Very often, when planning a workshop, clients ask,
"So, what exactly happens in the workshop, considering that there are no lectures, or presentations?"
I respond by saying that the "CorporateTheatre" methodology is so completely experiential that the only way to understand it is to experience it. I highlight the fact that all our clients over the years (more than 41,000 participants) have come to us purely through referrals from others who have experienced the methodology. I also explain that there are high profile organisations who have done over 200 workshops with us.
Even so, I think the following excerpt from a recent response to a client brief will offer a reasonably clear insight into the experiential learning possibilities offered by this theatre-based methodology.
GENERAL: An assured take-away from the "CorporateTheatre" experience is that any group of people with varying competencies and different perspectives, even if they do not know each other well or like each other much, can come together to form high-performance teams that enjoy delivering creative, collaborative, and customer-centric excellence under change, challenge, and pressure.
While this may sound rather exaggerated at this point, participants will actually experience and demonstrate this possibility even within the first half day of the workshop. This becomes possible because there is no learning involved. Instead participants go through an intensely interactive, and enjoyable process of unlearning that empowers them to tap their inherent instinctive wisdom, shed defences, inhibitions, baggage, and existing paradigms, to discover the immense possibilities that are already available within themselves as individuals and as teams. This happens at the level of primary instinct and has been unconditionally manifested across cultures, industry, and hierarchy.
Coming to the specifics (in your brief):
Multiple Stakeholders - (Aligning to a common goal and a collective success) - There are multiple stakeholders in any theatre process. The primary stakeholder is of course, the audience. The Director is a key stakeholder. So are the actors. The people doing lights, sound, costumes, props, sets, are all stakeholders too with widely differing skill sets and perspectives. However, everyone is clear that unless the actors get what they need to perform at optimal levels, and the audience applauds, no role or function can win. This being so, in spite of their egos and their need to prove their individual calibre, everyone is primarily aligned to the play, to each other's performance, and to the audience experience. During the course of the workshop, participants will go through this experience through intensely challenging theatre productions.
Global Team - (Connecting at the core) - As has been indicated earlier, when we come to primal core of human behaviour, hierarchy, culture, nationality, and language become largely irrelevant. At the core, we are all the same. At the level of the 'actor' there is no difference. It is only at the level of the 'character' that there is hierarchy, different patterns of behaviour, and even conflict, which are all essential to the success of the play. Participants will experience themselves and each other as 'actors' and connect at this core. They will also learn to perceive and relate to the 'actor' in their stakeholders.
Change - (You cannot step in the same river twice) - The workshop will enable participants to see themselves individually and collectively, as 'processes' and not as 'products'. As a 'product' I remain what I am in the way that I have been defined by my environment and by myself over the years. As a 'process' I can be different today from what I was yesterday or even a moment ago. The river is always flowing and not static like the rock. Once I have this 'process' orientation, I am aware of the constant ebb and flow of my environment and able to respond creatively, and without fear of rejection, ridicule, and most importantly without possessiveness of my perspective or idea. Participants will demonstrate this possibility as their inherent behaviour. This also leads to extraordinary levels of individual creativity and collective innovation.
Consulting Skills - (Different perspectives, richer understanding) - When I become aware that there are different views from different sides of the mountain, I am no longer possessive of my view or threatened by another's view. I realise that when there are different views from different sides of the mountain, everyone has a better idea of what is around the whole mountain. This awareness makes me aware of the value of my perspective as well as yours and this attitude is essential to effective consulting.
Learning Connects - (Don't try to change people. Change the environment)- All that I have listed above will be practically experienced and behaviourally manifested by the participants. More interestingly, we will discover that these possibilities can be tapped instantly not by changing people, but by enabling the right environment. After each significant exercise, and at the end of the workshop we will explore together the environmental elements that enabled this behaviour instinctively and consistently. From a leadership perspective we will also look at how we can enable and sustain this environment at the workplace.
As discussed the workshop process is very comprehensive as well as flexible. Key stakeholders are welcome to interact with me during the course of the workshop to discuss any additional focus areas. They are also welcome to co-facilitate by connecting the learning or behaviour that is expressed to what we need to do at the workplace.