develop collaborative approaches
Dynamic Appreciative Inquiry workshop after a difficult period
Often referred to as Roland Garros, the French Open, is a major two-week tennis tournament held between late May and early June in Paris at the Stade Roland Garros. After the difficult edition in 2016 with all the rain and many other challenges, the Roland Garros team’s morale was low, despite the fact that the tournament itself was a success. The team needed a mindset change to see the brighter side of the event, and to appreciate how they had overcome the challenges. The management team was looking for an approach to bring back a positive attitude.
Normally after every tournament ends, an assessment is made, which is a top-down approach (one person in front of the team asking questions). Both Roland Garros and Krauthammer felt that this was not the ideal approach for that year because purely focusing on figures would have only reflected one side of the event. The aim, instead was to surprise the team with a new approach and to co-create a fresh perspective. Krauthammer ‘bridged’ Roland Garros’ demands with an Appreciative Inquiry workshop that focused on the positive future development of the tournament.
Krauthammer co-designed the Appreciative Inquiry workshop to reflect on the event with a positive approach and to look at what happened from two different points of view (personal and a small group). The journey began with a “discovery step” where participants were asked, and supported to present each other’s ideas. Then in the “dream step”, in groups, the participants were asked to think and prepare a creative expression of how they hoped and dreamed Roland Garros would look like in 2017. The last part of the workshop was the “design step”. In twos, participants elaborated on how they could start improving their job and increasing their contribution as part of the Roland Garros team.
The executive team and 80 top professionals were present during the workshop. The participants were asked to work as a whole group, in sub-teams, and pairs which enabled them to discover and understand other’s roles and allow them, as individuals to positively self-reflect on their actions and experiences.
The workshop brought real added value as a ‛free space’, for people to open up as individuals, and share their thoughts and ideas, as well as a place and time for unifying the team again. Comparing their expectations with the reality, 100% of the participants were satisfied, and 75% said the workshop was even better than they had expected. In particular, participants appreciated the collective work, the creativity and all the energy that was set free.
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