Special Interest Roundtable Groups


This roundtable is designed for team leaders at any level, with varying years of experience. Whether you are new to team leadership, or you have been leading an in-tact team for years, the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team roundtable will offer new insights, tools and best practices for immediate application.

Experience Overview

One strategy to engage and retain your workforce and achieve exceptional results is to ensure cohesion and strong performance at the team level. Based on Patrick Lencioni’s NY Times Best-Seller, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, roundtable participants will use time in this roundtable group to explore the following five critical behaviors that build a cohesive team: 

  1. Trust one another
  2. Engage in conflict around ideas
  3. Commit to decisions
  4. Focus on achieving collective results
  5. Hold one another accountable

Some shared best practices, tools and discussion prompts will encourage participants to identify the behaviors of greatest need for the teams they lead. In this five-month interactive roundtable setting, participants will also gain insights into how other team leaders are working to build each behavior within their teams. Specific focus areas will be explored, and each participant will conclude the roundtable with an action plan to produce better team results.

Session 1: “Building Trust” (2-hours)

At the foundation of every cohesive team is the presence of trust. In the presence of trust, team members are willing to be completely vulnerable with one another. To be vulnerable, members need to be confident that their peers’ intentions are good. In this roundtable, we will explore what vulnerability-based trust means, discuss some trust-building strategies and explore what may be needed for greater trust to exist on your team. Additional time is built into this roundtable session to meet the participants and build trust among the group before engaging in the program.

Session 2: “Engaging in Healthy Conflict” (90-minutes)

Effective teams understand the value of engaging in healthy conflict. But conflict, and how it is handled, often falls upon each person’s comfort level with it. To have productive conflict on a team, members need to recognize that while individuals may feel differently about it, the focus must be on concepts and ideas; mean-spirited and personal attacks must always be avoided; and there needs to be a team culture that supports the sharing of different perspectives. In this session, we’ll discuss how your team members voice their opinions, solicit one another’s ideas and confront/deal with issues before moving on.

Session 3: “Committing to Decisions” (90-minutes)

Have you ever debriefed a meeting with a co-worker and realized that you both walked away from the discussion with a different idea about next steps? Effective teams can only commit to actions when there is clarity around decisions. Clarity and commitment require complete buy-in from the team. In this session, participants will be introduced to a process called Appreciative Inquiry. Appreciative Inquiry is a framework that can be used to have exploratory, collaborative conversation, resulting in a preferred and productive way forward. We’ll explore how the framework can be used with your team to create buy-in for an upcoming effort and result in members committing to decisions.

Session 4: “Accountability is Key” (90-minutes)

It has been said that the single greatest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place. For effective teams to hold one another accountable, they need to provide timely and meaningful communication in the form of feedback. Team members need to be willing to call their peers on performance or behaviors that might hurt the team. In this session, we’ll introduce you to a structure that empowers team members to provide and solicit ongoing feedback. We’ll also discuss how you may modify the structure to work for your team dynamic.

Session 5: “Driven by Results” (90-minutes)

When a cohesive team has mastered the first four behaviors (trust, conflict, commitment and accountability), collective team results will often naturally follow since each layer of the model builds upon the previous. The key focus here is the emphasis on the word “collective” results, versus team members only focusing on individual results. Roundtable participants will explore and share strategies for keeping teams focused on collective results. We will also spend time reviewing the first four behaviors and deciding which one or two need the greatest attention to make your team more effective. Participants will build an action plan and leave feeling empowered to act with a detailed roadmap for success.

Outlined Schedule

The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team roundtable group will be hosted July – November 2023.  See the dates and times below.


Session 1: August 16, 2023; 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST
Session 2: September 13, 2023; 12 – 1:30 p.m. EST
Session 3: October 18, 2023; 12 – 1:30 p.m. EST
Session 4: November 15, 2023; 12 – 1:30 p.m. EST
Session 5: December 13, 2023; 12 – 1:30 p.m. EST


$1,300 per participant


Enrollment for this roundtable is now closed. Contact us at info@corewaterleaders.org if you would like additional information.


Executive leaders in the Executive Director/GM role or members of the executive leadership team who directly influence workforce vision and strategies. The ideal participants are motivated by a curiosity to find creative solutions and can move those solutions forward at their organizations.

Note: Enrollment in this roundtable is limited to Public Agency and Public Utility Affiliate members only.

Experience Overview

The Leading a Transformative Workforce roundtable is designed to bring together executive leaders who are searching for a peer network and safe zone to discuss common challenges and desired opportunities as they relate to attracting, developing, engaging and retaining their workforce. The five-month, virtual roundtable format will provide a blend of light learning material, along with substantial peer-to-peer dialogue and best practice sharing to help develop a bond rooted in shared experiences and strategies for success. 

Session 1: “Driven by Diversity” (Topic DEIB) – 90 minutes

During this first session, we will introduce and discuss the full talent lifecycle and set expectations for the entire series. From there, we’ll dive into our first topic: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB). An intentional focus on driving DEIB throughout the organization leads to a stronger workforce on many levels – improved thinking, more collaborative solutions, deepened engagement, greater creativity and ultimately better outcomes for the communities and customers being served. During this session, the discussion will focus on:

  • Understanding the full talent lifecycle and its key components
  • Fostering a workplace of connection and belonging
  • Recognizing and minimizing the unconscious biases and systematic policies and practices that could lead to inequitable employment experiences

Session 2: “Operating Hybrid for the Long-term” (Topic: Remote Work) – 90 minutes

Although already commonplace in many other industries pre-COVID, the clean water sector was forced into a remote work model during the pandemic. Fast forward a few years later – some utilities are never looking back and have gone so far as to make certain positions permanently remote. At the very least, nearly all utilities are exploring internal policies that support more flexible work options. Regardless of where your organization falls on this spectrum, this session will focus on a few critical leadership conversations that accompany this transformation including:

  • Ensuring a cohesive culture through strong communication, shared alignment, and trust
  • Providing structure, amongst the flexibility, that supports high performance
  • Leveraging remote work options as a strategic tool to win the war on talent

Session 3: “Clean Water is the Place to Be!” (Talent Attraction) – 90 minutes

We all know that a clean water career is full of meaning, opportunity, and interesting work, now how do we reach potential future employees with that message and make clean water the place to be?  This roundtable discussion will focus on talent attraction strategies – those that pull at the heart strings, but also those that appeal to the practical/functional desires of the potential workforce. Roundtable participants will focus their conversations on:

  • Tailoring attraction strategies to a variety of intended audiences (next generation, retirees, temporary/project-based, parents returning to work after extended time away, and more)
  • Key messaging, content types, and channels that elevate the opportunities within clean water careers
  • Attracting current employees to new roles (internal mobility)

Session 4: “Creating a ‘Sticky’ Workplace” (Talent Engagement and Retention) – 90 minutes

Getting talent in the door is a big first step, but keeping them around requires a strategic, long-term commitment. This roundtable discussion will focus on how to keep your talent through “sticky” engagement and retention strategies. How can you create a ‘best place to work’ – a workplace where employees aren’t wondering if the grass is greener elsewhere and are fully committed to their work within your organization? Key topics for this session of the series include:

  • Engagement strategies tailored toward different generations in today’s workforce (as well as those tried and true for any age)
  • How career planning and clear pathways can fuel personal visions to stay with your organization for the long-term
  • Trends with total compensation strategies that lead to strong retention

Session 5: “Never Stop Growing” (Topic: Talent Development) – 90 minutes

The importance of continuous learning and development can’t be understated for the long-term success of your organization’s operations. Given the pace of change in today’s workplace and the use of emerging technologies, there is never a lack of learning that needs to take place to perform our jobs well. During this final roundtable of the series, our conversations will focus on:

  • Supporting learning agility across the organization that equips the workforce to keep up with the pace of change
  • Using re-skilling (lateral learning) and up-skilling (advanced learning) as career development tools
  • Proactively preparing for succession across all levels of the organization to help prepare for role transitions

Outlined Schedule

The Leading a Transformative Workforce roundtable group will be hosted September 2023 – January 2024.  See the dates and times below.

Roundtable Session Dates:

Session 1: September 21, 2023; 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EST

Session 2: October 19, 2023; 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EST

Session 3: November 16, 2023; 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EST

Session 4: December 14, 2023; 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EST

Session 5: January 18, 2024; 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EST


$1,300 per participant.


Enrollment for this roundtable is now closed. Please contact info@corewaterleaders.org if you would like additional information.

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