Ship of Fools (Das Narrenschiff)

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Alternative names: 
Application of Satir workshop, controlled folly, mardi grass
Intent or purpose: 
Ship of Fools is an organisational sculpt that can be used for * illustrating problems experienced by a particular type of organisation * illustrating relationships between central and local organisations * developing a strategy by assessing relationships with external organisations * team building by assessing the dynamics in and of teams * identifying the dynamics of a problem set of relationships * providing feedback to a system.
Used as component of: 
Group and team development, agile
Recognizable Components: 
It uses 8 pre-determined roles that are easily recognisable “elements” or “parts” in any organisation, 8 observers, and a pre-set situation based on an organisational challenge or problem. The sculpt can also be used to answer substantial questions on possible organisations, and try out interventions in a “safe setting”.
Types of Participants: 
8 - 25
Recommended size of group: 
Remarks about group size: 
Optimal amount of time needed: 
2 - 3 hours
Usual or Expected Outcomes: 
Insight in elements of behaviour that keep a system 'stuck', better co-operation, fun
Level of participation: 
Ideal Conditions: 
Open mind, best done in open air
Potential Pitfalls: 
Guarding the environment, Closing (ceremony) and leaving the role behind is crucial
Level of Difficulty to Facilitate: 
Specialized skills required
Facilitator Personality Fit: 
Able to deal with strong emotions
Setting and Materials: 
Pirate clothing does help

0. Prepare event, listen carefully and map situation on a "pirate boat", saffy?
1. Create setting, boundaries and explain purpose
2. Small exercise in typical stances (begging, super-rational, one-up, one down, ....)
3. Assign roles
North West: Boatswain
South East: Radio operator or Lookout in Crow’s nest
East: Captain
North East: Machinist or Sailmaker
South West: Cabin boy
West: First Mate
North: Constable
South: Swabbies
Get into the role, by clothing, caps, hats, flags, shawls, ...
4. Explain situation (based on in-take): the crew is incapable of attaining its intentions, goals or purpose because of external circumstance and internal problems
5. Participant take on a role, strike a pose. Ask participants what they intend, want or propose. Ask how they perceive situations. What do they suggest?
6. Create a new 'tableau vivant'. Re-enact. Repeat 5 and 6.
7. Have a dialogue about the experiences. What are the inner drives, longings, motivations of the characters. What should they do differently to be more effective?
8. Stage the solution: find the treasure and share.
9. Let go of the role.

How flexible is the process?: 
Extremely flexible
Follow-Up Required: 
Take care of some of the participants, as they make take their role to seriuously
Nynke Etk Fokma, Satir Workshops
Derived from: 
Pictures and songs about the ship of fools
License Model: