Family Business Problems? Ira Bryck, Solutions!

Hotseat Role Play

THERE’S A THING I DO that is a mash-up of role-playing/ improv/ playback theater/ strategic questioning that could be a fun and fruitful activity for your organization/ company. In short, a few people take a turn to sit in the hot seat, tell their challenge, and then benefit from a process where others play the antagonist to your protagonist (note: to them, YOU are the antagonist), and I guide the group to help you improve your perspective, attitude, behavior, thought process, so you can be more effective, tactful, direct, satisfied, and creative.

They say creativity is a matter of recombining elements in some new way; and this combines some very effective tools into one super-tool, that will give you a virtual experience that you can bring back to your own battlefield.

This is custom and unique, not “in the can” … I recently did it, uniquely each time, with a group of 30 educators who run university family business programs, and a group of 20 family business therapists/ coaches. See some of their feedback, and get in touch with me, if you’d like to discuss how to bring me and this to your management meeting, retreat, educational conference. This can be done with any industry or topic.

ALSO, this would pair well with another tool I use, exploring mission statements, and creating your own new one that is more relevant and meaningful to you — ask me about this, when you call!

thanks! — Ira

here’s a few comments from colleagues who were in these sessions:

I recently attended one of my favorite professional development events of the year – Psychodynamics of Family Business – in Chicago. Ira Bryck facilitated a creative and educational experience which was part improv, part fishbowl, part role play and had other parts I can’t think of names for and were great. Members of the group, consultants to family businesses, picked other members to play parts of family clients they work with and processed and worked-through tough situations and challenges. It was deep and powerful and Ira created a safe space for members to take this kind of risk. – Jeff Savlov, Blum & Savlov Family Business Consulting

Ira’s amalgam of Strategic Questioning, Playback Theater and Improv proved very effective at getting at issues, some deeply personal, and illuminating them without being prescriptive.  Having been one of the role players, I found it to be personally moving and affective in ways that I had not expected.  Those in the hot seat said they found the experience useful in their journey toward understanding. – Paul Session, Director, University of New Haven Center for Family Business and Family Business Consultant

This exercise was very beneficial for me, as it led me into some deeper thought about similar situations I’m facing with some of my clients, and I was able to apply some new ideas and solutions to their situations.   – Ed Hart, Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, Director, Center for Family Business

I thought it was a very useful exercise. It allowed me the opportunity to share a real problem and get instant feedback from 30 of my peers. With the ability to stop and start the exercise, it also allowed me to change the direction based on the input I was receiving. Great exercise and great opportunity to really create change in my behavior. – Peter Johnson, Institute for Family Business, Eberhardt School of Business, University of the Pacific

I think the role-play portion itself can be challenging. It worked for me because Judy was my partner and knows my situation very well so she could portray my customer. But the question and discussion portion was tremendously helpful for me. It gave me a lot of different perspectives and options for how to help resolve my challenge. Overall, I think it’s a great exercise. We’ve even incorporated a version of it into one of our programs. – Elizabeth Fidanovski, Chicago Family Business Council at DePaul University

Role-playing is such a great way to get out of the intellectual and into the experience of the reality. Ira is masterful at choosing the right moment to intervene with the right question to guide the role play toward meaningful learning and real solutions. – Joanne Stern, Family Wealth Preservation Consulting, member of Psychodynamics of Family Business study group

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