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Large Group Interventions

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Large Group Interventions
• Large Group Interventions (LGIs) are technologies that have
been used extensively throughout the world since the 1980s.
Their development was rooted in a range of theories and
approaches, including Kurt Lewin and Gestalt Psychology,
Systems Theory, Open Systems and Power and Systems Labs
and the work on Socio-Technical systems of Bion and later,
Emery and Trist. In the 1970s, this work was further shaped by
Beckard, Lippitt and Merrelyn Emery, who developed the
Search Conference. Marvin Weisbord developed this further
in the 1980s through his work on “getting  the whole system
into the room”.

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• Large group interventions  is a term coined by organisation
development consultants Billie T. Alban and Barbara Benedict Bunker
in 1992. The term covers a range of methods for creating a large-scale
meeting in which—typically—the participants become aware of the
need for change in their organisation or community, and develop
plans for collaborative action that will bring the desired state of
affairs into existence.
• Large group interventions can play a significant role in:
• Enabling staff to engage with the organisation’s brand, story, vision and
• Initiating collaborative projects that put the strategy into action.
• Redesigning the structure of the organisation.
• Finding ways to:
 – Eliminate a silo mentality.
 – Transform corporate culture.
 – Become more agile and innovative.
 – Improve business processes and work practices.
 – Integrate two businesses following a merger or acquisition.

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Traditional approaches
• Top-down and therefore often misunderstood or resisted by people lower down
in the organisation
• Led by a selected working or project group, representative of the workforce.
This approach often starts off well, but over time the representatives become
distanced and isolated from their colleagues as they gather enthusiasm for their
work and are privy to much more information than their colleagues back in the
• Bottom-up, where individual teams of employees are accountable for making
changes in the way they themselves do business. While this generates
enthusiasm and empowerment, teams using this approach largely end up
working independently of each other and do not necessarily develop in line
with corporate goals and objectives
• Pilot strategies, identifying a specific part of the organisation as the flagship or
leader for change. They have a well-defined task and the support of the
organisation’s leaders, and are thus often given the necessary (and sometimes
excessive) resources to ensure success.

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• This page informs you about 'Large Group Interventions'. A
Large Group Intervention (LGI) is a name for a broad range
of methods that can be used to facilitate and manage
organizational change. Characteristic for LGI is that the
whole organization (or a representation of the
organization) is involved in the change process. Also it is not
uncommon for a LGI that other stakeholders such as
customers, suppliers, financiers, and governments
participate in the process. The number of participants of a
LGI can vary from 10 to 3000 participants. Examples of large
group intervention include:
• Future search
• Open space technology
• Real time strategic change
• Simu Real
• Participative Work Design

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Large Group Interventions

• Future Search Conference (Weisbord)

• Open-Space Meeting (Owen)
• Open System Planning (Beckhard)
• Real-Time Strategic Change (Jacobs)
• The Conference Model (Axelrod)

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Open Space Methods
• Set the conditions for self-organizing
 – Announce the theme of the session
 – Establish norms for the meetings
• The “Law of Two Feet.”
• The “Four Principles.”
 – “Whoever comes is the right people.”
 – “Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.”
 – “Whenever it starts is the right time.”
 – “When it is over, it is over.”

• Volunteers create the agenda

• Coordinate activity through information
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Large-Group Meeting Assumptions
• Organization members’  perceptions play a major
role in environmental relations.
• Organization members must share a common
view of the environment to permit coordinated
action toward it.
• Organization members’  perceptions must
accurately reflect the condition of the
environment if organizational responses are to be
• Organizations cannot only adapt to their
environment but also proactively create it.

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Large-Group Method
Application Stages
• Preparing for the large-group meeting
 – Identify a compelling meeting theme
 – Select appropriate stakeholders to participate
 – Develop relevant tasks to address meeting
• Conducting the meeting
 – Open Systems Methods
 – Open Space Methods
• Following up on the meeting outcomes

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Managerial Grid

Behavioral leadership model developed by Robert R. Blake and Jane


This model originally identified five different leadership styles based on :-

• Concern for people-the degree to which a leader considers the

needs of team members, their interests, and areas of personal
development when deciding how best to accomplish a task

• Concern for production.  The degree to which a leader

emphasizes organizational efficiency and high productivity when
deciding how best to accomplish a task
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The Team style (sound) (9, 9)

• High concern is paid both to

people and production.

• Managers choosing to use

this style encourage
teamwork and commitment
among employees.

• This method relies heavily on

making employees feel
themselves to be constructive
parts of the company.
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• The opportunistic style : Individuals using this style do not have a fixed
location on the grid. They adopt whichever behavior offers the greatest
personal benefit.

• The paternalistic style: Managers using this style praise and support, but
discourage challenges to their thinking.


The Managerial or Leadership Grid is used to help managers analyze their

own leadership styles through a technique known as grid training


The model ignores the importance of internal and external limits, matter and
scenario. Also, there are some more aspects of leadership that can be
covered but are not.
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