Playing by the rules

In June Crelos were asked by Duke CE to partner with them to facilitate an Executive Team event for Novartis Pharmaceutical UK Ltd around ‘Creating Success’.

The resulting session was an exciting, interactive event using basketball to create an environment by which participants were required to work outside of their comfort zones, confront their fears and rapidly develop new skills.

The objectives of the programme were to:


What did the session include:

The session took the form of skill and technique drills both alone and in teams, a “cut throat” competition to quickly add pressure, increase emotion and experience an environment where the rules change, and a “mini tournament” to practice the skills and behaviours in a competitive situation that have been developed during the session. After each session there is a thorough briefing to focus participants on learning from their experience and their emotional, physical and physiological reactions and to apply learning back in to the work environment.

Feedback from participants
“For me the event was life-changing. I had always considered myself not at all sporting. At school I was never picked for the team. In the space of an afternoon, I learnt to love the game of basketball”. Female leader, Women’s Leadership Programme.

“I learnt a lot about myself. This experience taught me about negative self-talk. I didn’t realise how much it was holding me back. Now I know that most people experience this, not just me, I feel confident that I will be able to do more”. Participant, Crelos Sport for Leaders event.

Why Crelos?
We were asked to get involved because of our consultants’ backgrounds in high performance sport and our specific methodology and expertise at using sport as a vehicle for accelerating behavioural change.

Our methodology includes:



Which sport is best to help you to overcome your challenges?
Below are some examples, but we can turn our hand to most sports, depending on your challenges and preferences.

Best for
  • Experiencing sport as an ‘emotional game’ that extends its reach beyond the soccer pitch in to the hearts of a nation.
  • Understanding basic tribal behaviour at its best and worst.
  • Engineering a competitive environment.
  • Timely (World Cup).
  • Popular sport, known by all.
  • Relatively easy to source venue.
  • Too much prior, varied experience of soccer.
  • Gender difficulties – may be less engaging for women.
  • Does soccer have appropriate role models, ethics?
  • Harder to source soccer coaches with good business/commercial understanding.


Best for
  • Physical embodiment of “we are in the same boat”.
  • Particularly good for developing intra and inter-team communication skills - particularly comparisons with cross-regional communications issue.
  • Excellent demonstration of our one person can change a group dynamic.
  • Rowing is a global sport with good examples of high performers in all three regions - NA; GB; Asia. It is a high performance British sport.
  • Rowing has developed some great role models and “spokes people”.
  • “Level playing field” as most participants will not have rowed before.
  • Programme venue needs to be relatively close to water (Eton College Rowing Lake is the best location close to London).


Best for
  • The speed and simplicity of the game demands a really positive team culture. Can be used to demonstrate how to build a positive team environment quickly.
  • A fast moving sport with a small number of very specific rules – the stress, emotion and therefore strategies for rapidly building teams and building skills.
  • Fastest growing sport globally.
  • “Level playing field” – unlikely that participants will have played much before.
  • Applicable across genders.
  • Fairly easy to source good venues.
  • Possibly feels too “American”?


If you would be interested in Crelos supporting you to develop your own sporting challenge, or simply finding out more please contact  Elizabeth Ferguson on mobile 07795 232414, email