Theory U is based on a concept called “presencing.” A blend of the words “presence” and “sensing”, presencing signifies a heightened state of attention that allows individuals and groups to shift the inner place from which they function. When that shift happens, people begin to operate from a future space of possibility that they feel wants to emerge, people avoid reproducing solutions from the past when disruption is needed. Being able to facilitate that shift is the essence of leadership today.
As You Open Your Eyes invites you to the homes and places of communities the world over. We will be the guests of people who have found a way to overcome sometimes life threatening challenges.
During the workshop we will watch and discuss one episode in a series of beautiful, touching and inspiring documentaries where, in 30 minutes, communities tell their own story of change. Each of the six communities in the series has a compelling story to tell. They are spread around the world, and the challenges they face are as diverse as their cultures, societies and economies. Each episode in the series tells one of these stories, including the essence of the different stages, emotions, difficulties and creative solutions encountered along the way.
During the workshop we will explore what we learn from a community that may seem very different to the groups or teams to which we belong. Interactive reflections will make us realise that we can do it too!
Participants will not leave the room before they will have established their own small feasible action plan towards a change in their very own community, team or workplace.
In this workshop, participants will be exposed to the basic principles and tools of applied improvisation and will be invited to use these principles and tools for personal development, team building, creativity, innovation and wellbeing. Applied improvisation argues that creativity happens collaboratively by using the principle of short turn taking between individuals in the group. Creating an atmosphere of positive purpose, everyone is encouraged to contribute. Fear, suspicion and anxiety are replaced with focus, creativity and sense of collaboration. This approach allows individuals, groups and organisations to release their creative potential. The exercises in applied improvisation encourage risk taking, playfulness and to be in the moment. Consequently participants will find that they are having fun whilst also developing or challenging their existing mind-set. It is a way to unlearn to give space for new learning. Learn to be flexible and explore multiple perspectives. Be at ease in an uncertain world and be resilient, compassionate and playful.
A workshop to strengthen the collective identity and shared values of your team, organisation or community.
Many signs indicate that complex human systems are fragmented by traditional management methods and techniques. Organizations and (urban) spaces lost their collective identity and shared values. Imagine you and your team re-discovering these core elements which are essential for development and growth in a fast changing world.
How it works? We will facilitate an interactive and playful workshop in which team members answer two online questions on a tablet. This takes 10 minutes. From their answers, a unique profile with collective identity and shared values is created. This can be a profile of a team, department, organisation, community or even a urban place. The profile stimulates participants to become aware about what keeps them together, what thrives them and how to further develop. During the conversation participants share observations, gain insights and agree on how to take action. It’s this collective experience that creates necessary commitment for action. The basic set-up is easy, it always works.
In today’s world we are experiencing more than ever the urge to intervene, but we often do not know how. We expect our leaders and ourselves immediately to come up with the best solution, but for complex problems a simple answer is not obvious. A correct answer and a creative solution cannot be forced under the pressure of time. We collectively feel that there is too little time, while the pressure is getting higher every day. Control prevails while confidence disappears. The opposite is necessary in order to arrive at true insights and creativity. From a philosophical perspective and theoretical framework (logic) we would like people to experience these insights (magic).
Delayed time as a catalyst for progress. That delay alone is perceived as disruptive (both in an organizational context and a personal context). It is very uncomfortable to make a pass at the point when the pressure is so high. And it is also very uncomfortable to experience the feeling of fear and failure that is coming up when you stand still. But still: shared uncertainty reduces fear and creates connection. So why not adjust your pace – stand still, sit together, debate, share stories, and create possibilities?
In this workshop people will experience different dimensions of time and the way they are able to consciously switch between these dimensions of time. Participants will also experience their unique ways to slow down their pace even in the midst of turmoil. In doing so they will experience that they tap into the power of the Visionary Self (the part of us that is connected to the Relational Brain). This is important in order to go beyond uncertainty and the ways we are used to doing things.
“The problem with listening is that it is so easy not to do. Listening is very hard work.” (Emma J. Justes)
Most of us believe that we are good listeners. In fact, few of us are, and many of us have little to no awareness, let alone control over our listening skills. It takes lifelong and constant practice to develop our listening skills.
In this workshop, I will give an introduction to the larger concept of Deep Listening, a skill that enables those who master it to focus on other persons while not losing themselves and their purpose in the conversation. It is based on a mixture of neuro-physiology and psychology with a dash of spirituality and philosophy. It helps us as change practitioners to grow our professional capacity and as human beings to mature.
After a short theoretical introduction, participants of this short workshop will practice fierceful listening by:
- Listen to self: learning to observe distractions, suspend assumptions and turn down inner voices
- Listen to others: increasing curiosity and search for other people’s purpose
- Search for alignment: finding the sweet spot that lies between both conversation partners.
Humour, if done well, gives us the ability to focus on and to understand difficult, complex situations which we would normally be inclined to avoid. It can give us courage to feel like we are all ‘in it together to create a better response. And it can help to reveal current dynamics in the situation which are ridiculous, silly, or genius – increasing our ability to hold ourselves and others accountable, and to adapt changes as needed. In order for us to find humorous aspects, we must mentally temporarily ‘step out’ of the situation and of how we typically think of the situation. Just doing that reminds us that these are not fixed and can change.
In this highly interactive workshop, we will:
- Go through the basics to create a compassionate form of humour
- Learn a basic joke structure
- Practice exploring ideas our brains don’t normally entertain
- Use humorous metaphors to explain aspects of complex situations
- Understand how to become an adorable version of yourself when you present
- Discuss how to bring these skills back to work to support corporate activism
This workshop addresses a way of communicating which helps to engage others in co-created change using compassion and delight.
The “Sticks and Balls” approach is all about using fun constraints (sticks, balls…) to connect our bodies through physical curiosity to the agility, creativity and stamina needed to change and grow. Trusting and experiencing a real feeling of strength and stability under some constraints, a unique transformative tension can develop. It is only with healthy tension that we can change and adapt.
This kinesiologically and design-thinking informed session will also have attendees walking out with a reminder that the human mind/body thrives when it can explore its agility and curiosity physically. Leave armed with tools you probably have in your cupboards and a new way to feel, experience and prepare for change.
Never underestimate the power of creative play and “goofing off”. The games in this set are the jumping off point for all the deeper questions to be asked in Nathan Bragg’s Image Theatre workshops. This is a cornerstone.
This workshop will:
- playfully exercise creative muscles
- raise awareness that images are inherent to all communication
- encourage a new form of deep listening
- begin to illustrate the effectiveness of communicating through images we create with our bodies and/or objects.
We live in a complex global world where demands of leaders are increasing everyday. With a focus on transparency, inclusion, equality, agility, possibility and collaboration, how can leaders leverage themselves to live, work and play in a way that is respectful, sustainable, and most important, fun?
The answer is simple. Curious conversations. Hiding behind texts, emails and social media, conversational skills are the most important skills leaders are failing to engage in. Research out of Stanford is showing that 9 out of 10 conversations miss the mark. Research is also showing organizations are focused on ‘soft’ skills that have hard impacts: communication skills, critical thinking, agility – all of which require curiosity.
These are skills that are expected of leaders but are never taught. Curious conversations are the disruptor needed to thrive in our global, multigenerational workplace. In our interactive workshop, participants will experience how curious conversations are at the forefront of innovation and collaboration in a time where demands are high and resources are low. Participants will experience and learn:
- The value of different perspectives, there is never just one way to do anything
- Communication skills to shift leaders from reacting to intentionally responding
- Self-awareness, clarity around how they are showing up as a leader, their impact and turning barriers into bridges
- The skills needed to collaborate, innovate, problem solve & manage emotions. Skills that are currently expected of leaders but have never been taught.
An organizations success lies in their leaders’ ability to confidently disrupt the status quo, step out of comfort zones while also being inclusive and collaborative, as they reflect rather than react.