99 Meetings With More Impact

YES! AND… Creative Gorilla # 99 Here are principals to make your meetings have more impact……  ““The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity”  Ascribed to Dorothy Parker, Novelist”                    Want to improve your meetings? Hi! It’s a beautiful sunny day here in London, glorious spring weather. I am just back from a two hour bike ride and I feel great. I did some exploring, ventured down some new “secret” paths that I had not noticed before, saw stunning scenery and even met a number of people who replied to my, “Good morning”. I was whipped by stinging nettles, shaken to bits on bridleways (horse tracks) and stuck in mud in a hoof hole, but I came back energised, uplifted and so raring to go, I am writing this in my cycle shorts. You know that feeling? Like when you come out of meetings? Energised, uplifted, motivated! Or maybe not. More likely you come out bored, listless and seeking caffeine to change your state. It doesn’t have to be that way. Meetings are something I have thought about a lot this week as I redesigned my “Training with More Impact” course and designed a couple of workshops for clients. The course is based on five principles which I have adapted over the years from various aspects of accelerated learning and brain friendly (see www.kaizentraining.com) training. Whilst cycling, I reflected that meetings are about learning too, at least they should be. Therefore, it would be useful to share these principles with creative leaders like you, so that you might apply them to your meetings. SO Here are the...

98 Facilitate Teams to Understand the Challenge

YES! AND… Creative Gorilla # 98 Sometimes it is difficult to judge if a group understand the challenge you have, this technique will help you do that… “Yes! And…Explore World With…Suppose that…Associate…Next idea…Do it now” Cyriel Kortleven, Crew – New Shoes Today How might you confirm that everyone in a group has understood a challenge? Have you ever been to a really entertaining evening where you learned something (and the beer was cheap)? Last week, I attended my first workshop of the London group of the Applied Improvisation Network (AIN).  The facilitator was Cyriel Kortlevel, who hails from Belgium and works with a creativity company in the Netherlands. Cyriel treated us to a really enjoyable evening, taking us through an improvised creativity session i.e. using impro to create some ideas for making the AIN successful. I knew most of the impro exercises, but Cyriel has a neat way of turning them in to creative techniques, especially through using random connections and provocations. One technique I had not used before was “The Problem Walk” (I don’t much like using the word “problem” due to its negative associations, hence my title). So How does the technique work? After the challenge has been explored, the group stand at one end of an imaginary line. The facilitator stands at the other end of the line and summarises the challenge. He / she asks people to stand somewhere on the line, depending on their understanding of the challenge (you might do a scale where the facilitator stands at ten and the group members stand at a number on the line). If the group steps up...

95 Use Metaphors to Reframe Issues …

YES! AND… Creative Gorilla # 95 The metaphors you use can influence how you approach a situation… “The metaphors you use to describe a situation can influence how you approach it.” – John Brooker How might you influence the way people approach a situation? My colleague and I were running an interactive focus group to gauge people’s reaction to a proposed training course on Flexible Thinking for Innovation. We had received a positive reaction but I was not convinced we were hearing all opinion. I asked if anyone had any concerns. One of the group, an experienced manager, emitted an exasperated sigh and exclaimed, “Personally I think this course is a waste of **###** time.” That perked the group up a bit! “What’s your reason for stating that?” we asked. “Well, there’s no money to do anything, even if we do come up with innovative ideas.” He then used his hands to describe an obstacle in front of him. “The budget is a huge wall around us, it stops us doing anything.” We nodded, thanked him and noted his reaction; we weren’t there to argue the case. Driving home afterwards, I mused on what he had said. It was a great example of how people use metaphors to simplify and describe complex situations. It was also an example of how the metaphors people use can influence how they approach a situation. From his point of view, it was not worth doing anything because the budget was finite, an “insurmountable obstacle” or at least one he seemed no longer willing to overcome. So If metaphors can influence how people approach...

94 Reduce Risk Creatively …

YES! AND… Creative Gorilla # 94 By placing yourself in the future and visualising why something has gone wrong, you can help ensure it goes right… “One does not have to be a mad scientist to travel in time” – Authors of research paper: “Back to the future. Temporal Perspective in the Explanation of...

93 Help judgemental people create…

YES! AND… Creative Gorilla # 93 If you encounter highly judgemental people when using creative thinking techniques, how might you help them to be more flexible in their thinking? “The map is not the territory!” Alfred Korzybski Philosopher How might you deal with highly judgemental people when running a creative workshop?    Imagine sitting at lunch in a European capital with a large group of colleagues and clients. At your side is your host, a senior manager who proudly tells you that the main course is the national dish of salted cod. Next, imagine the waiter places the dish in front of you. The smell of fish and garlic hits your nostrils and your stomach heaves as a wave of nausea engulfs you. You know you can’t eat this food, even if the country’s President were your host. As you sit inert, you notice several colleagues grimacing as they eat and you hear your host ask quietly if everything is all right. Hideously embarrassed, you mumble that you feel unwell and with true hospitality, you are offered an omelette. As the fish dish is taken away, you recover faster than a Premier League footballer awarded a penalty shot after diving. I found myself in this situation many years ago and recalled the incident last week, when facilitating a creativity and innovation course for the Open University in the UK.  I was running an elective on the use of the “Story Spine” technique for strategic thinking. Whilst others engaged themselves in the technique, I noticed one student flicking through his course book. He looked uncomfortable and I enquired if he...