The implementation of a culture change programme met with massive resistance. Honouring agreements showed to be much more difficult, or even impossible, in daily practice than was anticipated at the start of the project. This led to growing irritation between colleagues as differences in interest were rising to the surface. It proved hard to change their way of working. This was worsened by all kinds of practical problems with the implementation of new systems that weren’t anticipated, which led to an uneven distribution in workload. Resistance grew in both upper- and under-current of the organisation. People failed to have constructive dialog on these problems with each other and with management.
The question arose: how can we create a constructive and harmonious dialog around these problems? How can we address each other on actions while also help where needed? How do we keep everybody in the game? And how can we ensure that people can tackle these problems successfully, even without interference from management or the programme bureau?
Instead of offering a standardised skill training, we chose to facilitate a session where participants could determine which skills should be addressed and to what level. Then, we facilitated sessions where they trained each other using cases from their daily practice.
The interesting thing about this train the trainer approach was that everyone had both the role of trainer and trainee. It was successful mostly because they could the trainer part around the problem that was most important to them individually.