The Organization Workshop on Creating Partnership
Why the Organization Workshop?
Organizations, despite having worthy missions and committed and talented people, regularly fall into painful, dysfunctional patterns – strained relationships, misunderstandings, lost opportunities, and diminished effectiveness. For hundreds of organizations across the globe the Organization Workshop regularly:
- demonstrates how, despite people’s best intentions, these dysfunctional patterns keep occurring, and why the usual solutions don’t work, and
- it provides concrete and practical strategies for creating and sustaining satisfying, creative, and productive partnerships among all stakeholders. And it produces lasting results!
How does the Organization Workshop work?
- An organization is created. Participants quickly find themselves in different positions: some become top executives, others front line workers, others supervisors or middle managers. In the organization’s environment there are groups and agencies looking to organization for service.
- The action is fast-paced. Life becomes very real very fast, including the regularly recurring stresses, misunderstandings, and frustrations of daily organization life.
- There are periodic time-outs during which people from all parts of the system come together and listen to one another as they share their experiences of what life is like for them in their worlds. An incredibly illuminating period, as people’s rumors, myths, and misunderstandings dissolve in the presence of transparency.
- New language and frameworks for understanding organizational life are introduced along with lifelong strategies for creating and sustaining satisfying, creative, and productive partnerships. (The language and frameworks stay with participants long after the workshop has ended.)
What does the Organization Workshop accomplish?
- Increased appreciation for the difficult issues people in different positions are dealing with
- Less blame and finger-pointing. More acceptance of personal responsibility
- Less destructive competition and conflict
- More joy in the work
- Renewed energy focused on doing the important work of the organization
- More ease in working across organizational lines
Clear and practical strategies for building satisfying and productive partnerships
produces lasting results!
The When Cultures Meet Workshop
Why When Cultures Meet?
Bringing together diverse cultures, and capitalizing on the various gifts each brings, is the key to creating healthy, durable human organizations and communities. Yet the meeting of diverse cultures too often results in destructive conflicts, unresolved issues, the suppression of one culture by another, WE versus THEM attitudes, wasted energies, and lost possibilities.
WCM clarifies the deep emotional issues that come into play as cultures meet, the challenges faced by all parties. WCM offers no simplified answers to these challenging processes, but it does provide a deep emotional understanding of the personal challenges involved and a framework for creating robust human systems that capitalize on the unique capabilities and contributions of its diverse partners.
How does the WCM Workshop work?
This is a one-day workshop involving two dynamic exercises involving the meeting of differing cultures.
The morning exercise focuses on dominance. An organization with its traditional ways of working faces the challenge of incorporating people with different traditions, while the “others” face the challenges of entering the dominant culture.
In the afternoon exercise four organizations develop their unique cultures and then face the process of being acquired by a culture different from their own.
Together these activities provide the emotional and knowledge base for developing a single organization or community more robust than any of its partners.
What does the WCM Workshop accomplish?
o A deeper understanding of the human issues involved in the meeting of diverse cultures.
o An appreciation for the value of organizational cultures different from one’s own.
o A recognition of the implications of being “dominant” and “other.”
o Increased confidence in one’s ability to function effectively in the meeting of cultures.
o A concrete framework for developing vibrant organizations that maximize the contributions of its members.
Presentation and Book Discussion Groups
Trainer-led presentations and conversations focusing on subjects related to creating partnership, including:
o Why There Are No Top Teams. This session focuses on the difficulty of creating and sustaining partnership among Tops – whether they are corporate executive, business partners, or couples.
o Power In The Middle. This session focuses on the unique dilemmas faced by organizational “Middles,” people who are regularly caught between the conflicting needs, demands, and pressures coming at them from above, below, and sideways. It also demonstrates concrete strategies by which Middles, individually and collectively, can become a uniquely contributory force in the organization and community.
o From System Blindness to System Sight. Although we are arguably among the most social of all creatures – members of families, communities, teams, organizations, voluntary agencies, faith groups – we tend to be blind to the systems of which we are a part. We fail to see how those systems shape our experiences of ourselves and others. System blindness is costly: broken relationships, unnecessary stress, destructive conflict, lost opportunities, diminished effectiveness, and, in the extreme, bigotry and oppression.
o Reading groups. Discussion groups based on:
Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life, (2nd edition), Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco
In the Middle, Power and Systems, Boston.