The project. In any social system, balance is a central theme: Balance between management and employee interest. Between forces of creation and conservation. Between bright visionary ideas and pressing questions of feasability. SysTEAMing is a live metaphor for these types of balances. This scenario will fascinate your seminar group from the beginning: Wooden figurines must be placed, removed, or rearranged on a freely movable table top, which, when out of balance, will fall down. The wide variety of forces at work within systems becomes visible and tangible. SysTEAMing demonstrates the significance of the explicit use of language and communication as success factors for managers and team members. It helps the team members realize that smooth cooperation and information flow contribute a great deal to joyful team work. With SysTEAMing, your participants see, hear, and feel processes of systemic interdependency.
How It's Done. In the following paragraphs, we will introduce you to a few variations that have proven successful in practice. Keep in mind, however, that when it comes to staging SysTEAMing, there are no limits to your creativity as trainer or coach. Roles: The participants are split into teams of 2-3 persons. 2-3 such teams can work together on one SysTEAMing. There are different roles in each team: One person puts on a blindfold: (S)he is the "gripper" who is allowed to touch and move the figurines on the board. The second - seeing - person is the "speaker" who directs the gripper's hand verbally, but without actual physical contact. In a team of three, the third person acts as "coach" for the other two. What's special about this third role is that its extent is not clearly defined: Coaches can decide to intervene, moderate, analyize, etc. any way they see fit. No matter which of the variants you choose to try, it makes sense not to specifically address the question of how the sub-teams are to act towards each other (cooperative or competitive). Instead, you as trainer should carefully observe the teams' behavior and use this information for later debriefing. Clearing the table. The figurines are unevenly spread out on the board. The teams' task is to remove all figurines. The board must remain in balance. Crossing over. Divide the board into two halves using masking tape. Place half the figurines in one field and half in the other. The task is to move all figurines into the other field, respectively. To vary the difficulty level or adapt SysTEAMing to different group sizes, you can define more than two fields.
Persons (min./opt./max.):4/9/12. Time (w/o debriefing): 20-45 minutes. Space needed: 3 x 3 meters.
Topics & Goals. Team building: Communicating between departments, demonstrating sender-receiver issues, communicating implicitly and explicitly, resolving misunderstandings, being an active listener, controlling information flow; establishing balance, trusting. Leadership training: Assuming responsibility, identifying interdependencies in systems, deciding in uncertain situations, dealing with risk, working with second-hand information. Project management: Developing strategies in spite of information shortages, focussing on goals, working successfully. Intercultural competence: Dealing with uncertainty, demonstrating sender-receiver issues, resolving misunderstandings, seeing culture als a balanced value system.