Your browser (Internet Explorer 6) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. .

Data Feedback Theatre of Inquiry

Data Feedback & Moving to the Invention Phase

Leaders at all levels have a profound effect on the culture of organisations.  The dynamic processes of culture creation and management are the essence of leadership.  Culture emanates from leaders’ beliefs about ‘success’ that are translated from core values – ‘what’s important’ and come to be represented by norms and behaviours.


Leaders transmit and embed culture through primary embedding mechanisms:

  1. What leaders pay attention to, measure and control
  2. Leader reactions to critical incidents and organisations crises.
  3. Deliberate role modelling, teaching and  by leaders
  4. Criteria for allocation of reward and status
  5. Criteria for recruitment, selection, promotion, retirement and excommunication

And through secondary articulation and reinforcement mechanisms

  1. Organisational design and structure
  2. Organisational systems and procedures
  3. Design of physical space, facades and buildings
  4. Stories, legends, myths and parables about important events and people
  5. Formal statements of organisational philosophy creeds and charters.

The  have overall accountability for organisation performance, but they know they are one step removed from the organisation’s direct value producing activities.  Therefore they are the ones who create the conditions to enable others to be successful by:

  • Setting the tone and ‘walking the talk’
  • Leading the change movement, championing the reasons and benefits
  • Putting support into the 
  • Positioning it as a top priority
  • Giving clear messages
  • Measuring it, holding employees accountable.

The data feedback phase aims to energize those involved so that they want to move to the next stage of the development agenda and commit to doing things differently.

Feedback is still part of the diagnostic process.  More data will emerge as people work with the first cut of the data.  Individual reactions to the data and the sense they make of it will give more the project more information to work with.

The OD Practitioner must summarise the findings in as simple a form as possible without sacrificing the validity of the data.  The data can be fed back using a Theatre of Inquiry.

Sample Theatre of Inquiry Outline



Opening Remarks

  • Summarize for the group (as a reminder):
  • The commissioning of the Organisation Development Programme
  • The objectives of the Organisation Development Programme
  • What you did and why (methodology)
  • Who has been involved (total number of people and type of people where data was collected)
  • State the aim of the session and give an outline of the meeting

Presentation Data

  • One group at a time followed by questions and answers
  • Note: if there are a lot of sub-groups they should all give their presentations first, followed by all the questions and answers together.

Break the audience into smaller groups to discuss these questions

  • What are the key points that stand out of me? Why?
  • What are the most surprising points?
  • How do I feel about what I have heard?
  • What do I think are the most crucial data that we as an organisation should pay attention to?

Bring the group back together

  • Ask the groups to report verbally what they have heard or use big pinboards to stick their answers on.
  • When everyone has reported, facilitate a whole group conversation on the four questions above.  The aim is for the group to come to some agreement on what to do next


  • People vote on the areas that actions would be required as they emerged from the discussion and how best to tackle them

Open Space Forum (optional)

  • (If time allows) people decide which action area they want to work on and discuss how they will begin.

Summary of actions (optional)

  • Involve the group in finalizing the action planning processes.  Be very clear about the decision making process necessary for the plan to be approved and resourced.  Be clear about how people in Familiies First will hear about the outcomes from the day