CASE STUDY (2016)
The use of an experiential approach at Illuminate Group
- Social Presencing Theatre / 4D-Mapping
“What future is emerging for Illuminate Group?”
Originating in the purchase of a registered training organisation in 2011, Illuminate Group subsequently added leadership development and management consulting services to its original vocational training.
Illuminate was increasingly in demand in Perth and had the potential to rapidly take on additional work and grow. However it also had a strong values-based culture, and to minimise risk to the culture and employees’ job security the expansion rate had been deliberately constrained by Sarab and Navinder Singh, the owners and leaders of the organisation. The resultant high workload had, however, made it difficult for them to be reliably responsive to the needs of non-client stakeholders, at times including their own organisation.
Curious to better understand what was happening within and around the organisation, CEO Sarab Singh invited threefold to help Illuminate explore its emerging future. This was done as the first step in a regular two-day team development session.
4D-Mapping, a tool from Social Presencing Theatre, was chosen to support team members in shifting into a deeper level of awareness of their organisational system. The insights were then used to inform the following team development days. This 4D-Mapping included:
- Practising body mindfulness as a warm-up. This helped people settle into a space of presence, listening to their bodies
- 4D-Mapping with predefined roles/stakeholders
- The generative dialogue in three phases, sharing:
- Facts – what was observed with people’s physical senses?
- Interpretations – what feelings, images, intuitions or interpretations arose?
- Conclusions – what insights were gained and what conclusions drawn?
- People recognised they had become internally focused and needed to reconnect with Illuminate’s higher purpose of improving Western Australia’s workplace culture
- Roles, responsibilities and processes were highlighted for attention as there was a lack of clarity and communication across the organisation
- On return to the workplace, Sarab observed very different conversations, with people no longer working in silos but proactively proffering ideas and support to other teams where previously they’d simply responded to requests: “They’re now seeing themselves as part of an integrated system.”
“In today's turbulent environment we must move past the information age into the imagination age. To help us predict and construct the future we need to tap into our individual and collective intuition and creativity. 4D Mapping provides a platform for this work.
Our 4D Mapping with Fiona and Andre created a shift from silo to systems thinking across the organisation, with people feeling the connections between the parts and achieving fresh insights into their relationships. As a result, our teams have gone beyond simple agreements on plans to deeper involvement and collaboration, offering help, ideas and insights at an unprecedented level.
As a leader, undertaking 4D Mapping requires having the courage to try something new, being open to rescripting habitual thinking patterns, and having the trust of your people so they'll be willing to do likewise.”
Sarab Singh, Co-owner and CEO of Illuminate Group
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