News & Notes 664:A short report on the Team Building Workshop for the new Entry Service Secretariat

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664 icon.jpg   News & Notes 664
10 September 2016

A short report on the Team Building Workshop for the new Entry Service Secretariat
Held by the Auroville Council on the 3rd of September 2016

The aim of this workshop, as announced before, was to build a fresh team for the Entry Service secretariat that can commit to manifesting the new policy. This was not a selection process, but a solution worked out to address the immediate need of bringing in fresh energy.

27 people showed up and stayed till the end, until the new team emerged. The first part of the workshop was a 'team building' exercise - a simple exercise aimed at getting people to work together, assess each other's skills and to get to know each other so that the room can come up with a team at the end of the half day. There were 3 teams that each presented an outcome and 'key learning' from this exercise.

Following that was a short presentation on the outline of the new policy and the new role of the Entry Service as an administrative body. Although there were some questions regarding the policy itself, we did not go into that discussion as that was a topic for another forum and another time.

Then we did a short individual exercise on worksheets to assess personal skill levels based on tasks outlined by us organizers. This was for the individuals to assess themselves, and worksheets were not required to be submitted for review.

Following this was a 'pillow constellation' exercise where each task in the Entry Service was placed on a cushion surrounded by cards enumerating the skills one would need to accomplish that task. Those who wanted to commit were asked to step forward and take their place on a cushion of their choice for the room to see, and for the individuals to feel if the place was right for them.

Part of the last round was an individual 'ideal team' exercise where each of those present in the room filled in 7 names on a piece of paper that would be their ideal Entry Service secretariat. We compiled the results on a flip chart before moving on to the next group work.

For the group "ideal team" exercise, we split into 3 groups where each group came up with 7 names. The end of this exercise presented a challenge - the first 5 names were clear (B, Antim, Dhanalakshmi, Muriel and Segar) but there were 6 more names on the board! Taking advice from the individual ideal team exercise, we narrowed the 6 names to 4 names (Joel, Taj, Ishita and Selvam).

At this point, we broke into a small discussion on names, individuals, team dynamics etc. Following that, there was a majority agreement (19 said "yes", 5 said "no" and 3 abstained) on adding the 4 remaining names to the 5 and having an Entry Service secretariat of 9 instead of the originally planned 7!

And here we present to you the final result born of the intelligence present in the room on that day: B, Antim, Joel, Ishita, Taj, Muriel, Dhanalakshmi, Selvam and Segar.

A personal profile and photo of each of them is posted on Auronet, see the link: [...]

This team is intended for a minimum period of one year, after which a staggering system and a system of selection will be worked out by the Auroville Council.

With the aim of establishing an efficient team that can dive full swing into the administration of the Entry Service while carrying forth the spirit of the new policy, we were delighted with the outcome and heartily welcome these members on board! We welcome constructive feedback from the community at: avcouncil (at)

A big thank you to Joerg and Noel who did a fantastic job with preparing and facilitating the workshop. Another thank you is certainly owed to all those who gave up their Saturday afternoons to be in the room with us, either to offer themselves or to participate!

The new team will begin their work soon, and a smooth transition is being worked out with the old members. Here is another opportunity to thank and appreciate the old Entry Service team for holding the fort despite the rough seas with endurance and courage!

With hope and gratitude,
AV Council