Begin With A Simple Definition
Firstly, explain the characteristics of each construct: Structured and Flexible. Remember, no-one is always Structured or always Flexible. We can all do Structured and Flexible things, but the important thing to remember is that we don’t do them with equal enjoyment or comfort. It’s also important to stress that these constructs describe preferences, not skills.
Structured – People with a preference for Structure are action-oriented when it comes to resolving issues.
Flexible – People who have a preference for Flexible Organisation prefer to make sure that all possible information has been gathered before decisions are made.
Activity 1 – Team Celebration
Explain that the team has exceeded their annual target. To recognise and reward the team effort, they are to plan a celebration (for example, a picnic or day trip). They have 1 day for the celebration and $150 per head. Engineer the groups (separate Structured and Flexible), allow some working / discussion time (e.g. 10 minutes), after which they would briefly present their conclusions. Then ask participants to comment on the differences between Structured and Flexible ways of organising work and getting tasks done.
Common responses include:
- Structured: Plan everything; have a ‘to do’ list; consider contingencies.
- Flexible: Prefer to leave things open as they desire flexibility, feel stifled by what they see as being over-planned.
Split the group in half randomly – one group representing Structured, and another group representing Flexible. Ask each group to re-read the descriptors of S-F in the Personal Discovery Workbook (page 8), and reflect on and share:
- What are 3 words or phrases that we would use to describe the other end (of the RIDO scale)?
- What are 3 words or phrases that they would use to describe us?
- What are 3 things that we value about the way they work?
- What are 3 things that they might value about the way we work?