Microsoft

Story-based D&I training

The Challenge

Microsoft challenged Korn Ferry and Gronstedt Group to develop a one-day diversity and inclusion program that would be “less Harvard and more Disney.”

The Solution

About a week before the one-day program started, participants were sent a movie “trailer” to build excitement. The trailer, showing highlights of a dramatized television-style show, was used as a promotional tool to get participants motivated for the event.

On the day of the live session posters with QR codes were placed on walls at various locations within the conference facility. Each poster featured a single character from the video dramatization. Participants were divided into teams and instructed to locate the posters, scan the codes with their phones, and watch each video to learn about that character.

After some introductory classroom activities, the group watched a video on the big screen that set up the story: An IT team is planning a large project that will place tremendous demands on them. The team is comprised of people of different ethnicities, cultures, and ages. They must find a way to transcend these differences if they hope to successfully complete their difficult assignment.

Throughout the day, the class watched scribe videos that related to the live action video story and elaborated on how to address some to interpersonal strains the fictional team was experiencing. This is “transmedia storytelling” where each medium is used for its strengths: Live-action video drove the storyline forward. Scribe videos were used to explain skill sets, such as coaching skills. Each medium made its own unique contribution to the storyline that framed the entire day of learning activities. A facilitator led discussions and reflection activities. Train-the-trainer sessions were setup to prepare the facilitators. The feedback from Microsoft participants has been very positive.