Communications within an organization is very often a challenge and managers are often unaware of how challenging it really can be for employees to fully understand a message. Working in a matrix style organization can further add to the complexity of correctly interpreting communicated messages from the various managerial directions.
The Organizational Level Communication activity resource link
This team activity/exercise helps teams or groups to experience some of these challenges and therefore motivates participants to take a new look at how they are communicating in their own organizations and if they could possibly make improvements. The Organizational Level Communication activity can be run with groups of different sizes since the large group is split into smaller groups of 5 each for this exercise.
When you are left with less than 4 people after creating the small groups, add each of them to other small groups of 5 and give them the handout of Person E. Do not run the exercise with a small group of less than 4 people since it will impact the dynamics you are able to create for the small group.
Make sure you give the participants enough time to complete their reading of the handouts they each receive since the exercise is and looks simple, but it is very important that they understand the words and symbols they are to use for communicating with each other. Move among the reading groups of participants to answer any individual questions that may exist before you start the exercise.
The resource contains details of the set-up, the activity rules, the handouts that should be given to participants and also materials and room space needed. Debrief questions about the activity and discussion question options are also covered.
The indication is for the actual exercise to last between 10 and 15 minutes. You may need to use your own judgment regarding when to stop the exercise. Most of the small groups must have had the opportunity for all persons to exchange at least a few notes with those they are permitted to communicate with. This makes for a richer debrief and discussion session afterwards.
You can add your own discussion questions depending on the reasons why you felt this group of people needed to go through this activity and the changes you are hoping to bring about in the group/organization that they belong to.