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The Organization workshop

This is a workshop that changes people and organizations. See the impact new perspectives had on these graduates.

The Organization Workshop is a highly engaging, experiential exercise based on decades of research and observation of the systemic nature of people in organizations. The workshop helps participants see new possibilities for increasing their influence and effectiveness as well as how to increase the vitality and success of their organization. The workshop can accommodate groups of 20-50, or in a customized format, groups of 51-300. The workshop can be delivered in a half-day, 1-day, or 2-day format.


The Exercise

Participants are dropped into an organization, some as Tops with overall responsibility for the organization, others as Bottoms (individual contributors), and others as Middle Managers. There are Customers and potential Customers with projects for the organization to work on and money to pay for services. There are time pressures, conflicting demands and priorities, unmet needs, confusing messages. In short, a familiar experience in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world.

Reflection and Transparency

Periodically, the action is stopped, and all members – Tops, Middles, Bottoms, and Customers - come together to candidly share what they are experiencing. Each group describes what life is like for them in their part of the system. What issues and challenges are you dealing with? What feelings are you having? How are you experiencing other parts of the system? What’s helping? What’s hindering?

This experience is like turning the lights on in a dark room. People begin to see into one another’s worlds. Stories people have been creating begin to melt away and are replaced with empathy and a realistic understanding of one another’s worlds. These shifts set the stage for more productive partnerships.

Strategic Frameworks

Throughout the workshop, participants learn strategic frameworks for making sense of the experiences they are having. These frameworks and the system sight they provide help participants make connections between events in the organization exercise and life in their actual organizations.


People from all areas and levels of the organization can gain a great deal from the Organization Workshop.  Some of the most common uses of the Organization Workshop are:

  • Leader Development. Using targeted development initiatives that ensure effective leadership for the present and the future.

  • Growth from the Middle. Creating stronger, more powerful and more effective middle managers capable of working independently and collaboratively with their peers.

  • Leadership at all levels. Strengthening the capacity of an entire workforce to meet the increasing demands their organization faces today and in an uncertain future.

  • Organizational Alignment. Creating clarity, mutual understanding, respect and collaboration across functional and business unit lines within an organization.

  • Cultural Integration. Developing increased mutual respect and support among the various subcultures within an organization–whether by function, demographics or hierarchy.

  • Conflict Management. Defusing hot-button issues within and across teams. 

  • Mission-Critical Programs. Bringing together key stakeholders to help them rapidly design and carry out immediate initiatives affecting the future of the business.


The purpose of The Organization Workshop is for participants to share an intense, interactive activity around human systems dynamics that engages them to examine:

  • How partnership across boundaries (i.e., levels, functions, departments, organizations) increases productivity and overall satisfaction

  • How misunderstanding and miscommunication happen across organizational lines and how to change that

  • How their behaviors impact those around them

  • How we reflexively fall into traps that inhibit our ability to integrate across the organization

  • How the organization is viewed through the eyes of top executives, middle managers, individual contributors, and customers

  • How they can interact more strategically and effectively with all levels in the organization

Throughout the workshop, participants learn strategic frameworks for making sense of the experiences they are having. These frameworks and the system sight they provide help participants make connections between events in the organization exercise and life in their back-home organizations.


Participants learn how to stop repeating the same, ineffective patterns that occur so frequently in organizations.

  • Real world issues. The Organization Workshop deals with the world as participants know it. They recognize their own organizations in the events of the workshop which makes them more open to exploring What else is possible?

  • Fun. The workshop generates profound learning and it is fun. People remember their experiences years later.

  • The learning mix. The mix of techniques gives the workshop appeal to all learning types – whether you like theory, action, reflection or all three.

  • Applicability. The insights and the concrete strategies for change are clear and immediately applicable.

  • Create lasting solutions.  The path to developing productive, innovative, and healthy organizations lies not in changing the players, but in helping people at all levels and in all positions, understand and master the systemic conditions they are in.


  • More system-wide partnership. People will come away with greater commitment and methods for creating and maintaining satisfying and productive partnerships up, down, and across organizational lines.

  • Empathy. People will come away with an appreciation for the difficult issues faced by people in other parts of the organization. Participants will see the path to using more emotional intelligence and being more strategic in their interactions with others.

  • Self-awareness. People will come away with greater understanding of themselves in their multiple roles as Tops, Middles, Bottoms, and Customers. They will recognize their self-limiting behaviors in each role, and they will come away with concrete strategies for greater effectiveness in each role.

  • A re-energized system. The workshop will re-energize organizations that have been running at full speed but still need to operate more effectively. The workshop helps maximize the potential of individuals, teams, and entire organizations.

Click Here to Bring The Organization Workshop to your organization.

Explore it all for FREE.

Understand what’s behind our methodology in our free Organization Workshop e-book. Or get a free sneak peek of a live workshop.

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