“Theatre in the Round” Packs the House

180 IT leaders gathered at the Hyatt Regency in Scottsdale, Arizona, for a 3-day conference to launch a newly merged organization and build plans for the next fiscal year.

During the morning of Day 3, the hotel ballroom transformed into a “Theatre in the Round” that featured teams of 20 presenting short plays with original scripts, set design, and musical scores. Designed byBen Cikanek and Mike Klar (co-Artistic Directors from Firework Theater in New York City), the acting was first-rate, relying on metaphors and hyperbole to drive home the future of the business and the challenges, villains, and heroes that would join along the way.

Prior to the conference, David Roberts and Matt Sullivan of The Difference led the design and creation of a 3-minute “Motion Story” animation that told the story of the strategic direction for the organization. This artistic piece kicked off the conference and formed a 55′ visual backdrop for the event.
During the conference, The Difference integrated a range of methodologies, including Bill Bridges’ Transition Management Model and Elkiem’s High Performance Environmental Structure, in an interactive conference design that kept participants engaged and moving. Designed primarily to be a working session, participants ultimately created integrated FY’12 operational plans and identified tens of millions of dollars in efficiency opportunities.

The close of the conference included a standing ovation by the 180 participants for The Difference team of designers, facilitators, and artists. One participant commented, “This is the best experience I’ve had in my 16 years of working for this organization. I would have given my paycheck to be a part of this conference.”