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Clients say...

The great thing about the Dolphin Index is the opportunity to benchmark your climate against the world outside - and get feedback that says 'It doesn't have to be like that!'

David Mayle, Head of the Open University Business School's Centre for Innovation, Knowledge & Enterprise

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What follows below is an example of a comprehensive follow through to a Dolphin Index Report.  Obviously clients may wish to take the report only and not proceed with any interventions.



We help your top team decide on their focus for innovation


  • The innovation imperative
  • How innovation fits with your strategy
  • Traditional innovation and Total Innovation Management
  • Where you want more innovation
  • Where you do not want innovation




We help your leaders understand how they lead for innovation


Core models:

  • The Dolphin Hypothesis
  • Growth versus fixed mind-set
  • The Control Creativity Continuum
  • White, Grey, Blue, Red, Green Stages of ‘Ideas into Action’
  • Empowerment within a Framework
  • Coaching culture



We help your people develop the mind-sets and behaviours that create a more creative and innovative workplace



People are committed to the organization and work is viewed as stimulating and engaging

  • How to build rational and emotional commitment
  • The three types of motivation
  • The limitations of extrinsic motivation
  • Why intrinsic motivation wins the day
  • How to increase levels of autonomy
  • Empowering people within a framework
  • Forever increasing levels of mastery
  • Creating purpose beyond profit



People are empowered to make their own decisions, for example about prioritising their work. In low freedom environments there is close and conspicuous supervision

  • The dangers of Empowerment without controls
  • How the Empowerment within a Framework model works in life, at home, at work
  • Learning Can-Do thinking and unlearning Can’t-Do thinking


Idea support

Organizational support and encouragement for the development of

new ideas and suggestions for improvements

  • Introducing the Creative-Critical Listening continuum
  • Understanding the Blue universe
  • Listening in the Blue universe
  • Talking in the Blue universe
  • Learning when to ‘yes…and’, ‘yes…but…and’ and when to ‘yes…but’
  • How to ‘fully bake’ the ‘half-baked’


Positive relationships

There are positive, trusting, friendly, interpersonal relationships between people, rather than negative (e.g. hostile, conflicting) ones

  • Ingroups, outgroups and tribes
  • The power of understanding more of other people’s worlds
  • Mindscaping and heartscaping
  • Dealing with tough issues whilst retaining positive relationships
  • The application of Appreciative Inquiry



Work is exciting and dynamic, not static nor boring

  • Aligning intrinsic motivation with job requirements
  • How to keep moving up the learning curve
  • Redesigning your job for your own and another’s motivation
  • FedEx days




Refers to levels of light-heartedness and fun in the work place. Work environments low on playfulness may be seen as dour and humourless

  • Understanding the links between play and creativity
  • Creating stimulating work environments
  • Using image, colour and heartfelt language – the end of ‘biz speak’


Idea proliferation

People at work are perceived as having innovative ideas about, and varied perspectives towards, their work

  • Why everyone is creative
  • Understanding the value of evolutionary/better ideas and revolutionary/different ideas
  • Slow and fast creativity
  • The value of ‘incubation’ – how to build into your own and others’ creative thinking
  • The value of diversity
  • The value of new learning – even when it appears to have no relevance
  • Blue thinking tools
  • Creating creative environments
  • Idea Management software


Idea time

Employees perceive that there is time for producing and developing new ideas

  • Creating ‘blue time’ for all
  • Why time out is not time off
  • Creating ‘blue’ spaces
  • Dedicating some ‘blue resources’



High stress work environments are defined as those in which other individuals are observed to be highly stressed and encountering heavy workloads

  • Making sure you work in and stay ‘in the zone’ – the Yerkes-Dodson Law of Arousal
  • The zone within the zone - state of ‘Flow’
  • Signs of and how to deal with under-stress and over-stress in self and others
  • The three laws of time management
  • Prioritising and delegating
  • Living for well-being


Risk taking

Higher risk-taking environments are thought to promote the speed at which new ideas are implemented. Low risk-taking environments are likely to be characterised by excessive use of formal rules and procedures

  • Understanding where ‘mistakes’ and ‘failures’ are glorious - and where they are catastrophic and always to be avoided
  • Living the Can-Do model of empowerment so as to encourage sensible experimentation and avoid catastrophic or stupid mistakes
  • The vital importance of applauding glorious mistakes/failures and capturing and sharing the learning
  • If you need to risk, how to take some of the risk out of risk


Shared view

The extent to which there are open and adequate communications between more and less senior employees. Work environments where there is an 'us' culture rather than an 'us and them' culture

  • Do we talk about ‘we’ or ‘they’?
  • The emergence of the ‘rigid digit’ – ‘they, them, the business, head office, the system etc.’
  • Forever flattening the organizational pyramid
  • Identification and elimination of status symbols
  • The new ‘rules of the game’ – speaking up and constructive dissent


Pay and Work recognition

Pay recognition refers to satisfaction with pay and conditions. Do people feel fairly remunerated for their work - or at worst, feel exploited? Work recognition refers to whether people feel that they receive credit and praise for their achievements? Or do they feel undervalued?

  • If you can, pay well and then focus on intrinsic motivation
  • Encourage multidimensional recognition
  • Create more opportunities for work recognition
  • Positively recognise glorious failure




Can be taken to assess the effectiveness of the above interventions.



Tag Cloud


Having looked at several practitioners of the Ekvall criteria, I have been delighted to work with Mark and the Dolphin Organization to evaluate BBI’s culture for change and creativity. Mark has combined excellent, pragmatic business realism, with the passion to drive 21st century business growth, and he communicates this in a way that has engaged every level of the business and been truly inspirational. If you are looking to the future for you and your business, you need to do this!

Peter Corish, Head of Business Development, BBI Group

The great thing about the Dolphin Index is the opportunity to benchmark your climate against the world outside - and get feedback that says 'It doesn't have to be like that!'

David Mayle, Head of the Open University Business School's Centre for Innovation, Knowledge & Enterprise

The Dolphin Index is a really useful tool for clearly identifying our strengths and areas for improvement.

Jo North, Commercial Director, Northern Rail

The Dolphin Index has been an important tool in Nestle Rowntree’s strategy to develop a broad innovation culture across the business and to remove the mystique that so often surrounds creativity and innovation.

Creativity Development Manager, Nestle Rowntree

The Dolphin Index is the ideal tool for assessing your climate and so for understanding the levers to pull so as to make the enterprise more dynamic, innovative and successful.

Nick Gurney, Former CEO Bristol City Council

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