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Change Facilitation

A Case Study of Transformative Workshop

21st of November 2023 – 09:00 17:00 – Fellbach

Change is both challenging and necessary, especially in dynamic work environments like housing cooperatives. Recently, I had the opportunity to facilitate a workshop for a unique team grappling with the transition to a new managing board and simmering internal conflicts.

The transformative workshop setting

The cooperative consisted of a managing director and eight employees with diverse roles, ranging from accounting to legal services. The need for change was evident, as the cooperative was on the cusp of a new era under different leadership.

Initial challenges before the workshop

The new managing director had been in her role for two years, collaborating closely with the former director who was on the brink of retirement. During this transition period, she immersed herself in learning about the company and uncovered several team conflicts and areas of employee dissatisfaction. Employees often approached her with problems she believed they should resolve independently. She aimed to demonstrate a different leadership style: one that is innovative and inclusive, treating employees as responsible adults capable of making decisions within their areas of expertise.

Transformative Workshop Strategy: Engaging and Analyzing

The workshop began with a unique exercise: the ‘cameraman team’ activity. Participants were asked to imagine a film crew had followed them for a year, capturing their interactions. This imaginative scenario encouraged them to objectively look for facts and reflect on their actions and interactions within the team.

In the next phase, we delved into a root cause analysis, conducted in two groups. This method allowed participants to dissect the issues layer by layer, fostering a deeper understanding of the underlying problems.

Overcoming Initial Hesitations

Initially, the participants were reserved. It’s natural in such settings, where people are accustomed to guarding their opinions. However, as they engaged in the analysis, they began to identify external factors and other team members as the sources of problems. This is where I intervened, reminding them of the limitations of their perspectives and steering the focus away from blame and towards solutions.

The Walt Disney Method: Imagining Possibilities during a transformative workshop

The atmosphere shifted dramatically as we employed the Walt Disney method. This phase of the workshop was marked by laughter and creativity, with the team brainstorming in a space of limitless possibilities. They built upon each other’s ideas, breaking down barriers and fostering a collaborative spirit.

Tangible Outcomes at the end of the workshop

The immediate outcome was a decision to work with a third party to manage external calls, ensuring effective and streamlined communication. This practical solution addressed one of the core issues identified during the workshop. Furthermore, they planned a follow-up meeting with the Vorstand to sustain the momentum.

Personal Reflections: The Power of Open-Ended Questions

This experience reaffirmed my belief in the power of open-ended questions. Such questions open minds and invite diverse perspectives. Additionally, allowing space for people to express their frustrations while reminding them to focus on the situation rather than individuals proved vital in shifting the group’s dynamics from conflict to collaboration.

Conclusion: A Step Towards Inclusive and Effective Change

This workshop was a step towards fostering inclusive and effective change within the cooperative. It highlighted the importance of understanding, collaboration, and open-mindedness in navigating transitional periods in any organization.

Ready to transform your team's dynamics? Let's Talk!

Eager to explore how such transformative workshops can benefit your organization? Whether you’re facing internal conflicts, transitioning leadership, or simply seeking to enhance team collaboration, I’m here to facilitate the journey.

I invite you to reach out with your questions, challenges, and aspirations. Together, we can tailor a workshop that addresses your unique needs and fosters a culture of cooperation and innovation.

Email me at; let’s start a conversation that could redefine the way your team works and excels.

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