Study the best ways for large groups to work together, says Julia Tybura

All the methodologies in this fascinating book are outlined in detailed case studies. The authors have built on their previous work, Large Group Interventions, and each case study author offers reflections on how the large group methods were used and what was learned.

The book is truly global in scope, covering communities from the UK to the US via Indonesia and Israel. The two UK examples involve the BBC and NHS. Some of the case studies focus on the period immediately after the 2001 terrorist attacks on the US, with the American companies particularly concerned by a central focus. Since then, the world has moved on and we face an “economic tsunami” in the public sector, as well as globally. These case studies could help us deal with this transformationally.

The case studies focus on six challenges:

  • widely dispersed organisations and the problem of involvement;
  • organisations in crisis;
  • working in polarised and politicised environments;
  • working in communities with diverse interest groups;
  • working cross culturally;
  • embedding new patterns of working.

There is a useful matrix at the end of the first chapter to help navigate through the interventions and approaches used by each organisation in the case studies.

This book will be useful to anyone interested in transforming organisations, systems and cultures. The case studies can teach skills that are a useful part of any leader’s change toolkit.

The Handbook of Large Group Methods, Barbara Benedict Bunker and Billie T Alban, Jossey-Bass Business and Management 2006

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