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Leadership Development Simulations: Dress Rehearsal Simulation

What is Dress Rehearsal?

This one-day simulation challenges managers to produce team results under the pressures of time and uncertainty. Participants will learn how to drive and maintain the cross-functional cooperation required to achieve key organizational priorities. It successfully breaks down the “silos” (formed by separate work groups, project teams, and divisions) that block the necessary flow of information needed to obtain results. Current, shared information allows managers to make well-informed decisions needed to resolve the constant issues of resource allocation.

This simulation helps cut unnecessary hierarchy so team members learn to work together quickly in self-sufficient, cross-functional teams. It is very useful to:

  • Jump-start new organizations or rejuvenate existing ones.
  • Build a fast, flexible and focused organization.
  • Fully utilize individual strengths and abilities.
  • Manage and organize chaos in merger/acquisition situations where teams must focus on shared goals instantly.
  • Manage technology, products, customers and geographies all at once.

The lessons learned are easily adaptable to participants’ immediate priorities – resulting in strong teams and organizations that focus on clear and aligned goals, quickly organizing and reorganizing according to changes in priorities.

Who should attend?

  • Manufacturing or service industries line and staff middle managers
  • Division and senior managers
  • Organizational development professionals

Key Concepts

  • Love Complexity – matrix management is necessary to simultaneously control the use of resources for the organization’s fundamental performances.
  • Focus on Meetings – a matrix is a system of management meetings.
    Build an Empowering Reputation – be a leader who is overt about goals and objectives and make well-informed decisions by being a learning participant in the team’s consultative decision-making process.
  • Reinforce Common Goals – constantly reinforce the team’s goals and the relationship of these goals to the organization’s higher goals so those team members choose to serve the hierarchy of goals.
  • Encourage Interdependence – commitment to a hierarchy of common goals allows people to discover and accept their interdependence by recognizing the limits of their own resources and the need for cooperation.
  • Focus on Priorities – establish priorities for the use of the organization’s resources.
  • Embody the matrix – at the personal level, a matrix only works when each manager is willing to play multiple roles within the structure and to link these roles together in their personal accountabilities and performance.

In summary, managers need to understand the importance of making the organization operate as a system of linked management teams. In addition to using easily changeable Performance Outputs and Priorities Statements (POPs) to define roles, every team needs to focus on the review of work and constantly deal with issues of cross-functional resource allocation. To make these decisions, managers should only use rational group decision-making processes within each management team, especially the consultative decision-making process.

Key Skills

  • Experience a Representative Culture’s learning disabilities and stress.
  • Confront uncertainty, complexity, and information overload in a matrixed organization.
  • Experience the power of cooperative thinking and action.
  • Understand the psychological and social issues of power, trust and individual motivation.
  • Deal with the transition – both the technical and personal aspects – from a Representative to a matrixed organization.

Course Materials

  • Participant workbooks
  • One Dress Rehearsal Simulator per team
  • The Dress Rehearsal is designed for teams of a minimum of 12 people. Several teams can run through the simulation as space allows. If more than three teams are participating at one time, facilitators will either need to be trained or brought on-site. Facilitators help pass out materials, keep score and answer questions. Each trained facilitator will receive a guide and scoring software.
  • Please note that use of a laptop computer is required.

Concept and simulation developed by William R. Daniels at American Consulting & Training, Inc.

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