Learning can be fun – an endorsement by the OETU

OETU Retreat: All the fun and twice the learning!

Some 28 Organisational Excellence Transformation Unit (OETU) secondees across two batches spent the day at the Bukit Timah Campus learning new skills relevant to their work areas besides getting to know each other better at the OETU Retreat on 12 December 2019. It was a retreat which had all the fun and twice the learning!

Learning Day, part of the OETU Retreat programme, embraces the NUS spirit of lifelong learning and skills upgrading. Conducted by OETU members who had benefitted from training, the sessions were tailored to the University’s settings and applicable for the team.


Warming up with team games before Belbin analysis

Team members received an in-depth analysis of their Belbin Team Roles, a profiling tool comprising nine unique roles that underscore team success. Dr Meredith Belbin, an authority in team behaviour since 1969, introduced the Team Role theory in his seminal book, “Management Teams: Why They Succeed or Fail”. He famously observed that people in teams tend to assume different “team roles”, where a team role is defined as a tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way. By identifying an individual’s unique set of roles, an organisation can assign tasks based on key strengths, be aware of role gaps or overlaps, and increase workplace harmony.

Facilitated by Ms Alicia Wong, Mr Jimmy Oh and Ms Seet Li Peng who are accredited Belbin trainers, the team discovered their strengths and learned more about their individual selves from colleagues via the Belbin individual reports. The feedback was candid and revealed blind spots, with recommendations on how one can progress, such as “should speak up more” and “be a better team player”. Dr Shaun Ho, OETU Director, also shared his positive experience on restructuring organisational units effectively drawing on Belbin profiles. 

In another session, Mr Royston Chiew, a Prosci Change Practitioner led participants through change management strategies and how these apply to new initiatives being introduced at NUS. Important takeaways included how change should focus on people and encompass awareness of those affected by change, as well as effective communication on new practices.  The team also reflected on the high number of initiatives being introduced across the University, and reiterated how the project teams need to approach the change implementation with sensitivity.

Some members of the pioneer cohort of staff secondees and management associates have since been redeployed to Faculties and Schools to take on the role of “change agents”. These change makers represent the University’s long-term vision of inspiring continuous improvement and journey towards a best-in-class administration.


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