City of Edinburgh Council

Maximillion was commissioned to facilitate a suite of team-based events for the management and staff of Edinburgh Waste Services. Designed as a launch vehicle the event aimed to engage staff with the key pledges, objectives and underpinning messages of the organisation change initiative – “Aiming for Excellence”. Aiming for Excellence was conceived to support the Service in its transition from a ‘waste collection and landfill’ service to a cleaner, greener more responsible function with a focus on customer service, efficiency & teamwork. The aims of the programme and its implications and applications back in the workplace were to motivate Waste Service staff to ensure the delivery of an efficient and cost-effective waste service, properly equipped to meet the challenges facing the local authority over the coming years.

 Event Detail

  • Venue: Kirknewton Stables, West Lothian
  • Format: Team – based development incorporating TeamWorks Out experiential team-based challenges, Kinetic Connections, facilitated input sessions from Service management and opportunities for discussion and review
  • Guests: 624 participants – a multidisciplinary mix of Service operatives and management
  • Duration: 26 x one day events


The team development objectives were aligned with the Aiming to Excellence pledges and key messages:

  • Deliver one-day team building events to sensitise staff to the need for change and raise awareness of individual and collective contribution to the delivery of an efficient and cost-effective service.
  • Engage staff with key Service pledges of; teamwork; everybody taking responsibility; being the best; being an ambassador to the Service; being passionate about service; keeping promises.


The day started with an initial Management positioning presentation which explained the rationale for programme, created the context and set ground rules. Each group, working as independent sub-teams, then rotated around four outdoor activities which were selected to get the participants thinking about teamwork, the process of change and thinking outside the box. Activities were overseen by a Waste Services Manager/Facilitator and reviewed in light of the organisational context. In the afternoon, the focus shifted and the whole group worked together on a Kinetic Connections task, which was selected as a strong metaphor for organisational working. It assisted in breaking down barriers between individuals or teams, drawing teams together to achieve a shared goal. With little information and no initial direction, only the combined efforts of every individual member of the group made the achievement of the task possible. Success was achieved if all tasks were completed to specification and on time; it was not competitive and needed co-operation, collaboration and a ‘silo-busting’ approach!  Through the regular activity time-outs and the final review phase, the group was encouraged to make links to the values and objectives of Edinburgh Waste Services and key ideas and actions were captured for further discussion and implementation.


Out of 624 participants, 85% were either happy or delighted with the scope and content of the programme. Although there was some initial resistance expressed by a certain core of participants to the benefits of team building back in the workplace, the overall participant feedback by the end of each programme day demonstrated that the day was time and money well spent.

Overall a successful programme – a catalyst for people wanting to better themselves across the service and an opportunity to start process of embedding outputs and outcomes back in workplace.

Feedback from sponsor and participants

“Very clear explanations of how tasks related to work”, “A worthwhile exercise and something that’s good for morale at work”, “All presenters / trainers were of the highest quality”, “Everyone was dreading it but thoroughly enjoyed it”, “Really enjoyable. Learnt a lot. Much to take back to the ground”