The Change Express is a tried and tested workshop in which participants are invited to reflect on their own perspective on organizational change. Advisors, managers, project leaders, L&D professionals - they can participate and discover their - often implicit - change philosophy.
With the new situation of working remotely, we were challenged to translate this formula into an online version.
The request came from an educational institution that wanted to continue an ongoing learning programme for its directors and expert teachers as much as possible. After all, insights into how changes can succeed were now more relevant than ever for them.
In the Change Express, participants watch short film fragments in which different speakers, with different visions, explore and deepen three themes that always play a role in organizational change: fun, power and unpredictability. A director, a philosopher, an organizational consultant, a team leader.... A total of 6 speakers were interviewed on how they experience these issues and how they deal with them effectively in practice.
Workshop participants typically view the interview fragments on their own iPad, in an order of their choice. They browse through all the stories, and the diversity of perspectives, reflections and stories makes them think about their own perspective. How do I actually think about power? And how important is 'fun' to me, do I pay any attention at all to whether or not a change process is enjoyable for people? And what about unpredictability... how do I deal with that? Pondering the statements from the interviewees, people formulate answers to their own questions and try to put into words their own vision. It helps that participants sometimes hear things that they completely agree with, or that they reject wholeheartedly. This emotional dimension, triggered by the outspoken visions of the interviewees, offers them an interesting mirror.
The school leaders wanted to focus specifically on the 'power' theme. Their questions included: "How can I use power in a positive way? What does power do to me? And how does that feel to me? How do I deal with someone who 'hijacks' the conversation emotionally? How do I invite teachers into a role beyond 'their classroom'?”
The school worked with MS Teams, so the videos were placed on that platform. We created teams within the large team to be able to work in subgroups and came up with a creative form for the plenary part - to get enough depth there as well and to be able to take up our own role as stimulating discussion leader.
By not using the tools as a starting point, but by staying close to our original design and coming up with a digital version that resembled it as best as possible, it was surprisingly easy for us as non-e-learning experts to develop a powerful online event. We found that we could use our learning design experience and theoretical content knowledge that we used for our original off-line design here as well. And with the use of available, uncomplicated online tools, we were able to realise our ideas pretty quickly.
The effect on participants was actually similar to the offline version of this workshop - people went home inspired, thoughtful and energetic because of the deep conversation they had had with their peers about a prickly subject: power. In addition, the fact that the institution had chosen to continue their learning programme and not cancel or postpone it gave the intervention an extra dimension: they felt seen and supported. And that is very motivating.
05-25-2020 / Blogs / View in DutchRecent startten Ton ten Broeke, Marcel Kuhlmann en Derk van der Pol met de eerste ‘online’ Thinkshops van de Verander Express. Zo ging een leergang van directeuren en schoolleiders uit het onderwijs aan de slag om antwoord te vinden op (persoonlijke) onderzoeksvragen over veranderen. In deze bijeenkomst stond het thema ‘macht’ centraal. Hoe speelt bijvoorbeeld macht een rol als je directeur bent van een basisschool? Of hoe ga je als schoolleider om met macht? Door blootgesteld te worden aan uiteenlopende perspectieven van diverse veranderaars, kwamen deelnemers tot rake inzichten.