The Hidden Factory

When I described The Flying Starship workshop to my friend Ali Tabrizi at Katapult, he said that to him it seemed like an excellent way of exposing “the hidden factory” within an organisation. After running the workshop yesterday with members of the Appreciative Inquiry network in Göteborg, I see what he meant.

We used a combination of the The Flying Starship simulation and an Appreciative Inquiry workshop developed by Innovation Partners International (thank you Bernard Mohr for all your help and inspiration!). By acting as a factory, we all got an experience of what chaos an over-zealous Tayloristic organisational design can result in. Although everybody were very focused on their specific task, most of the efforts went to feed the hidden factory and not to the (very few) products reaching the eagerly awaiting customer.

The second part of the workshop made us experience the power of a strength-based approach to development, with appreciating interviews and creative group work resulting in surprisingly many novel ideas for improvement in very short time, based on the aspects many of the workers considered worth preserving.

If you plan on doing a major change project in your organisation or are planning a leadership course, I strongly recommend including a Flying Starship workshop! You can see for your self how fun it was by looking at these pictures.

Have you been to such a workshop? Or used similar simulations? Please tell us about your experience in a comment!

1 comment:

baldur said...

Dear Lena,

How do you think the workshop whould have come out without first concentrating on some of the things that are wrong and immediately starting to identify what works in our organization and why?

My experience with helping organizations find their true potential is that it takes just any simple excercise like a star moments interviews.

Sending people out in pairs and letting them share the moments when they were truly proud of their effort or their organization, write up 2 to 3 of those, come back to the room and share, for the shift to start happen. The organizational DNA and the best self is expressed in an hour and the image and stories change.

I'm always amazed what comes back and the buzz and energy in the room and organization afterwards.