What is a Syndag™? 

Enabling change in any organization requires creating wide-spread energy for change.  The bigger the change, the greater the energy needed.  It is not enough that people at the top want change; leaders at all levels must embrace it.  A Syndag™ workshop, which is a Synergetic Diagnostic workshop, is a powerful way to create the energy needed to kick-start an effort to dramatically improve the success of any organization.   The workshop is particularly effective with organizations where there are:

  • Divergent perspectives on the changes needed.
  • Insufficient sense of urgency and accountability to make needed changes.
  • Strong resistance to change in some areas.

A Syndag triggers changes in both attitude and behavior that lead to higher performance. In a world of virtual teams, cryptic email, text messaging, and death by PowerPoint, a Syndag works because it requires all key people to come together and work on their organization face-to-face.  Experience has shown that the impact of a Syndag’s team-based approach is much greater than that which can be achieved through one-on-one interviews, small group meetings, financial reviews, SWOT analyses, and other diagnostic methods.

View our one page Syndag information sheet.

A Syndag is a fast paced, highly interactive workshop that deeply engages key leaders from all functional areas and levels of your company.  There is some lecture, but 90% of the time participants work in teams.  At the most teachable moments, Adizes workshop leaders present important concepts that have been successfully used to strengthen management in many organizations.  There are five major steps in the workshop:

Step 1. Benchmarking.  In this first step, we clarify a set of future success measures for the organization.   What we seek are stretch goals that excite everyone in the room and challenge the team to do their best.

Step 2. Issue Identification:  This step involves collecting each participant’s perceptions about all the things that could and should be tackled to dramatically improve the success of the organization and achieve the stretch goals. We call these issues “potential improvement points” or PIPs and put them up on the walls so that everyone has a clear picture of the reality the organization faces.

Step 3. Analysis of Cause & Effect:  Once all the PIPs have been surfaced, we immerse the team in a series of activities to organize related issues and clarify cause and effect so that everyone understands the relationship between the challenges and their underlying root causes; which are often not obvious.

Step 4. Prioritization:  In this step the group decides on the issues they will work on.  By agreeing to focus on a few, they also agree to not focus on other important issues that were not selected.

Step 5.  Improvement Planning:  In the final step, the team puts together a game plan for addressing the initial priorities so that everyone knows exactly what will be done, by whom, and by when after the workshop.


The highly collaborative nature of the workshop produces many valuable outcomes.  Four are particularly important:  

  1. 100% agreement on the issues your company needs to tackle NOW to drive performance. All participants get on the same page, and have a shared understanding about what to do, and not do, to significantly increase performance. 
  2. 100% agreement on the game plan to address the priority issues. This includes agreement on what the company will not work on.
  3. The need for change is legitimized and accountability for action moves from the shoulders of just 1 or 2 change agents onto the shoulders of all participants.
  4. An energized atmosphere of understanding, mutual cooperation, teamwork, and urgency emerge Participants are genuinely excited to make the needed changes.  Participants clear up channels of communication, develop an enhanced awareness of their interdependency, learn how to harness their differences, and work together to tackle complex issues constructively.

The workshop also builds mutual trust and respect between participants, and between the participants and Adizes.

Follow Through:  A Syndag is a beginning not an ending.  The workshop is an excellent way to kick-off a sustained effort to drive performance. A Syndag creates an expectation in every participant that the priorities chosen in the workshop will be addressed.   It is vital to the health of the organization that senior leaders begin this follow-through during the workshop and immediately thereafter, with or without support from Adizes.

We arrived with individual goals and agendas. We left as a united team with common goals and shared commitment.”

For the first time I feel like I really understand what is causing our problems and what we are going to do to resolve them.”

This has moved us from witch hunting and false optimism to a clear focus on what we are going to do.”

The best process I have ever participated in.”

I feel so full of energy. I have seen our team finally start to cooperate and work together again. ”