Organization Workshop™ is a dynamic, fast-paced, 1-2 day experience for
20-50 people, combining a simulation, the “Organization Exercise,” with
conceptual inputs, personal reflection, and group discussions. The
workshop is designed for, and can accommodate, a wide variety of
participant groups -- intact teams, cross-functional groups, project
teams, executive and management teams, and start-up groups, among
others. Key internal and external customers and suppliers can also be
invited to participate, lending an additional level of “whole-system
The Organization Workshop™ focuses on the
empowerment of individuals and the organizations they care about, and
on the possibility of partnership within the work system, and with
customers and suppliers. The program provides unmistakably clear
information about some of the basic, dynamic forces that actually
prevent empowerment and partnership from thriving in the organization,
as well as insight and active learning and practice with the attitudes
and behaviors that can make it possible to have the kinds of
organizations that we all want.
program starts by guiding participants through a powerful, carefully
led organizational simulation, where they experience with striking
clarity the power dynamics surrounding interactions between different
positions within the
At the outset of the simulations each participant is “born” into one of
the essential organizational positions -- Top/Executive,
Middle/Manager, Bottom/Producer and Customer/Client.
The simulation is punctuated with brief sessions called “Times Out Of
Time,” which allow participants to step back and see how the system is
experienced from each part of the system involved in the simulation.
Theoretical inputs presented along with the exercises and debriefing
sessions add to participants understanding of their behaviors and
As the workshop unfolds, participants experience how “easy” it is to
simply react to hierarchical power issues that are disempowering, and
which detract from one's ability to make a real difference in the
organization. At the same time, those involved will have a number of
opportunities to experiment with alternative, empowering stands and
strategies that create experiences of real partnership and teamwork.
Two additional organizational simulations allow participants to look
further into the worlds of two other positions during the course of the
Finally, a set of powerful structured exercise assist participants in
finding specific ways to apply learnings to desirable long-term
personal, group and organizational.
Over the past ten years, the Organization Workshop™ has been conducted
with many thousands of employees from top to bottom in the widest
variety of organizations, from non-profits and small businesses, to
Fortune 100 multi-national companies -- manufacturing companies,
service industries, high technology, health care, the military,
government agencies, universities, and religious institutions.
In its use as a module in management development programs and as an
intervention in training and organization development projects, the
Organization Workshop™ consistently galvanizes, stimulates and
challenges participants to reach beyond their current ways of doing
business to new and creative ways of seeing the possibilities of
teamwork and partnership within the organization, and with customers
and suppliers .
By providing participants with a radically new and informative way of
seeing organizational life, the workshop can reawaken individual and
organizational dreams. Individuals and units that participate in the
workshop receive the kind of training it takes to make their
organizations more flexible, innovative and more customer oriented.
They learn more about what's required to bring higher quality products
and services to market in a shorter time.
Workshop Variations and Applications
its inherent value as an management and employee education tool, the
Organization Workshop™ has been used by client organizations as an
intervention to inquire into a variety of important and pressing system
The basic one-day simulation serves as a
template against which clients can study their reactions, concerns and
hopes about such issues as internal communication patterns, power
dynamics within the system, customer service issues, the alignment of
company values, employee satisfaction issues, middle management and
integration issues, and the
efficacy organizational design alternatives.
While continuing to utilize an organizational simulation as its primary
instructional building block, the two-day program adds additional
theoretical inputs which inquire into some of the deeper and more
essential day-to-day realities of self and system organization,
archetypes in system relationships and diversity in social systems. As
noted, participants also have ample opportunity to work on projects of
significance to their every-day work life, as well as to learn and
practice giving and receiving coaching from peers.
The Organization Workshop™ was a core element in Ashland Chemical
Company's “Simply The Best” management development program for over 800
managers, including participants from throughout Europe. The focus was
on the development of strategies for improved employee and customer
satisfaction and financial growth. The success of the program led to
the development of Organization
Workshop II: Global Consultants, Inc. (GCI)™ focusing on the
dynamics between top and middle management.