Archive for October, 2014

Does a bottoms-up approach really work?

I was amazed when, at a theatre workshop that I attended, the facilitator told us that we would come up with a plot, dialogues and would then perform a 40-minute play in front of our family and friends in two days time. He has got to be joking, I thought. Doesn’t it take days just to memorize dialogues?
We began by sitting in small groups, brainstorming the plot. Then the groups merged into one large whole, and shared storylines, which developed further even during the actual narration. Once the best story was selected we started to “get into the skin” of the protagonists.
My corporate training to have a clear objective, train and guide one’s team members accordingly and THEN achieve results, was totally shattered by this informal way of meandering towards a goal from all sorts of directions. Yet in the end we did achieve the objective, which was to put up a creditable performance that was lauded and applauded!
Does the bottoms-up approach really work? One national group that I know began a decade ago as a decentralized set-up, with various individualized sub groups dispersed throughout the country. Yet now there is talk of a need for structure to meet certain objectives, and the in-group and out-group model of Leader-membership exchange model is becoming more perceptible.
While the bottoms-up approach is more democratic and perhaps more conducive to creative thinkers as a leadership style, I question whether it is actually sustainable in the long run.

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