Culture Games


The school yard as business network

In this section I want to explain a little bit about the new direction I want to take on my training work. In the past year, I have met some one who is passsionate about her new job as I am about mine. We have known each other since 15 years or so, but due to our different tracks in life (moving to Asia twice, different jobs), we never thought of combining our interests into something new. But now our youngest kids are educated at the same primary school, we started talking on the school yard… We started talking about our work, and came up with the idea to start a new series of training courses that combine both our expertise. Marieke is a former employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands, and is now working as a trainer in theater workshops and a theater director. I am happy with the content of business ethics as reason to do my job and my PhD research.  What we both find interesting is the following: the group behavior of a professional team, their roles and responsibilities, and who we as trainers can detect, improve or retain a business culture for that team.

What is a business culture?

To understand  what we want to work on, I want to explain  culture and business culture here. Corporate culture is the total sum of the values, customs, traditions, and meanings that make a company unique. Corporate culture is often called “the character of an organization”, since it embodies the vision of the company’s founders. The values of a corporate culture influence the ethical standards within a corporation, as well as managerial behavior.[Link is from wikipedia),  So corporate culture has a certain character and it has certain values, and corporate culture can be attained, learned, rewarded, changed and it can be   unspoken and hard to define.

Culture Games; Playing with Responsibilities.

By connecting our passions and by complementing each other, a new combination arose which led is to Culture Games:Playing with responsibilities”.

The way Maaike Harmsen shapes her advice and training  in business ethics has many elements of role-playing. Together with the participants she looks for what is their own responsibility for that participant or team, and how they can shape it. Once that is found, the participant must also make it their own to get started in his or her responsibility. But using words alone often proves difficult in daily life. Marieke Veling lets the participants speak from their hearts. In a safe environment and with great games of fun she is working on team collaboration and mutual trust. Participants see and experience how and where they can take responsibility.In the combined training of Maaike and Marieke participants will (re)discover responsibilities and found out how corporate culture could actually be (re)designed.

We want to work out our combination in passion for theatre and business ethics, and can offer a training where we can combine role playing and digging up company values can help to recognize an actual company culture and to find out what a team really wants to achieve through their values. Here are three examples:

  1. You want to  strengthen and expand your company culture in a rapidly growing organization.  We practice role play with your key managers to make an inhouse  train- the-  trainers program you can expand on.
  2. You want to question yourself as a business enterprise. Are we still on track?  We love our own business culture, but are we sensitive to other voices? 
  3. You want to improve your corporate culture, because you have seen things go wrong. Here a ‘crime scene investigation’ role play can help out, to see what went wrong and how you can handle (not always prevent) it happening again, and how to learn and improve from the crisis. 

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Theater en Bedrijfsethiek; Spelen met Verantwoordelijkheid

 Maaike Harmsen geeft trainingen en advies op het gebied van bedrijfsethiek.Marieke Veling geeft theaterworkshops, regisseert en speelt.Door onze passies te verbinden en elkaar aan te vullen is een nieuwe combinatie ontstaan die geleidt heeft tot ‘spelen met verantwoordelijkheid’. 

In de manier waarop Maaike haar advies en trainingswerk in bedrijfsethiek vormgeeft, zitten veel elementen van rollenspel. Samen met de deelnemers zoekt ze naar wat eigen verantwoordelijkheid is voor die deelnemer of dat team, en hoe ze dat zouden kunnen vormgeven. Als dat eenmaal gevonden is, moet de deelnemer zich dat ook eigen maken om er mee aan de slag te gaan. Met woorden alleen is dat vaak moeilijk.

Marieke laat de deelnemers uit hun hoofd komen. In een veilige omgeving en met veel spelplezier werkt ze aan samenwerken en vertrouwen. Deelnemers zien en ervaren hoe en waar ze kun verantwoordelijkheid kunnen nemen.

In de gecombineerde training van Maaike en Marieke wordt geoefend met hoe de (her)ontdekte verantwoordelijkheden en bedrijfscultuur daadwerkelijk vormgegeven zou kunnen worden. De combinatie van bedrijfsethiek en theater kunnen we voor teams op verschillende manieren uitwerken:

  1. Je wilt als bedrijf  je bedrijfscultuur verstevigen en uitbreiden in een snel groeiende organisatie. Hoe kan je dat  het beste doen? Welke spelen laten zien hoe je die cultuur overdraagt, of juist niet?
  2. Je wilt als bedrijf je bedrijfscultuur bevragen. Zitten we nog op de goede weg? Waar nemen we onze verantwoordelijkheid? Waar laten we die liggen? Welke rollen spelen we daarin? Welke rollen moeten we oppakken, of juist laten liggen?
  3. Je wilt je bedrijfscultuur verbeteren. Dan moet je eerst weten waar naartoe je wilt gaan bewegen. En wat is goed en wat er fout is aan de cultuur zoals hij nu is. 

Translation available on request.

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