Yes! And® Blog

How to Build Resilient People [Yes! And. Blog #175]

 What are the dimensions of challenges and how might you begin to build resilience?  “There are no rules and regulations so rigorous, no organisation so hierarchical, no bosses so abusive that they can prevent use of your energy, ability and ingenuity. They may make it more difficult but they can’t prevent it. The real power is yours, not theirs.” Dee Hock – founder of Visa Do you or your teams need to be more “resilient”? This is a popular term in organisations at present and a recent Open University alumni course on the topic of Motivation, Mindset and Resilience stimulated my thinking on it. A while ago, I wrote a practical article  (find it here), which explained a Solution Focus way to facilitate teams through difficult times. It did not though, refer specifically to resilience, which is “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.” However, some people on the course thought that “recover” should be “recover and move forward quickly from”. I wrote this article to encourage you to think about resilience and also to help me reflect on the course. I realise I could read a book on resilience, but I like to think topics through myself before turning to the experts. Your constructive feedback on my thinking would be most welcome. During the course, Barry Russell, from the Environment Agency, gave a talk on motivation and resilience, using the severe flooding in the UK  as his context. He explained that Environment Agency staff had been so motivated to help, many had worked too many long and repeated shifts, to the point that there was a need... read more

174 Twelve Acts of Courage to Change Meetings for Good

YES! AND… Collaborate. Innovate. Transform – Creative Gorilla #174  How can participants improve the meetings they are in? This is the first time I have run someone else’s blog in the Creative Gorilla. However, I think this blog from American facilitator Steve Davis is very useful. Group Process Skill As the information age races on, we find ourselves facing constant change, a global economy open for business around the clock, and increasingly complex challenges. With much of this work done virtually, via the telephone or the Internet, we’re becoming more isolated than ever and left yearning for human contact. To keep the machine chugging along, we find ourselves attending more and more meetings to keep up to speed and to stay connected. Research shows that a great percentage of these meetings are run poorly, resulting in huge losses of time and productivity. Why is this? I believe that there are three main reasons meetings continue to leave us wanting: 

 1) People underestimate the complexity of group thought. 

 2) Few people are trained in meeting facilitation skills. 

 3) Boggled by group complexity and lacking requisite skills, people fall into dysfunctional patterns of action or inaction, failing to do anything to change meeting dynamics. Given that in any given group there are, on average, eight times more participants than there are meeting leaders, targeting meeting leaders alone in our efforts to improve meetings may be missing the mark. What if we were to arm meeting participants with the basic knowledge, skills, and attitudes they could use to contribute to keeping their groups on track and moving forward? The 12 Acts below... read more

172 How to Make Better Team Decisions

YES! AND… #172  How might your team make better decisions?  “When we hear all voices, we make better decisions.” Headline on Loomio website. Four years ago we had to make a decision to buy a bigger house or extend our own. That was a hard enough decision for two people to make. How much more difficult is it to make a decision when there is a group of people involved? Last week, I completed an Inn8 Workshop programme with twelve senior managers, using the Inn8 Model and Tools, to help them innovate. They developed two excellent new service propositions for their company and to achieve this had to decide on the opportunity to exploit, the solutions to implement and whether to proceed. To have twelve people agree on a decision requires them to understand the situation fully (in our case, the opportunity and the solution). This requires a willingness to listen to all voices, a structure and thinking tools. How can you gain that agreement, efficiently and effectively, so that people don’t leave the meeting thinking, “That’s what we agreed, but this is what I will do.” True, if you have enough power, you can force through decisions unilaterally. Strange though how difficult it can be to implement such decisions! So Here are some ideas and links to descriptive articles of tools that should help you to build sustainable decisions in your organisation, in the context of facilitating people to innovate. Most should help in other contexts too. Create Understanding Good decisions are informed decisions. Therefore, you need to create understanding amongst the decision makers (the group). This entails processing... read more

170 How to Coach People to Be More Creative

YES! AND… Collaborate. Innovate. Transform – Creative Gorilla #170  How to Coach People to Be More Creative  “The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates.” Oscar Wilde Recently, someone asked me how I might coach someone to be more creative when they think they are not creative? The question provoked a lot of thinking on my part and I would like to share my response with you as leaders so that you can deal with such a situation. Everyone can be creative In my career as a business leader and as a tutor with the Open University, I met a few people who told me they were not creative and I observed quite a few who were not being creative. You probably have too.  However, that does not mean they are not creative, it means we have different ways of approaching it. Dr. M. J. Kirton, creator of the Kirton Adapter Innovator (KAI) style profile, says: “Those who are adaptive in style are characterised by precision, reliability, efficiency; seen as methodical, prudent, disciplined. Those more innovative in style are seen as thinking tangentially, approaching tasks from unsuspected angles; undisciplined, unpredictable.” From this description, do you agree that adaptive people are more likely to say they are uncreative? In my experience it is true, but as Kirton explains, “One must remember that adaptors and innovators can have equal capacity, insight and creativity.” So, if someone tells you they are not creative, reassure them that we can all be creative, though we have different ways of contributing to creative outcomes. Four issues that inhibit creativity Having reassured them they can be... read more