Eliminating “Blame Game” to Build a High Performance Culture

Snowball Studios produces top quality, 3D animation and visual effects in HD for film, TV, computer games, commercials and mobile. Snowball delivers varied content, ranging from commercials for brand name clients such as Cartoon Film, NBC, and Cisco, to drama hits such as VIPO, the children's television series currently airing in over 140 countries.

Challenge

Snowball Studios’ team of over 100 in Israel includes many early-career creative professionals and fairly inexperienced managers. “We wanted a tool for them” to improve communication, address a blame game culture, and develop learning routines, explains Yael Trigoda, HR Manager. “There was a sense in the organization that we don’t learn from mistakes. Our teams felt that they are working and moving forward without stopping to look back, and if they do look back, conclusions aren’t really put into practice.”

Process

“We felt that Shamaym’s solution would allow us to put ourselves under a magnifying glass and enable a productive discourse in the organization”, says Yael. “We were impressed by Shamaym’s solution and believed it would contribute to our ability to improve and become more efficient. The focus on debriefing rather than investigating enables us to learn through reflection, instead of just focusing on blame - to look forward, constructively.”
Over the initial six months, Snowball Studios implemented Shamaym’s platform across 15 teams, training managers to build learning routines within their teams. “First and foremost, the program brought all client managers in the studio together in a unified learning group - that alone was impactful”, shares Yael. “Beyond that, the program created regular meetings for each department head with their team, a space for learning that did not previously exist. In that space we made an effort to use phrases like ‘I did’, ‘I learned’, ‘I feel’, and to refrain from using language of blame and finger pointing toward our colleagues.”

Results: "Every CEO's gift!"

Shamaym helped Snowball Studios build a high-performance culture that fosters healthy discourse of mistakes and learning led by managers, and built the learning routines and processes to ensure continuous improvement for the long-term - what CEO Yoni Cohen calls “every CEO’s gift!”.

Moving Away from the Blame Game
“Shamaym makes you stop for a moment, look at yourself, and think how to improve yourself and not blame others.” -Anonymous Snowball Employee

Increase in people who...

60% of employees believe their team considers the mistake itself and not the person who made it

25% of employees share mistakes with teammates

30% of employees acknowledge their share in a problem that arises at work, and do not blame others

38% of employees try to understand their mistakes so that they may correct them in the future

Building Team Learning Routines

“... a great way to introduce structure and routine to team learning. It… provided a solid platform to talk with the team regularly and produce productive solutions to various issues.” -Anonymous Snowball Employee

“The main issue is our weekly meetings routine, a weekly hour that’s dedicated for listening and learning with my producers. Shamaym created a forum for pleasant conversations on less pleasant topics and that's the way to efficient team work.” -Michal, Commercials Production

24% more team members believe collaboration leads to success

22% more team members tend to choose challenging tasks to learn from

Impact

The impact of Shamaym’s process at Snowball Studios is most apparent among managers and new employees. According to Yael, “new employees feel they are coming into an organization that invests resources and effort into learning and improvement. They sense an added value here, a desire to always improve and move forward.”

Matt, Head of Animation Department, said: “By opening up and showing my department that I’m willing to accept things I’ve done wrong/could improve on, I’ve given myself more leverage to push people to improve. I feel that with openness of flaws on my part I’m less of a talking head and my critique is taken more seriously.”

In accordance with Shamaym’s vision, 67% of Snowball Studios’ employees believe that the language of personal responsibility has positively impacted their personal life.

See Shamaym in Action!