Drama in Organisations

January 31, 2007

Over at Anecdote there’s an interesting post about Organisational Stories and how organisational myths are a great way of understanding the culture of the system.

Finding an organisation’s myths helps you understand the boundaries and constraints for any new interventions you might have planned. I’ve discovered that myth discovery is simply a matter of asking for stories that lots of people know.

I’ve shaped many of my interventions and consulting assignments on the basis of unheard organisational stories which have been generated in informal contexts. Sometimes it’s important to find a way of telling those stories more publicly but in a way that’s respectful of the content and context. I’ve found that working with professional actors – particularly those who are skilled at devising – is a fantastic way to present those stories back to groups in a way that generates very significant conversation.
In presenting a theatre piece, devised by actors, I’m hoping that the group I’m working with will know that their concerns have been heard and as a result we don’t have to open up a difficult conversation that may close down the work rather than open it up.
To date the feedback I’m getting is really positive and clients have spoken about how significant it is to have their “reality” reflected back to them in a dramatic way. I’m looking forward to developing this methodology further and creating more bespoke interventions in organisational contexts.