The evolution of digital lsips - A soil consulting initiative

LSIP and SOIL go way back in time, when Kathleen Dannemiller who invented the LSIP, and Anil Sachdev, the founder of SOIL, came together for the first time and decided to bring this phenomenal process to India. Large Scale Interactive Process a unique methodology for simultaneously involving large groups for having impactful conversations leading to transformational change and is based on the “whole systems” approach. 
Whole-Scale approach allows the organization to think and see the “whole system” by involving employees across all sections, called the “microcosm”. The microcosm contains the essential “DNA” of the whole organization and are real subsets of the larger group that represent all the “voices.” of the organization in the overall change process.

Organizations undergoing any kind of transformation can consider the LSIP as a way of involving, engaging, listening to or seeking inputs from their employees. There are a multitude of possibilities for what and why the organization is changing, and the outcomes could also be of several types, but the broader goal of the LSIP is to “include” and “involve” or “reach” the last employee.

Over the last many years, SOIL has led several organization transformation exercises with big and small organizations, across industries and with different needs, by using the power of this magical process. Thousands of employees have witnessed this power and vouch for it each time someone mentions the word “LSIP”. There have been tears shed, big laughs, songs, poetry even theatre, candid conversations experienced in these sessions and these are testimonials we carry in our heart as we continue using this tool to bring about impactful change.

This time, the story is not just about the LSIP, but of the “Digital LSIP” or “Virtual LSIP” which was conceived in the wake of the Global Pandemic which mercilessly unfurled the need for a world connected digitally, no human touch, no heart to heart as people sit across tables connected by one common agenda, in the “normal” world of LSIPs, we were so used to deliver.

But, it came as a welcome surprise that the Power of the LSIP can be very well utilized in an all-digital-format, where people sitting in their homes/ offices – socially distant, can be brought together to achieve a desired outcome, and still create magic.

The success of the Digital LSIP depends on two key aspects, one the quality of facilitation and the crispness & clarity of the design and its elements, which enable complete involvement & co-creation even virtually. The planning and preparation involved a lot of focus on the platform and its nuances, attention to changing facilitation and delivery styles, preparedness to handle technological hiccups. It meant testing the usage of the platform on phones and laptops, the end-user experience and discussions to make the format extremely friendly for less tech-savvy populations as well. The creation of “breakout rooms” with facilitators hopping in and out of rooms to ensure the discussion in rooms are on track can be equated to the table-discussions in a physical LSIP. While there are a whole lot of process changes done to fit the digital model, the essence, the experience and the outcomes were in no way diminished.

As the world changes, processes evolve, technology leads, SOIL has witnessed the fruition of Digital LSIPs and we cannot stop imagining how it may soon become the norm.

Anil Sachdev