Mirrors reality when seemingly simple things go wrong. Reveals fundamentals for building an effective workforce.
12 (split into three teams)
1.25 hours + debrief
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Participants work in three teams representing Managers, Supervisors and Production Staff of a toy company. Management receive a request for samples to be made, so they must brief the Supervisors and the Supervisors in turn must brief Production Staff (who are already engaged on another job).
The lines of communication are short, the task simple, the deadline adequate – and yet the problems multiply exponentially and all too soon the deadline comes and goes – and no samples appear! What went wrong, how similar is this to what happens at work? What procedures could help to improve things and ensure a much more positive outcome?
Northgate Activities always add a further dimension to enhance the learning experience. In "Managing the Workforce" there is a safe environment 'to bring out the leader in you'. It also shows how communication is essential and that teams need to step back to see the bigger picture. And the outcome may not be what the group expected!
Peter Mistretta, Center Parcs
I used 'Managing the Workforce' last week with middle managers in a shoe factory. The result was frankly unbelievable. You mention in the Trainer's Notes that the task is simple but the managers do not succeed - and this was the case. The Production Staff produced some excellent dice but failed to finish even one complete sample. There was complete breakdown in communication between the Managers and Supervisors and between Supervisors and the Production Team. The discussion that followed was quite exceptional - and the insight, learning and feedback was so powerful. I was amazed. Instead of feeling any sense of failure the group recognised that this was exactly what happened in reality. But, importantly, during this activity they could appreciate the role and feeling of their supervisors and, above all, their production staff. I have always had great debriefs and learning from Northgate exercises but this one produced astounding results. I congratulate you on a superb simulation.
Peter Chapman, Director, Peter Chapman International
I love all your products! Using 'Managing the Workforce' in our session on transitioning from a content-contributor to a manager to a leader brought out some great learning points. The participants immersed themselves in the very-real struggle of each role: the managers were making decisions with incomplete information, the supervisors were running around trying to coordinate resources and information, and the production staff wanted to get the job done. Even further, each participant uncovered their own natural tendencies. It was a double-learning in management AND self-awareness.
Songya Kesler, Leadership Consultant & Coach,