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Organization Workshop

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For More Information: Power and Systems,

To create the knowledge and skills of system sight that enable us to create partnerships up, down, and across organizational lines. 

  • Causes organization members to rethink their behaviors when they are in top, middle, bottom, and customer interactions 
  • Creates shared language and concrete strategies for partnership behavior in those relationships 

When to Use: 
  • In any setting in which the client wants to redirect member energy from unproductive “sideshows” onto the business of the system 
  • Rapid change is desired to increase individual power and overall organizational system power to achieve previously unattainable stretch goals 

When Not to Use: 
  • It is being imposed on people 
  • Tops are using it on Bottoms to “straighten them out” 
  • People have not been adequately informed about the workshop’s purposes and methods 

Number of Participants: 
  • 24–50 people 
  • Variations for 50–100+ people 

Types of Participants: 
  • Can be internal and external stakeholders 
  • Cross-level, multifunction, or same function 

Typical Duration:
  • Preparation: 2–3 hours by telephone 
  • Event: 1-, 2-, or 3-day variations 
  • Total Transition: Variable 

Brief Example: 
A Fortune 50 company has used the Organization Workshop on more than 25 separate occasions for various business leadership teams, multilevel cross-functional teams, top-to-bottom plants, and various functional groups (information systems, advertising, research and development, and several new product start-up ventures). 

Historical Context: 
Created in 1978 by Barry Oshry. Roots in experiential education with National Training Laboratories (now NTL Institute), experimental work at Boston University, but most directly from 30 years of work with the Power Lab.