A description of a process that Peter developed to help one team hand over work to another team, honouring all elements of our reality. It creates the conditions for the old team to be able to let go gracefully and for the new team to be able to step in fully empowered.

Purpose

To enable the effective and graceful transition of the work of a team from the current team to the next team.

Principles

  • Honour the past
  • Make explicit the present
  • Envision the future
  • Connect past, present and future

Design

  • Welcome, framing and intro
  • Check-in : how are you, what has / will be your relationship with this work, and what are your hopes for today?
  • Past
    • Everyone who has been involved in the work so far sits in an inner circle
    • Those who will be involved in the future and haven’t been directly involved in the past sit in a circle on the outside
    • The inner circle tell the story of the emergence and development of the team and its work up to the current day (including high-points and low-points)
    • Outer circle may only ask questions for clarification
    • Check-out : what is the most important thing you would like to say to the future team?
    • Final Check- “Is anyone sitting with anything they feel they still really have to say?”

BREAK

  • Future
    • Those who will be involved in the future sit in an inner circle
    • Everyone who has been involved in the work so far and will not be involved in the future sits in an outer circle
    • Inner circle checks in with “What is the most important insight you are taking with you from the story of the first group?”
    • Inner circle transports itself to a relevant point in the future (far enough to release imagination, close enough to be real) and describes what they are proud of having achieved
    • Inner circle looks “back” in period between present and future point and describes what the most important things were that happened (in past tense) to enable them to get where they are today
    • Can also ask people to describe what they are proud of in themselves and what role they played in that period
    • Inner circle reflects on what positive contribution the previous team had made that has helped the new team get where it is today
    • Outer circle may only ask questions for clarification
  • Back to one circle with check-out : What is the final thing I would like to say to all my colleagues gathered here?
  • Celebrate transition

Timing

I find this process works well in half a day – about 3 to 4 hours in total. One could of course use different creative forms and extend it to a longer period.

Recording and Marking

I like working with a graphic artist who captures the story being told in images, which you can then have printed out and framed as a present for all participants.

The Hague, April 2009

Download the PDF here.

(This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.)

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