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Change exercise


I have a change management workshop that I would like to start with an experiential learning activity, i.e. the participants get to experience a 'real' change that brings out a range of feelings and emotions that we can then explore. The Magic Carpet activity, previously discussed, sounds suitable. The group know each other as this will be the third module in a program, so we can take some risks. Any ideas?
David Gittings

4 Responses

  1. real change experience
    Hi David

    Here is a very simple exercise that I have used with great success. It assumes that people are seated in groups (eg cabaret style).

    As they arrive for the workshop ask them all to pick up an envelope on the way in. On the outside of the envelope it says DO NOT OPEN UNTIL TOLD TO DO SO. Inside is a coloured card. use a different colour for each group layout and have the same number of coloured cards as there are delegates.

    Let people sit where they want to sit – usually with mates etc. Then when theyare settled ask them to open the envelopes, find all the other people who have the same colour card and re-group.

    This is followed by a discussion about how it feels to have change imposed on you, what element of choice they had about the change, how they feel about the new groupings they are in etc – take it anywhere you want to.

    Hope this helps.


    Jigsaw Learning & Development Ltd.

  2. Changing People
    Thank you Jan and John. Here is another idea from Tim Kemp.

    There is a wonderful activity that is only marginally ‘risky’, but it really gets at people’s feelings about change. Line the participants up in two rows, so that people can ‘pair’ with someone face to face. Ask the people in row ‘a’ to turn around, while the people in row ‘b’ change one thing about their appearance (e.g. remove their glasses, loosen a tie, etc). Row ‘a’ turns back and has to spot the change. Simple. Now ask row ‘b’ to turn around while row ‘a’ changes three things about their appearance. Again, play spot the difference. Now ask row ‘b’ again to turn their backs while row ‘a’, again, changes three more (and different) things. Panic begins to set in here, as people struggle to think of different things to change. Spot the difference again. Repeat…despite the calls for the activity to end. After this third time, ask row ‘b’ now (who might have been dreading this moment, or hoping you had forgotten them) to make four changes, while row ‘a’ turns their back. At this point some people may refuse, while others may begin to get quite creative (borrowing someone else’s clothing, making a paper hat, using resources around the room, etc). Some will experience all manner of anxiety and opt for rebellion, others will see the pressure as an opportunity to think more creatively. Either way…everyone will hate you by the end of it!

  3. Coping with change..urgent!
    Hi everybody,i have been asked to run a course on “Coping with Change”
    the course will be supplying the team managers with ideas on how to facilitate and support their staff through recent and future changes?the staff will look at ” feelings” cards and the change curve and the team managers need to be able to discuss thses with them?

    Any suggestions or ideas will be grately recieved
    Thank You

    can anyone give me help on this


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