proven methods with our understanding of each client. We provide consultancy and create solutions to specific issues.

How to make the next step

It's not always obvious where to start, or even to see what the important issues are. We’ll help you untangle all the corporate flotsam and jetsam to have a meaningful discussion about culture.

Let's have a preliminary chat

Sometimes the best way to start is simply a chat over tea.

We’ll help make sense of it all, pull out some key issues, and isolate a few of the belonging challenges and symptoms that we see. About an hour should be enough to get an initial view, and an idea of how we may be able to help.

We have biscuits and Jaffa cakes at the ready, shall we get the kettle on?

Starting the conversation at board level...

Culture is often dismissed as ‘soft’. Though as a client said recently, “When our Board says belonging is ‘soft’ they really mean ‘it’s too hard to do.’

So, before you begin a discussion, it’s useful to get some of the key reference points in place. This will help keep the conversation grounded in reality, showing relevance to strategy and daily business practice. It moves the discussion beyond the subjective into the objective commercial issues. It’ll prompt the Board and leaders to consider the commercial impact, in the context of their accountability to investors and customers, rather than seeing it as nebulous and separate.

Want us to host the conversation?

We can support you with quick initial work to frame the discussion. We can look at how culture might currently be helping, or harming, your organisation, and explore the main commercial themes at stake. We can look into how well your strategy and culture are supporting each other and if there are any areas of dissonance.

Once we’ve done some of that background, we can provide a short paper or presentation supported by more detailed evidence and commentary if required. It’ll state the key points that are most salient, and give you the confidence and content to raise this important subject in a way that is more likely to be taken seriously at the top of your organisation.

Our experience

We ran a session with their leadership team, Northern Europe, on why belonging matters and how it works. Stimulating their exploration of how to develop a sense of belonging, belief, and opportunity, whilst nurturing commitment across the business. Mondelez pulls together the power of belonging across many heritage brands.

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A dynamic, participatory conference, involving 40 leaders in planning and facilitating the event for 300 delegates, resulted in dramatic improvement in impact. Achieved objectives 100% two years running.

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"You’ve given us a clear reference for what we believe in. We can hold it up each time and sense-check: ‘Are we doing the right thing? Will it get us closer to achieving our vision and values?’"

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"In just a few weeks you helped Arena take immediate action, and gave us a good basis to break down the more indigestible culture challenges. Belonging Space’s process motivated the team behind clear plans and we’ve gained focus, commitment and momentum.”

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"Restless Development's values and culture are a huge part of our success, and Belonging Space has played a vital role in helping us to understand these elements, to grow them and to build our new global strategy around them."

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 Clients and colleagues have said:

We’ve achieved more in two workshops with you than we have in two years

Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, FTSE 100 Engineering Company

Focused, efficient, wonderful humour and very sensitive when it comes to communicating different functions and cultures. We achieved a lot!

Head of Communications and Marketing, Global Food Business

Isabel makes vital and meaningful connections with her clients and their teams. She is an incredible facilitator, a visionary strategist and a complete ‘one-off’ in the delicate task of creating a corporate ethos which actually means something and works.

Director of a Leading Agency

There is absolutely no-one like Isabel for getting to the challenges at the heart of a business’s culture. Relentless in her pursuit of the real issues, not settling for the superficial, and the best facilitator of workshops I’ve ever seen.

Leading Employee Engagement Consultant

Isabel has a real skill and strength in cutting through to the things that matter. She quickly pins down complex challenges into solutions, like nobody else with senior leaders – challenging, coaching and directing teams to where they need to be. And we had many, many laughs along the way.

Internal Communications Director, Global Services Business

Isabel’s experience includes:

Arena Media, Havas Group

Values and belonging

BP plc

Group wide internal communication

Cambridge Assessment (University of Cambridge)

Values into action

Arriva Trains

Values into action

Sovereign Holidays

Brand into customer service

GTG Group (now Sharaka Holdings), Qatar

Major strategic change

Our ethos & story

We humans are social animals.
We like to feel part of a tribe, but take that too far and the result can be silos, mistrust, confusion and even conflict.

We help organisations create a clear sense of belonging that unites their different tribes. We work directly with your people, creating a strong culture and real sense of unity that’s specific to you.

Above all we make it easy for your people to feel like they belong, with all the hard, tangible benefits that brings.

Why? Because belonging is powerful.

It motivates commitment, ensures your employees stay engaged its a platform for great achievement, and it’s why culture can chew up strategy.

Belonging Space is a culture consultancy that helps organisations create a sense of belonging. It sounds simple but it is hard to pin down. We can see if belonging is helping or harming your business.

It was an encounter with a railwayman that inspired Isabel Collins to found Belonging Space, when he said “I don’t belong to a brand, I belong to the railways.” Since then, we’ve developed a rigorous understanding of the power of belonging in organisations. Our clients improve their business performance through stronger collaboration, greater focus, and collective commitment to a shared ethos.

Our team

Isabel Collins
Founder

Isabel Collins is a specialist in culture, values and Belonging. With over 27 years’ experience, she knows best practice – and how to avoid the pitfalls.

Isabel loves getting people involved, facilitating candid discussion, and stimulating practical change that makes a real difference.

Andrew Gibbs
Partner

Andrew brings over 26 years’ experience in running creative agencies and leading projects big and small for clients in all kinds of sectors.

Andrew loves rolling up his sleeves in client servicing, finance, operations and business building.

Francis Grabowski
Culture Analyst

Bright, enthusiastic, and multi-skilled, Francis supports us with knowledge gathering, number-crunching and analysis of feedback; and project managing to keep everything on brief, on time and on budget.

He’s great at finding the straightforward answer from apparent complexity.

William Gibbs
IT and Operations Manager

Will combines computing expertise and unflappability to keep our IT, systems, facilities – and good spirits – all running smoothly. Managing new tech and an old building can be challenging.

Will makes it all easy so that we can enjoy working hard in our lovely office space.

Yasmeen Jones
Accounts and Administration

Yas keeps our accounts carefully in order. She matches precision with heart and makes sure we manage everything to suit each client’s systems.

She has the neatest desk in the office and the warmest smile.

Jeremy Langham
Business Development Director

Jez has worked in creative and consultancy businesses for over 20 years. He believes that business problems can only be solved when they are defined in simple human terms.

Jez loves direct, honest, one to one conversations that get to the heart of the issue.

Ezri Carlebach
Associate

Ezri is our specialist in leadership and engagement communication. He helps us connect the big themes of strategy with everyday business.

He likes connecting people for fruitful collaboration within his wide network of contacts, through his current teaching practice, and from his eclectic reading list.

 

Rob Briggs
Associate

Rob is our specialist in corporate communications. He’s an enthusiastic advocate for bringing culture, engagement and belonging together in big businesses.

He has a background in psychology and is fascinated by how people behave in large groups.

Darryl Mead
Associate

Darryl is our internal communications, engagement, and values specialist with over 20 years experience in both consulting and in-house roles.

Darryl loves helping companies and leaders to get the best from their people to create great rewarding workplaces for employees.

Barry Flack
Associate

Barry is our specialist in aligning HR interventions across the employee lifecycle that help create that sense of belonging, he supports us on recruitment, reward & recognition and talent management challenges.

He likes his HR technology, the spark of innovation that comes from collaborative working and bringing positive change to the workplace.

Wider team

We are all supported by specialist consultants, client services and logistics teams.

Our perspective

We love to share what we learn about belonging challenges and how to solve them.

Belonging Works

We dissect knotty issues in regular blogs at www.belongingworks.com

Belonging Interviews

We’ll be interviewing leaders and people from all kinds of organisations in our podcasts

Belonging News

We pull together a round-up of our opinion pieces, news about culture in business, interviews with business leaders and case studies of belonging in action in ‘Belonging Works’

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Let’s chat

Drop a line by email, or give us a call.
You’re welcome to come in and meet us to chat through over a cup of tea. Or come along to one of our discussions.

Call us

+44 (0) 207 833 6420

Pop in for tea

326 City Road, London, EC1V 2PT