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Learning for Life “The Changemaster Workshop: Experience the Challenge of Implementing Organizational Change”

Learning for Life “The Changemaster Workshop: Experience the Challenge of Implementing Organizational Change”


The seminar took place at ALBA facilities on Sunday, October 19, 2008 and it was conducted by Nikos Mylonopoulos, Associate Professor of Information Systems, Associate Dean of Innovation & Technology, ALBA Graduate Business School.

Seminar Outline :


A unique experience centered on a computer-based simulation game where participants face the challenge of implementing large scale change. During the workshop participants have the opportunity to:

  • Get to grips with the practical difficulties of bringing about change
  • Apply theoretical knowledge on managing change
  • Test their skills and learn from their mistakes in a risk-free environment
  • Reflect on their own performance
  • Understand how best to diffuse collaboration processes and systems
  • Take away concrete insights they can apply immediately at work

The EIS Simulation

The EIS simulation game, which is at the core of this workshop, has been developed by INSEAD’s Center of Advanced Learning Technologies (CALT) on the basis long term academic research. This simulation game is being used extensively by the top Business Schools worldwide and also by large corporations that have adopted it as part of their ongoing training or change practices. Briefly, the main simulation scenario is as follows:

Welcome to Eurocomm, a large multinational. You are about to join a team of change agents with a mission to convince the highly efficient but independently-minded top management team at Teleswitches (a recent acquisition) that they cannot delay any longer the harmonization of their cost accounting and reporting systems with those of the rest of the group. You have six months to show that you can bring about change. Will you be able to win over the trust and conviction of the Teleswitches management team while controlling your own stress and frustration?

Why a simulation-based learning experience?

Have you been involved in a merger, in consolidating back-office operations, in business process re-engineering, in the implementation of a major information system? These are examples of large organizational change projects that leave a mark on organizations and on our memory. 

And if these examples remind you of similar experiences of your own, you are probably painfully aware that in spite of the considerable time, effort and resources dedicated to them, the majority of such projects fail miserably. Even when the project is not abandoned, it often falls short of the initial expectations. 

The new work mindsets needed to achieve the desired performance improvements quickly wither away as old habits, motives and politics creep back in. Costs soar, disruption protracts indefinitely, frustration and cynicism reign supreme. 

The problem arises when we move from the relatively comfortable area of knowing what needs to be done and planning the necessary actions, to the delicate task of doing it: instilling new beliefs, motivating new behaviors, reinventing work relations. 

Although experience and formal education equips us with ample knowledge of what to do, we face the harsh truth that our practical skill for coming to terms with resistance to change and for translating knowledge into action is lacking. What’s more, it is unlikely that yet another interesting lecture, presentation or case discussion might make the difference. 

Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that prior knowledge of best practices in change management does not necessarily correlate with better performance in the EIS Simulation game! The first lesson that strikes participants is their “knowing – doing” gap. 

With this experiential learning approach, you will have the chance to test your skills, revisit your own behaviors and take away concrete, actionable insights which you can put to practice the following morning in the office. Thus hopefully bridging yours and your company’s knowing – doing gap.