Transition workshop for large groups
The Cake Factory® – a transition workshop for large groups that wish to move quickly in a short time on a specific problem. The Cake Factory® is an Action Reflection Learning® process including also a custom made organization game with reflection and preparation of a plan of action.
Number of participants: 20-300
Duration: 1-2 days
Examples of issues that previous participants in the Cake Factory® have worked with
- There are sharp dividing lines within our organization
- We need to improve our coordination in order to work better together as a whole
- We want to be better at managing continuous change responding to new demands of the market
- Going from words in the strategy documents to action of everyday work
- How can all communicate better with each other
How The Cake Factory® works - the process
➀ Formulating a focus and design of the workshop
The organization formulates a specific problem, with support from the process leader it wishes
to work with. MiL designs a game of action and a work process.
➁ Purpose and goals
The management of the organization presents the purpose of this workshop. The topic is put in relation to the present situation and the vision.
➂ The Cake Factory® - an organization game
The Cake Factory® is an experience-based organization game in which the participants are challenged to start, run and develop a cake factory with the aim of making it efficient and creative. It all takes place in demanding surroundings, with realistic pressure from competitors, suppliers, customers and owners.
The basic concept of the factory is a complex drama driven by the actions of the participants and by the interventions of the persons in charge of the game. Restructuring, such as merging organizations, developing products and the response of the market. Lack of time, result requirements and work for change also have an affect.
➃ Reflection and learning
We deepen our understanding of a number of previously selected concepts that are important for the problem presented by the organization, such as communication, leadership, and motivation. We do this by introducing concrete examples and by reflecting on the ones we have just experienced in The Cake Factory®. The participants have the opportunity both to receive and to give feedback. We connect these experiences to theories.
➄ From words to action
On the basis of reflected experiences and the identification of the most important key problems, a plan of action will now be formulated for all levels, in large groups, subgroups, as well as individually. We also examine parallels and patterns between what we experienced in The Cake Factory® and how we work and cooperate on an everyday basis.
Depending on the specific needs of the organization, a number of work methods are used, for instance:
- “Walk the talk”, shadowing the work group’s ordinary meeting and feed- back from it.
- Work sheets with the aim of formulat- ing problems and drafting plans in a large group.
- Appreciative Inquiry – building on the good example in order to find new ways.
- Scenario technique.
- Communication training.
Said about The Cake Factory®
“There was an effect in our group of 80 people in a very short time. We created a common picture of where we are now, a pleasant, shared experience that also gave us a common view on how we can go on. We will continue to work with this plan of action.”
Business Area Manager
“While working in the production line at Klippan’s Cake Factory, I had an aha-reaction. Normally, I sit in the management group but here I was part of production. I had the chance to see the management, or rather, the lack of it. (The management were having a meeting, were off on a course, and so on). I understod the significance of a leadership that is near, how important it is to communicate goals, results, etc. Still, production worked well without leadership. This also gives you a lot to think about. Perhaps the management has the wrong overall perspective.”
“Perfect, fitted us to a T. We discovered things about ourselves, gained a better understanding of how we act. During the second day, we continued working on developing new plans of action. I have participated in many types of organization games, but this one was for real, with all the emotions that arise in an authentic situation of change.”