168 Nine Lessons for Trainers and Facilitators

by | Aug 26, 2014 | Collaborate, Facilitate meetings

YES! AND… Collaborate. Innovate. Transform – Creative Gorilla #168  What lessons did you learn in the last 12 months to help you in future?  “Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets.” Leonardo Da Vinci Out walking recently, I thought back over the last twelve months and concluded it had been really enjoyable and interesting business year for me, with three projects that stood out.  As I walked, I considered new lessons I had learned or old lessons reinforced from those projects. Here they are; I trust they might provoke some thoughts for fellow Gorillas. Revenue and bid course I co – designed and facilitated a three – day course for sales and marketing people on revenue awareness and responding to tenders. I ran this for a client in several Asian countries, sometimes with multi-cultural groups, sometimes single culture groups. Lesson 1 – Building the right climate works for all cultures If you encourage people to collaborate quickly, you help to avoid cultural issues. Whatever course or workshop I facilitate, I use a similar process to that you can find in Creative Gorilla 164. While this article focuses on building an innovation climate, you can use the method to build a micro culture in any meeting or course. As my experience in many countries and now Asia proves to me, it works in single and multi-cultural groups anywhere. Lesson 2 – Accelerated learning works globally Accelerated Learning (AL) actively involves the whole person, using physical activity, creativity, music, images, colour, and other methods designed to have people become involved more deeply in their own learning....

167 How to innovate better in organisations

YES! AND… Collaborate. Innovate. Transform – Creative Gorilla #167 How might your organisation innovate better?  “Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” William Pollard American Business Leader Why do large organisations have issues with innovation and what might they do to resolve them? Recently, a company asked me to help them be more innovative. I asked to tour their operations facilities with a colleague, to understand their business and obtain a feel for their current capability. Far from finding an organisation adverse to change, sloth like and bureaucratic, we witnessed a dynamic company with engaged employees that encourages people to create solutions and is willing to take the risk to implement good propositions. They had innovated to reduce costs, to improve process efficiency and to respond to the changing needs of their clients. After the tour I asked the CEO why they needed our help! He responded: When staff innovate, they focus mainly on operational efficiency A major trend in the industry is for clients to favour suppliers who can help them innovate There are innovation hot spots in the organisation; it is not consistent There is no standard approach that all employees can use to innovate. This was a worthwhile visit and discussion and revealed some of the key factors and issues that leadership teams in large organisations must wrestle with when they want to innovate. Let’s look at those factors and key issues now and consider a way to overcome them. SO Key Innovation Factors and Issues[1] Each heading below is a...

How to develop actions creatively [Yes! And. Blog #137]

Here’s a simple but powerful tool to identify actions creatively. “To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Today, I sat in the cockpit of a 737 aircraft as the pilot landed very smoothly at Phnom Penh  airport in Cambodia. Ten minutes later, I was home in London. No, time travel has not come to London. I was with my son as we observed a crew flying a flight simulator. This is an annual “trip” of flying a full sized Boeing 737 BBJ flight simulator around the world in aid of charity Dreamflight. 

They are raising money by flying 24 hours a day for 7 days as part of a team of eight crews, using “air traffic controllers”  around the world to guide them in to the airports, a stunning effort. Before you think, “There are plenty of flight simulators around,” you should know that amateurs build all these. Fellow Yes! And blog reader, Ralph Watson built the one I visited, in a garage. His accomplishment is quite astounding and my son thought it “awesome!” Ralph showed me on his web site the progression of his simulator from a desktop computer in 2001 to the full sized version you can see today by going to his web site, http://www.737-800bbj.com.  [Take a look at the Kai Tak link too!] As he explained it, I thought how well his journey from 2001 to today might have been mapped out using the creative tool I will explain here. The tool is Action Storyboard that is based on one called Cartoon Storyboard, developed by Jane Henry,...

125 Facilitate Meetings More Effectively…

Yes! And… Creative Gorilla # 125 How can you facilitate more effectively as an organisational leader…… “Like baby, baby, baby oh, I thought you’d always be mine”  Lyrics , Justin Bieber How do you facilitate as an internal creative leader in the organisation? Last night I read an article, which stated that coaching is a lot easier for external coaches than internal leaders. As I tramped through the woods this morning, I thought about this, as people in organisations regularly say to me that it is a lot easier for an external facilitator to facilitate a group. Overall, I agree and as I walked, I thought about the issues that people in organisations have and how they might overcome them. Here are my thoughts in a question and answer format: 1. How to facilitate when you want or need to contribute? Response: Understand the different roles in a meeting. The facilitator manages the process, the attendees deal with the content.   One way to overcome the issue is to make clear you are stepping in to an attendee role by creating a facilitator space and a contributor space in the room. Tell the others this and physically move between spaces when you need to contribute. (Michael Grinder, a communications expert, calls this “decontamination”). A second way is to agree with a colleague that they will facilitate parts of the meeting where you must contribute; a good way to ease others in to facilitating. 2. How to find time to prepare? Response: Share out different sessions in a meeting amongst your team and have people design and facilitate them. This involves...

How to Run a Creative Thinking Workshop [Yes! And. Blog #86]

If you take a risk and run a creative workshop it can pay dividends… “Can you imagine, they asked me to do an extra session so we could do the “Disney Technique!” Open University MBA Student . The excited quotation above is from a student (we’ll call her Inga) who attended my MBA – Creativity and Innovation Workshop. In this case, Inga achieved more than just running her own workshop, but more of that later. Let me tell you first what she did. As part of a course assignment, Inga chose to produce some new concepts for an existing product in her company. She was rather nervous about facilitating a workshop but decided to use the creative and facilitation techniques she had experienced during our workshop. Here’s a summary of what Inga did: Session 1 She took a small group (four people including her) to the park to run the workshop: On the way, each person had three minutes to speak uninterrupted about the customers for the product and their lifestyle In the park, they summarised their points on paper They reviewed key points about the original product concept and added a few more They reviewed material on what makes a concept successful in their company, prior to identifying new concepts They looked at key consumer trends for 2009, using material gained previously from the Internet They looked at benefits to the consumer, splitting them into rational and emotional benefits. At this point, they wanted to know why these benefits were important but ran out of time so stopped for further review. This session lasted just an hour. One...