Change-management workshops – do they really work? During my studies I came across various promising theories and frameworks about change management, so I was very curious to see how they would work in practice.
At bluecrux we have worked out a complete change-management methodology – called MOUNTK – which combines theoretical insights with practical tools. One of these tools often applied on projects is a 1-day MOUNTK workshop with the project team.
Recently I was approached to co-organize such a MOUNTK workshop. Before taking off, the project manager shared his worries about the misalignment within his project team. In order to get this misalignment out in the open, we would ask participants in the workshop to describe what they see in a series of cartoons, and reflect this onto their current situation. Next, we would build on their reflections by means of exercises. I was genuinely curious to see the effect a workshop could have on a group of persons with such diverse views on the issue at hand.
I was positively surprised to see how they were able to clarify their different perspectives and become aligned on the way forward after a couple of exercises! So I started reflecting:
How come a simple workshop was able to achieve what a project manager had been trying for weeks?
I think it started with getting the team in the same room and having them share their ideas on the situation out loud. By pulling people out of their daily routine at an offsite location, we created an open environment. People dared to share their different opinions on the problem. It was nice to see how they all listened to each other without judgement.
Next, I liked the way we touched upon the theory, but quickly moved to the more practical part. The different exercises during the change day helped team members to look at things from a different angle. The cartoons – part of the MOUNTK methodology – were especially useful in moving them away from their usual insights into a more open and outspoken atmosphere. This eventually facilitated the project team in working closer together.
To conclude, I acknowledged that the content of the change day gave people the chance to get to know each other in a different way. It was nice to see that by sharing thoughts and gathering new insights, there was more understanding and appreciation for each other’s differences.
This experience confirms what I already suspected: I truly believe a change-management workshop works!