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  I had a chance to try Workspace-like Brainstorming and Role play for the executive education program this week. As I have been hooked with Work Space, I had wanted to give it a try to see whether this format would work in Japan. As I talked so enthusiastically about Work Space at different seminars/workshops lately, I was given an opportunity to try it for the seminar at one of the companies I did executive programs lately.  

  Though we did not have visual/audio artists which are integral part of the Work Space session or the facilities especially designed for it, we managed to introduce the concept. During the preparation, I asked the people at the company to think of the issues they face so that we can make the session relevant to the participants. They came up with two topics 1) Work Life balance 2) How to work effectively with the diverse team (in terms of nationality, background, gender, age etc.) 

  For the topic 1, we tried an approach used often for the Work Space. For the Part 1, I asked each team (of 5 or 6 members) to think of some organizations which they think have good Work Life balance. I asked them to list key elements for the good Work/Life balance environment.

  Then in the Part II, I gave assignment to two teams as a pair. The setting is in 2013, five years from now. Each team is supposed to figure out what has happened in the past 5 years to make the office they are assigned to being ranked as one of the best companies for Work Life balance or one of the worst 

  For the topic 2, I created three different situations and asked two people from each team to do a role-play. One is to play the role of a manager, and the other a team member. Each situation is real in that it can happen at any place where members of different nationalities, background, etc. work as a team. We also reversed the role, i.e. the manager (in real life) is to play the role of a team member, while the associate to play the role of a manager. The other members of the team (usually 3 or 4) are to observe the role play and comment on what they saw and what they did not see.  

  Participants seemed to enjoy both and the room was full of energy when we finished. I thoroughly enjoyed the session myself. I would like to continue experimenting with the new format.

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