AMBASADA - Timisoara, Romania
Imagine a penguin waddling on land until the point it gets into water, that’s when it shoots off! flowing with energy and grace. This image is a reminder that sometimes at work we are like penguins on land, with work depleting our energy. Other times we can be like penguins in water, when our work gives us energy. Unpacking this, together with the experiences of our participants, the Penguin Project sessions looks to enable others to imagine how their organizations could “charge” them.
The penguin is a good metaphor for the power of context. Our environment determines how much of our innate potential we can manifest. Quite often in our organizations we still totter around like penguins on land - our talents constrained by organisational politics, bureaucracy or job descriptions.
Our work shop explored this topic in a fun and to-the-point way, by setting up a room that required participants to answer with their feet. We asked insightful questions about the experience of working in culture, and participants would move up or down on a scale we made on the floor, then we would talk in depth about peoples reasons and experience. This gave us both quantitive and qualitative insights.
The second part was about taking this awareness and using it to better understand something challenging at work. We did this using a "case clinic" which is a method to help individuals describe their challenge with the help of a small group and the direction to stay in the problem. Other members if the group would then reflect how they perceived the challenge being described.
What come from this was conversations after the workshop, with people that they may never have met before but share a similar challenge. And the idea that we all have a role to play in the culture we share at work, it is not something that we are powerless to change.