What is field experience

Insights into transformation and organizational development processes, accompanied by synchronize - three variations of field experiences:

"What Please? Boot camp??“

Young talent program NEO: Initiation as part of a "boot camp"

First of all, the term causes some frowns. Images of survival training on a desert island, practical tests, laborious tracking over icy mountain peaks, hunger and tent camps automatically come to mind.

At the end of January 2019, the participants of our customer (an automotive supplier) in the land of cuckoo clocks in the Black Forest experienced something completely different. The initiation as part of a “boot camp” is part of the program to promote young talent, which is now being tailor-made for the fourth year by the Synchronize managing directors Bodo Linke and Stefan Daniel. Four talents from four countries (Canada, Iran, India and Mexico) are working intensively on future topics in their industry. In our experience, there is no better place for this than the good old farm in the Black Forest.

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Retreat for reflection and exploration of the future

In dealing with one of the largest social and industrial transformation processes that the automotive industry is currently experiencing, the 200-year-old courtyard is a symbol of prototypical survival. Resistant to all odds, the courtyard is still standing - although from an architectural point of view it should have collapsed long ago. A wonderful place to retreat, reflect and explore the future. Through practical examples, exercises and scientific contexts, the participants experienced how change dynamics work in systems and what opportunities and challenges are associated with them.

Feel change processes with Lego Serious

With Lego Serious, they recreated the most important changes in the social ecosystem. In keeping with the synchronize principles of “open mind, open heart and open will”, the young team opened up to the big questions of this time and learned the basics of systems theory, Theory U (Otto Scharmer), leadership and Buddhism.

The journey of the change maker

With the Synchronize network partners Gian Luca Ferrarotti (Italy) and Bettina Haasen, they also developed a deeper awareness of their role in the team and of their personal attitude in demanding process stages. 10 months are still ahead of them, in which they are challenged as change makers are to promote effective knowledge in your own system! The Synchronize consultant team will accompany you on this path ...


Graf Recke Foundation

An organizational development process

Everyone involved is excited. Participants, team of consultants and the head of the business area. Because now, in two days, 30 executives and employees across all areas, hierarchies and functions will meet to work intensively with one another. A two-day organizational diagnosis workshop is about taking a structured look at all the essential organizational aspects of the business area and questioning them critically. Two days full of lively discussions, assessments and decisions about what is worth working on to make the business even better. Two days that encourage you to face the challenges of a better organization and to pursue this goal with perseverance.

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This workshop is part of a comprehensive organizational development process over two years, which will bring the largest division of the Graf Recke Foundation forward. In this change process, we work together with our customers on various topics. In doing so, we link the work on the organization with the development of the management system and the necessary individual development steps, which the managers in particular have to go through for themselves to make this possible.


India: Learning from the field

What can companies do from a women's organization in India - Grassroots Woman - learn?

As part of a complex change and development program, participants on a trip to Pune in India get to know an unusual organization that has set up the apparently unattainable within 20 years. In a patriarchal system without rights, mandates or authorization, “Grassroots Women” has formed a serious movement through advanced training, and has won over husbands or village leaders for their cause. See in the video how touching and inspiring the trip was for all participants and what amazing insights were gained.

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initial situation

As part of the NEO program, a cross-year external impulse is planned, in which the participants have the opportunity to experience other worlds, outstanding people or the future.

Experiences and intentions

Visiting the women in the village was a personal experience for everyone. On an individual exploration of the village, we were able to gather first impressions of the living conditions in a rural village in India. We met open and curious people, happy, laughing children and also had the opportunity to go into the "houses" of the villagers. After a ceremony for the NEO members, in which the village elder tied the traditional headgear for us, we were invited to lunch in the house of a villager and were able to have the first conversations with members of the SSP women network in small groups and to have them in the Deepen the connection in 3 small mixed groups. Finally, we were able to visit a breed of black chickens, which are characterized by the fact that their eggs have a special composition of omega 3 / omega 6 fatty acids from a health point of view and therefore there are few competitors (“Blue Ocean strategy approach”). The results From the visit to the women in the village we were able to discuss and deepen the next day in the SSP office in Usmanabad with about 25 women, who in turn lead over 10,000 village women (women leaders) and more than 40 own businesses (business leaders).

In essence, we were interested in

  • how these women managed to find a hearing and recognition from their husbands and the village community without their relationships being destroyed
  • how women organize themselves and continuously tackle bigger problems
  • how the cooperation within a village, across villages and with SSP is structured - i.e. the question of alignment and autonomy
  • how the SSP organization builds, maintains and supports this network

After returning to Pune, we reflected on the findings of the first two days and had the opportunity to exchange and discuss our results with a founder of SSP, Ms. Prema Gopalan, and a group of students from the HEC in Paris. At the same time, there was the opportunity the next day to get to know the results of the empirical field study on the effectiveness of SSP's activities in recent years.

On the last day we visited the KSPG factory in Pune and discussed the results of the trip to India as well as the current status of the NEO projects with the management and obtained their perspective on the topics.


  • Autonomous groups are formed that stay together for life and trust each other completely (“we would die for each other”). In these groups, every woman “saves” a monthly contribution from her “family assets” for a joint budget, which is assigned to a project from 4 categories (Health, Education, Agriculture, Business) in a group decision every month - we would do that today as “sprints” “Call.
  • The women “collaborate” with all the other groups and exchange information monthly through their “group leaders” at village level, quarterly regionally across villages and annually across the country across villages (alignment). It was interesting to find out that these women do not compete with each other despite repeated inquiries with a very plausible reason: "I got the knowledge from someone else - why shouldn't I pass it on and our goal is to make life for the families in the." to improve the whole village - what is the benefit of competition ”.
  • The women work deeply into the problems that need to be overcome and understand exactly what they are doing (research, deep-dive, deep-listening, field studies, large group conferences, ...).
  • In order to win stakeholders, you have to bring them personally "into the field" in order to generate emotional concern. This is most likely to succeed in a twofold approach: Organize the development from below - by empowering individuals for change without explaining to them what and how they should change and at the same time by means of large group events to which important stakeholders are invited to get away from it Being able to make a personal impression of the problems, possible solutions and difficulties in implementation and to bring about first decisions.
  • The next "dream" of SSP is the digitization of the currently 5 WELI centers (Women Entrepreneural Leadership Institute) and in the next few years the number is to be increased to 500 in order to scale the support system of SSP. We took up the idea immediately to sound out what contribution NEO or RHA can make to this project and held initial discussions in 3 focus groups: (1) what are the requirements for digitization in a WELI, (2) how it is driving digitization, networking and "collaboration" and (3) how digitization drives business.

These findings from this field experience can be easily transferred to NEO's mission to increase effectiveness, especially in terms of a culture change in the organization. The next step would be to use the "Future Conference", which is planned every 3 years in the NEO program and brings selected managers and employees of the organization as well as external experts from various disciplines around one table in order to get a common picture of the future Discuss changes and implementation steps.

Weißenhorn in October 2017

Bodo Linke, Synchronize Consult