Case 05

Opening communications within departments.

Let the audience ask itself questions to understand each other better.

Case 05: For involvement and change

You have a room full of people, but how do these people relate to each other? Is there tension within the group? If so, it might not be the best environment to begin sharing and discussing. However, there is an easy way to create a safe and amicable atmosphere to get the ball rolling. By dividing the audience into different groups, and then have them answer questions via mobile phone, you can clarify differentiating opinions without having out individuals. By using a professional, independent moderator, tensions are released and problems become solvable.

ABN AMRO Finance and Risk Management & Strategy.

A number of challenges exist in the cooperation between two different departments. Prior to the meeting, ABN AMRO created a number of provocative statements to trigger existing feelings.

Each delegate was asked upon entrance, to indicate which department he or she is working for. Then per department, one would answer questions about the other department. The results were shown to the audience and later discussed together.

“What best characterizes your opinions/feelings about the Finance department?”

— one of the questions that was asked.

They are nitpickers.
They are whiners.
They don’t know the business or the risks. They always complain about the costs.
“We do not recognize the numbers”.


The audience could clearly see how the questions pointed out the sore spots. The reason the dialogue worked so well was that they could see what the issues were without pointing out individuals. Equal time and energy was spent on each department, so contrasts between the departments became clear. After, a group discussion ensued in a positive atmosphere with a positive tone.

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