Oshry – When Cultures Meet: What’s Possible – Workshop

When, where & how to book

When: Wednesday 12th July 2017 – THIS EVENT HAS FINISHED
Where: Brighton Friends Meeting House, Ship Street
Brighton BN1 1AF UK
Time: 10am – 5:30pm
Cost: £450 plus VAT (private sector) £250 plus VAT (public and charity sector)

To register your interest in future Oshry inspired workshops, please click below.


Building Bridges not Walls

This high-impact experiential workshop, based on the highly acclaimed work of North American systems theorist Barry Oshry, addresses these four key questions:

How do you harness the potential of diversity in organisations to create robust, inclusive cultures?

How do you move beyond divisive ‘us’ and ‘them’ polarisations?

Do you have the skills and insight required to nudge, evolve and connect divergent cultures?

What conditions are required to enable a productive meeting of cultures in your organisation?


The meeting of difference and diverse cultures – whether in the organisation, community, or society – too often results in destructive conflicts, walls not bridges, the suppression of one culture by another, ‘US’ versus ‘THEM’ attitudes, wasted energies, and lost possibilities.

Organisations that value difference and can integrate and connect those differences into a larger whole, one that is more robust and productive than any of its constituent parts, are a relatively rare phenomenon.

The costs of not managing difference and the meeting of cultures well, are all too evident. The capacity to create conditions that enables productive meeting of cultures, at any level, is now business-critical.

This workshop is relevant if you are working to achieve any of the following outcomes:

  • high performing teams made up of diverse members with varied background and perspectives.
  • effective partnering between functions and with the business.
  • successful mergers and acquisitions.
  • work environments that enable Generation Y and Z to contribute and flourish.
  • inclusive work cultures where everyone has an equal chance to succeed.

What can you expect?

  • The workshop is a blend of dynamic experiential exercises, thought-provoking strategic frameworks, and concrete application activities.
  • The morning exercises get under the skin of how cultures form and the power dynamics that typically occur when two or more cultures meet. An organisation with its ‘normal’ ways of working faces the challenge of incorporating people with their ‘normal’ ways of working. The debriefing process for this exercise gives insights about how to productively manage the meeting of cultures and the negative impact and costs of overlooking this area.
  • Subsequent sessions focus on the options for moving forward to develop robust inclusive organisations, whatever your context.
  • There will be time to reflect on the implications for yourself and your own organisation.

By the end of the workshop you will:

  • Experience how difference is valued or marginalised and the consequences, and know how to respond when an “us and them” dynamic is at play.
  • Understand how power, rank and group identity impact patterns of inclusion and exclusion, contribution and performance in groups and teams.
  • Be aware of the risks to organisational effectiveness of not intervening when cultures meet.
  • Be familiar with a framework for drawing on the strengths of different cultures and releasing the potential for innovation that can come from integrating different perspectives.
  • Develop more confidence in your ability to facilitate change when managing or facilitating a meeting of cultures.

Workshop Leaders:

John Watters is Managing Director of Living Leadership, Associate of Future Considerations and a Senior Associate of Power+Systems. John is the leading authority on Barry Oshry’s systems leadership work in Europe and has worked in partnership with Barry Oshry for 15 years. John specialises in working with complex, conflicted or challenging situations where a shift is needed in leadership and culture. His approach is to work with clients to find the smallest, most significant nudges that will enable the situation to evolve. John’s client work spans global organisations such as PwC, NATO and Shell, public sector organisations from the NHS to Further Education Colleges to Central Government, and not-for-profit organisations ranging from global charities, the Church of England to small community enterprises.

Jules Fell is an Associate of Future Considerations and works with individuals and organisations through Future Considerations bringing a keen interest in helping people to get the best from one another. She developed a passion for partnership and collaborative working through 15 years of delivering experiential leadership programmes with participants from all sectors and backgrounds with Common Purpose Having held senior leadership positions in the private and voluntary sectors, Jules has first hand experience of bringing different cultures together (as well as being sister to 2 brothers and mother of 2 sons!). Jules is accredited in all of Barry Oshry’s frameworks and has wide experience of applying this work with clients in different sectors in UK and internationally.


Accreditation in Barry Oshry’s When Cultures Meet Workshop

Following your participation in the When Cultures Meet Workshop, if you wish to become accredited to run the programme, then an accreditation programme will run the following day on 13 July 2017 in Brighton. Please contact deb@powerandsystems.com for more information.


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