Link To Guest Website:

Title: “Designing, Launching, Maintaining, & Sustaining Teams”
Guests: Alexander & Janice Caillet – Corentus
Interviewer: Jonathan Freedman – MAGE LLC

Click here to read the transcript

Jonathan (0s):
Welcome back to Radio Entrepreneurs, I’m Jonathan Freedman and our next guests up are Janice and Alexander Caillet, Founders of Corentus Welcome to Radio Entrepreneurs.

Alexander (9s):
Thanks Jonathan.

Janice (9s):
Thanks Jonathan. Great to be here.

Jonathan (11s):
So tell us a little bit about your organization, what it is that you do?

Alexander (15s):
Go for it. So Corentus is a professional services firm, and instead of kid, it’s solely to team development and to end a set of services from the designing of teams to the launching of teams, to the Sustaining and the maintenance of teams all the way to their end. And we work with teams lie while they’re doing their real work. And we intervene with them as they do real work. So they can actually in the midst of their, again, their real work, they can make the kinds of modifications they need to improve themselves or strengthen their strengths.

Janice (53s):
Yes. So we’re actually sitting there at, during their meetings, during COVID we’re another box in the screen, but we’re there coaching them live when they’re in their meeting.

Alexander (1m 5s):
That’s right.

Jonathan (1m 6s):
Excellent. So it’s an interesting approach as opposed to observation and providing feedback after the fact you’re really doing it in real time. And how do, how do your clients adapt to that? Because I imagine at first it, it feels, it feels from the outside. It sounds a little bit like you’re almost in a rehearsal for a play, you know, or something live on live television. It’s like, you know, cut, let’s talk about what’s going on. Tell us, tell us how that plays out. And, and obviously you don’t want to take away from flow within a meeting and you want to accomplish that. So how have you managed to navigate those, those pieces for your clients that I would imagine after awhile, it becomes kind of natural for them.

Jonathan (1m 47s):
We’re going to expect that these guys are gonna give us feedback, but, but it really interesting approach that you really jump in as they’re, as they’re meeting.

Janice (1m 54s):
Yeah. There’s a lot of preparation that happens beforehand before we’re actually sitting in the meeting with them. There’s, there’s quite a bit of preparation that we do with the leader, as well as with the team to get them prepared for that, you know, for us to be able to lean in and provide feedback. Join.

Alexander (2m 14s):
Yeah, I mean, so, so what’s interesting is that many, many years ago, when we started this over 25 years ago, this idea of team coaching was nascent and most organizations weren’t ready for it, but today more and more organizations are ready for it. And, and the, and the way you prepare the client to do this, it takes time. Right? I think you’re right. It’s, there’s a whole upfront piece about interviewing the team and diagnosing and having them really tell you what they want to focus on. There’s a piece about maybe earliest stages facilitating and training until you get to a point where you can actually intervene. But we have found is actually most teams welcomed the opportunity to get good, neutral feedback on what’s happening in the room, from their ways of working their behaviors, the tools they use, and to be able to talk it with an eye towards improvement.

Alexander (3m 2s):
It’s not, it’s not a, it’s not a derogatory piece of work. It’s actually a very productive piece of work. And most teams would say, we’re finally talking about these things and because you intervened and gave us that real feedback on this, what we were able to make a decision solve a problem, move forward, communicate better. So there’s a real return that is aligned with the work they do to produce a result. And that’s where clients go, oh, that’s very different than team building or team training metaphorically or game-playing, which doesn’t produce the same result.

Jonathan (3m 35s):
What are some of the indicators or markers that you typically see in the teams that you work with? What are, what are they experiencing or having happened that they’re saying, you know, we need some guidance or assistance with us. Is there, is there some sort of typical signs or symptoms that that teams are going through?

Alexander (3m 55s):
And I take that. Sure. So yeah, there’s, there’s a wide range, but I would imagine, yeah, there’s a huge range. I would say you, you find teams that have found themselves stuck in a performance route. For some reason, they’re not able to move forward with more productivity or more innovation or really landing results on time. Something has happened to their performance where they’re stuck or they’re actually losing it. Another issue is when you, they notice that the communication and the trust has, has lessened or has actually become problematic.

Alexander (4m 37s):
And they know that there are issues in the team that they can along. The resolve. Another issue is, is when they start to notice that, you know, topics like decision-making and accountability and problem solving are no longer working. They’re not making clear decisions. They’re not holding each other accountable and they’re no longer able to solve problems. And the team has gone again, a little stagnant when those issues show up, one thought is to go do team building, which is analogies and metaphors. The other is, is to deal with it, live in the room to increase the performance that productivity or that sense of cohesion that gets the team operating again to the levels that it should be at.

Jonathan (5m 15s):
Do you find a lot of organizations sort of get into a rhythm in their team engagement team meetings, things of that nature that are comfort zones. And, and part of what you guys are trying to do is move them beyond their comfort zone and, and create productivity innovation. Because I think comfort zone equals in a lot of respects stagnation. Same-old, same-old

3 (5m 38s):
True. I think they were getting them to a new conference one, which they can work more harmonious together. You actually increase and achieve the goal. So sometimes the comfort zones in the series of morals, which they doesn’t help them achieve what they’re looking to achieve. So that’s, I would call that and David discomfort comfort in the moment because they’re so used to it because this is a normal routine as part of their culture, but there’s a big discomfort there because they’re not reaching the goals. They’re not working harmoniously. We can work with one another.

Alexander (6m 13s):
Yeah. Th th th you know, we know as human beings, we’re in a system, a group or a team, and we know that we’re not achieving our potential, or there are issues we’re not talking about, but we just know that it could be so different only if it sounds like a comfort zone. But I think with Janice says it’s a discomfort zone. And most human beings tend to not want to be a part of those systems. They tend to dread those meetings, not want to be a part of the team, start to lose the excitement and the buoyancy about being part of a system. So that just exacerbates the original piece. And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that those teams spiral down into lower and lower levels of performance, you know?

Alexander (6m 56s):

Jonathan (6m 56s):
We’ve done work with companies globally. And how, how is that evolution? What has that evolution been like? How does that happen? Is it predominantly within Europe or the companies throughout the world? And are you seeing in other cultures besides us cultures? Cause we are so global in a sense that there’s an openness towards team development. You know, now, now when you start talking about different countries, you’re talking about cultural aspects that are quite different in terms of norms and how people conduct themselves. I would imagine in teams and in meetings. So do you see big differences in various places where you’ve been working versus what you may see in a, you know, sort of typical, whatever that means U S based company?

Alexander (7m 45s):
Yes. I mean, I think first of all, team development is, is expanding around the world. I think our recent movement towards the more digital interfaces we’re having here has offered organizations and opportunity to expand the number of people they work with and to expand the diversity globally of who they’re working with. So we are seeing a need for organizations to actually be able to work more collectively in teams and groups globally. I would say though, that, so team development, I, I, we’ve done team development in over 30 countries and it’s on all five continents team development has always been there.

Alexander (8m 25s):
Some, some countries are more prone towards the team building than the team coaching. I would say that team coaching, this idea of intervening time is not for every culture and is not for every nationality. There are some that might find that a little too confronting and a little too public and might shy away. It might ask you more to facilitate versus get that like feedback. Other countries might say, give us the feedback afterwards or give it to the leader. We do find that in the United States, many organizations are ready for this. And many organizations in Europe are as well, but it’s not global at the same level today.

Jonathan (9m 4s):
Hmm. That’s interesting. So you really need to adapt, and I would imagine that’s the way you do your upfront work in terms of laying things out from a process perspective and understanding where their comfort zones are, what their, their culture indicates is, is the approach that they prefer to take so fascinating to see how those differences play out.

Alexander (9m 23s):
Yeah. And, you know, team training, training on tools and frameworks, team consulting, team facilitation are fully legitimate and valid ways to do team development. And if that’s what you need to do or start with before you get to a team coaching intervention, that’s fine. As you say, make sure you understand where you are, understand your context and meet your clients where they’re at. That’s really important.

Jonathan (9m 46s):
I have you been in, in situations or have you had success in situations where you’re working at multiple levels of an organization with teams throughout an organization? Is that something that is, is an evolution that a lot of companies do? Cause I think people come to the, you know, come to the tape perhaps with the notion that, oh, this is only for executive teams, but are, do you work with functional teams through organizations and, and apply it vertically and horizontally?

3 (10m 13s):
Yeah, absolutely. We do. We do prefer to start at the executive team because they’re the role model. They’re the ones that people actually look up to hang on the team, but that’s the, that’s the best place to start. And then we work, you know, we work with HR and work with people, you know, across the organization. We also work on the board level. So, so even starting at the executive team and then secondarily working with the organization on the board where you actually start infecting the culture with say accountability or better decision-making or better collaboration.

Alexander (10m 49s):
Yeah. We’re, we’re in a couple of systems now where we’re at the executive level. And then the executives on that team have taken this into their functions or business units and they’re working with their leadership teams and then that’s even cascaded down to what you might call management teams. Th the, the really great thing about this is when an individual has seen you do this work and understands how to intervene and jump in, they can actually start doing it for their own teams. So when you, when, when you actually, you really win the game, when your clients can do this on their own, and the power of team coaching is you no longer are co-dependent on an external consultant, facilitator trainer, you understand this idea of self observation, creating self-awareness creating self-regulation, which is transformation when clients can self observe to become self-aware and self-regulate then no longer need the external, they can do it themselves.

Alexander (11m 48s):
And that happens as the system cascades, this work down through itself.

Jonathan (11m 53s):
Interesting. It’s well, it’s, it’s I guess the, the ultimate objective work your way out of an opportunity to work with the client, right? That means you’ve been successful. Know they, they, they, they can do it on their own fabulous stuff. In terms of, you know, the, the, the length of, of, of process. Is this something that a company’s engaged for typically for a six month, 12 month? I know not one size fits all, but it’s, it’s a ongoing process processes to talk about until they can walk on their own. So to speak, probably run on their own in most cases. But what’s, what’s the typical engagement timeframe look like again, probably nothing typical, right?

Alexander (12m 37s):
It is, but we can average it out. I mean, it’s there as short as three months, they’d been as long as a year and a half, I would say an average is about six to nine months would be right about nine months. A clients are really starting to understand what you’re doing and they’re able to start moving without you. And they’ll generally ask you to think we got it. We got it.

Jonathan (13m 0s):
And is there a scale of team that’s necessary? Do they need to have a certain number of members on the team or does it work with very small? You know, if you have a leadership team that’s three or four people, does it work versus, you know, needing nine or 10 around a table, two to three, two to three, Tell him to stop talking. What do you problem when they’re talking to themselves all day long,

Alexander (13m 29s):
These are great questions, really great questions. We would say that there’s a distinction in size. When you go from being a team to a group, when you start getting beyond the 10 or 11, 12 person size, you’re probably shifting away from what we would call a team size to working group size and larger group sizes. Team coaching tends to be more challenging at those sizes, not impossible, but when you’ve got teams that are around the seven to 10, that’s ideal, really nice size group, because then you can work enough of the challenges within that. Everybody can participate and engage. And as much bigger than that, you know, you might have individuals who step out or hide from the process.

Jonathan (14m 13s):
Excellent. Makes perfect sense. Our guests have been Alexander and Janice <inaudible> founders of Corentus. If people want to get in touch with you, learn more about your services and how to work with you, what’s the best way for them to reach out to you.

3 (14m 25s):
We prefer the director part. So please deferred emails that engage us at correct. A Stefan. So the N G a G E D S C O R E N T S.

Alexander (14m 37s):
Yes, actually, we answered those. We answer those.

Jonathan (14m 42s):
Nice, nice to hear that in today’s world, you never know, right? Send off an email. And why has it been three days? And I haven’t heard back

Alexander (14m 48s):
Exactly. And our whole team, by the way, our whole company, we are

Jonathan (14m 52s):
More than two. Excellent. Well, it’s been a pleasure having you on learning about your company. Our guests have been Alexander Janice Kia of Corentus. It’s been a pleasure having you on Radio Entrepreneurs. Thank you so much. That’s great. And we’ll be right back with another segment on Radio Entrepreneurs.

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