Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers: Paradigm Shift

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Paradigm Shift

“Paradigm Shift” is an all time important issue. You being a faculty or a trainer must be finding the need to highlight the concepts of  paradigms in your various workshops and seminars irrespective of what topics or modules they cover. So, here is an exercise that you will find quite handy and useful in explaining the “paradigms” and “paradigm shift”.

Give each one of your workshop/seminar participants the following jumbled up pieces of words and phrases  written on a paper. Ask them to read the words/phrases carefully and let them select out at a time two of them as a pair such that in each selected pair one word or phrase is almost or completely opposite of the other word or phrase.

As a demonstration, select out from the distributed paper the phrases “Hard work’” and “Smart work”. Ask your program participants to make two columns on their note pad, the title of the first column being “Old Way” and that of the other being “New Way”. Ask them to fill the first column with “Hard work” as the old way of doing any work and the second column with “Smart work” as the new way of doing the work. Explain to them that “working hard” was an old paradigm and “working smart” has replaced it as a new paradigm of working.

Tell them that they should start picking up the rest of the pairs of words/phrases from the jumbled up list given to them and arrange the phrases/words in the two columns.


Local                          Collaborate                       Work designed by employees
Add cost             Control-order-predict (COP)
Internal alliance                           Command              First time right
Idea-intensive production                                                    Uncovering errors
Individual courses
Lateral                        Add value                     Material-intensive production
High trust                                              Continuous learning
Low trust                                        Hard work
Work designed by management                                                   Hiding errors
Internal competition
Hierarchical                                      Acknowledge-create-empower (ACE)
Smart work                          Global             Rework


They may need some fifteen to twenty minutes to complete this exercise. You may notice that some participants may give up some way down the lane.

Now ask the person who completed the exercise the fastest to shout out the arrangement of phrases/words in the two columns. If he goes wrong in some cases, you can invite other participants to correct. If no one volunteers in some specific cases, you can fill them in.

The exercise does not end here. Now ask the participants to extend the list in “Old Way” and “New Way” columns by at least 10 more entries. The opposing paradigms added by them should be based on their observations, knowledge, experience and their own thinking. They can as well add some new paradigms of futuristic nature through their own imagination.

Request the participants to present their paradigm shift extensions to the list with their explanations wherever necessary.

It is an experiential learning exercise and by the time they finish with the whole exercise they will have adequate clarity on the concepts of paradigm and paradigm shift. They would have also learnt and realized the importance and necessity of becoming flexible in their thinking patterns about various aspects of their personal, professional, family and social lives.

Get Hold of the Related Books:

You can order the following books on “management games and icebreakers” as printed books and eBooks from Amazon online:

  1. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  2. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers (Volume 2)
  3. Classic Team Building Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  4. 101 Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers

For More Guidance, Assistance, Training and Consultation


Training in all the soft skills and various management functions/techniques is imparted by Prodcons Group’s Mr Shyam Bhatawdekar and/or Dr (Mrs) Kalpana Bhatawdekar, eminent management educationists, management consultants and trainers- par excellence, with distinction of having trained over 150,000 people from around 250 organizations.

Also refer: (Prodcons Group), (Training Programs by Prodcons Group), (Productivity Consultants)


About Shyam Bhatawdekar

35 years’ industrial/business experience as a top executive & 35 years’ parallel academic/consultancy experience in general management, behavioral sciences & technology. Areas: general management, production, human resources, industrial engineering, systems, MIS, computers, corporate planning, audit, sales/marketing. Penchant for information technology & behavioral sciences; integrated with conventional technology makes him unique thought leader. Conversant with academic theories & realities of business, fuses the two into practical approaches. Was associated with Tata Motors, Hindustan Motors, Hindustan Aeronautics & ThyssenKrupp; held top positions as highflier executive. Presently Chairman & Managing Director, Prodcons Group associating with 250 organizations; providing management & I T consultations & conducting seminars/workshops. Been a faculty for IIM’s, TMTC, Railway & HAL Staff Colleges, Symbiosis. Speaker with 35000 hours’ experience benefitting more than 100,000 people. Published 35 articles in Economic Times, Indian Management & Computers Today. Authored 27 books. Invited as key speaker in seminars by AIMA, HRD Network, NIPM, QCFI, CSI, NPC. Widely traveled. Education: Engineering & Management.
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2 Responses to Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers: Paradigm Shift

  1. Eric Nathaniel Wilson says:

    Thank you for being our teacher on this subject matter. I enjoyed your article quite definitely and most of all enjoyed the way in which you handled the aspect I widely know as controversial. You happen to be always quite kind towards readers like me and help me in my life. Thank you.

  2. Ray Jong says:

    Great Stuff- very valuable. You guys help make this world a better place.
    – Ray

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