DTS Success Stories: MAKE Architects

I love what I do and every now and again, a really special job comes along that is the icing on the cake ...

A project for Make Architects called 'The Make Way' is precisely one of those jobs. Before I tell you more about the workshop, you need to know how special and different Make is as a practice.

Make's founder, Ken Shuttleworth, set up the practice in 2004 with a vision for a workplace that had a studio atmosphere with a flat hierarchy. Key to his vision was a sustainable business model that is 100% employee-owned, where the profits are shared each year.

"He wanted to create a fair and stimulating working environment!

This means that an individual's work is both acknowledged and appreciated, and most importantly, vocalised; a studio that recognises the value of its employees and attracts and keeps the most talented people.

Ken is the principal guardian of this unique culture, and he interviews everyone that comes through the door and leads by example to maintain a united, open and communication-rich atmosphere. As guardian, he keeps Make Make!

And of course, they also design buildings that enhance the world around them and the lives of their users. They approach every project with fresh vitality and a spirit of relentless curiosity. So it is no surprise that they wanted to invest in their people's personal development. This meant creating a totally bespoke workshop for them that reminded everyone of the companies guiding principles as well as giving them a voice on what Make was in terms of behaviour.

"They also wanted it to be dynamic, different and creative just like them!

So we looked to Tarrantino for inspiration, and I don't mean as in blood and thunder, but using consequential theatre to show the end result of something going wrong.

Participants were able to look at the touchpoints along the way, and change their behaviours towards a happier outcome. Added to this, they took part in discussions around respect, trust, empathy and their idea of one practice to create a sense of inclusion for the studios in Sydney and Hong Kong.

They also wanted to build on an already positive working environment making it even better. The course ended with a challenging and extremely satisfying team game, which relies on every single member of the team communicating, collaborating and challenging each other. It goes without saying that all groups have smashed it!

Why did I love this project so much? Because it's about being human, and people working with each other to create an open, transparent and respectful community where everyone has an equal voice and is valued no matter what their role. This has got to be one of the best ways to retain talent and grow business in a very competitive market place!


If you're interested in training that sticks for your brand, do call me on 01908 511 062 or leave a comment below and let's see how I can help you.