01 02 03 "CorporateTheatre": Theatre - Its Relevance to High-Performance Leadership & Team Dynamics 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Theatre - Its Relevance to High-Performance Leadership & Team Dynamics

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Photo Courtesy: Perch
Teams are not built.  Teams happen.  

A theatre group is a powerful example of how teams happen.  During the course of producing a play, a random group of people with strong egos, divergent perspectives, different aspirations, varied backgrounds in terms of age, experience, lifestyle, and qualification, transform into a high performance team.  In the process, they experience and manifest the following behavioural dynamics, instinctively and unconditionally:

·         Bonding:  The ability to relate to each other as ‘actors’ who can take on the intense functional hierarchy and even conflict of the ‘characters’ that they need to play, without experiencing human hierarchy or human conflict. This enables a high level of bonding irrespective of whether they like each other or not.

·         Communication:  Communicating beyond the spoken words by becoming sensitive to each other’s body language and energy patterns.

·         Collaboration:  Collaborating across roles and functions by investing in the other’s performance as much as in their own.  This is done keeping self interest in mind, as even if one actor does not perform well, the play as a whole suffers, and everyone loses in some way or the other.

·         Trust & Delegation:  Delegating with complete trust in the other person’s clarity and commitment to the play and the audience experience.

·         Time-Management:  Absolute and unconditional commitment to the deadline.

·         Creativity & Innovation:  Finding new competencies and innovating resources.

·         Dealing with Risk and Failure:  Celebrating success and dealing with failure without ‘blamestorming’.

·         Celebrating Star Performance: Identifying and celebrating star performers from across interdependent roles and functions.

·         Handling Pressure:  Taking on immense pressure without stress.

·         Situational Leadership:  Taking collective responsibility for leadership and taking charge based on situational clarity, creativity, and competence.

·         Alignment:  Most importantly, aligning egos, competencies, and energies, across roles and function towards a common goal, a common customer (audience) experience, and a collective success.

·         Customer Orientation:  Not just the actors who interface with the audience, but every single person who is part of the group, be it the director, the sound and light team, the set designer, the props in charge, the make-up person and costume designer, everyone is clear about the play, and totally committed to the audience experience.  Unless the audience gets up and applauds at the end of the show, there is a feeling of inadequacy all around, and the willingness to explore together how to make the play better. 

The theatre ‘environment’ is such that this happens every time without any attempt to change or transform people.  If this environment does not happen, the play cannot be a happy experience for the group.  And if it is not a happy experience for the group, it is unlikely to be an enjoyable experience for the audience.  And in all likelihood, the group may not work together again.

The “CorporateTheatre” methodology enables participants to experience and understand the environment that makes teams happen.  The workshop also explores the fundamental pillars that enable and sustain the high-performance environment at the workplace. This is possible even during the course of a 1-day workshop, because there is no ‘training’ involved.  Instead it is about unlearning the baggage and discovering what is already available with us as individuals and as teams – the instinct of the human animal to hunt, survive, and WIN in packs.


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