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News — Facilitation

Facilitating a wacky bubble

Facilitation

Somebody really smart (was it Einstein?) said we can’t solve the messes of today with the same thinking that made them. We just make bigger messes. Like using deregulation (like cutting weekend pay loading) to create jobs, or using corporate self-regulation to tackle obesity, or criminalising drug use to stop drug addiction. You just get more poverty, more obesity, and swollen prison populations with more people more likely to use drugs when they’re released. The evidence for this is …all around us. If those answers worked, we’d have solved poverty, obesity, and drug addiction DECADES ago. To solve these big problems, and...

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Four reasons not to do Engagement LAB

Facilitation Innovation Marketing and communications

1) Your manager won’t let you do creative stuff. 2) Your organisation isn’t innovative. 3) You don’t have time or money to do interesting projects. 4) Your workmates will think you’re crazy. No, seriously, if your manager won’t let you do creative stuff, don’t do this workshop. You’ll get frustrated and say it’s all my fault for leading you up the garden path. But if your manager is cool, then here’s what it’s about: First: it equips participants to design community engagement projects that humans will positively want to engage in. Second: it’s about processes that suit any purpose, from...

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Malcolm and Bill’s big surprise, perfect statements, excitement and grumpiness [Signs and Wonders #10]

Facilitation Innovation

Malcolm, Bill, and the power of surprise There’s one thing our cliffhanger election illustrates: the power of surprise to change people’s attitudes. In January 2016 it was common wisdom that Bill Shorten was an insipid, uninspiring union hack. His favoured prime minister rating at 19% reflected that consensus. And Malcolm Turnbull was the brilliant persuader, a liberal man who would deliver a U-turn on Tony Abbot’s policies. His favoured prime minister rating of 81% reflected that. These opinions were set like cold custard and only the brave would dissent.   Then Malcolm and Bill started DO and SAY things that were...

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How to instruct a brainstorm

Facilitation Innovation

Brainstorming is one of the most common things we do in workshops. It’s the moment when we gather the extraordinary brain power of groups to generate solutions that individuals would struggle to create alone. It’s also how we practice inclusiveness, so that groups take ownership of solutions. Brainstorms are also one of the worst things we do. Why? Because there are plenty of ways poorly facilitated brainstorms inhibit creativity and innovation, waste time, reinforce groupthink, or lead to a few extroverts dominating the rest of the participants so that the answers are more about personalities that the merit of ideas. So...

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Genius community grants – it’s the process that counts

Facilitation Innovation Strategy

Most councils and government agencies have community grants programs. And most of those programs kill innovation. Why? Because the typical applicant is so desperate to be funded they try to second guess what the agency is looking for by packing the grant application full of buzz words extracted from the agency’s documentation, and what got funded last year, rather than gamely having a go with imaginative ideas. There is simply no incentive for innovation in the conventional grant process, and plenty of fear of being knocked back for being too radical. And because the application form is usually completed 5 minutes...

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