We’re going to the Story Conference!

Posted in Workshops on August 18, 2011 by vivmcwaters

I’m delighted to announce a full-day workshop with fellow edge explorer, Johnnie Moore, at this year’s Story Conference: Widening the World of Work on, guess what? Yep – Exploring the Edges of Work. I’m really excited about this because it will be an opportunity to share some of what I’ve learnt from the series of free workshops I’m offering during August.

Here’s a little about our workshop.

Workplace approaches that were once just fine are now struggling in the face of complexity, unpredictability and demands for creativity, innovation and agility. Change happens at the edge: we see it in systems and in our own lives. At the edge, we are away from the routine and familiar: it’s exciting but scary territory, but it’s where new patterns and routines can emerge. How can we support people in staying in the space at least long enough for useful change?

We’ll share ideas for navigating edge territory, overcoming habitual patterns that give us a kind of safety but prevent us from making real change.

We look at three tyrannies that keep us away from the edge: the tyranny of excellence, the tyranny of effort, and the tyranny of the explicit. And we’ll share a series of activities we’ve found powerful in getting organisations out of stuck places, rigid arguments and unquestioned rituals and into territory where it’s possible for new work to emerge.

We’d love for you to join us. Go here for registration details.


Let the games begin!

Posted in Workshops on August 15, 2011 by vivmcwaters

Today I’m offering the first of my workshops. Which one, you ask? Good question. Probably unwisely, I agreed to improvise – yeah, I know, practicing what I preach – and will facilitate a process right at the start to enable the participants to choose which workshop they’d like. Which means I have come prepared for them all, and with a little kit bag filled with goodies that I may or may not need.

I hope I have the presence to be able to observe (and remember) my own reactions to this experiment about working at the edges.

Exploring new edges around the way we work

Posted in Workshops on August 4, 2011 by vivmcwaters

I’m offering free two-hour workshops during August for up to 15 people. You provide the venue and the people and I’ll facilitate the workshop in a way that is engaging and participatory. It’s an opportunity for you – and me – to explore some new edges around the way we work. 

Here’s what on offer. Workshops can be run from 10 am – 12 noon or from 2 pm – 4 pm.

Available dates: August  15th morning 15th afternoon, 16th morning 16th afternoon, 17th morning 17th afternoon, 18th morning 18th afternoon, 19th morning 19th afternoon, 22nd morning 22nd afternoon, 23rd morning 23rd afternoon, 24th morning 24th afternoon, 25th morning 25th afternoon, 26th morning 26th afternoon.

Interested?

Send me an email to book your preferred workshop and times viv@mcwaters.com.au or to ask me any questions you might have.

WHAT SORT OF LEADER ARE YOU?

We’ll explore who you are as a leader – rather than what you know. We’ll unearth the qualities of great leadership: humility, empathy, bravery, playfulness, presence, curiosity, flexibility and responsiveness. What others are important to you? How do we continue to develop as leaders and support each other?

TEAMBUILDING FOR TODAY’S CHALLENGES

When our work is complex and unpredictable, relies on ideas and cooperation, and is constantly changing direction, we need a new way of building trust and performance in teams. Try out this teambuilding approach that emphasis success over winning, agility over procedure, and creativity over predictability.

PLAYFULLY EXPLORING IMPORTANT ISSUES

Important and serious are not the same. You can do important work in many different ways, one of which is seriously. You can also have fun with serious work. Leaders know the difference between important and serious, between fun and frivolity – and choose appropriately. We’ll explore how to bring more playfulness into your work and problem solving.

GETTING BEYOND WORDS

An over-reliance on language can mask some key issues and emotions that underpin a successful meeting. And English speakers might dominate in a multi-language meeting. In this workshop we’ll go beyond words and look at other ways of exploring the tough stuff, using photos, found objects, movement and gibberish.

COULD YOUR BRAIN BE HIJACKING YOU?

Ever had that sinking feeling that you really shouldn’t be doing whatever it is you’re doing? That you should try and get away from this situation as quickly as possible? That you don’t know what to do? That you’re a fraud? Yep, me too! We’ll explore how the primitive (lizard) brain can hijack you and how you can make friends with your amygdala.

WE CAN’T GO ON MEETING LIKE THIS

Meetings suck. Well, not all of them, but many do. What can we do to transform our meetings? The good news is that we don’t need to transform them, just a few small tweaks can make all the difference. Come and find out how ‘small moves, smartly made’ can make a big difference.

THE ANSWER TO HOW IS YES!

Peter Block’s book confronts the barriers we use to avoid the important questions. Asking ‘how’ and demanding action is a way to avoid the deeper, sometimes more uncomfortable, issues we need to tackle – as individuals, groups, organisations, and communities. Let’s explore what this means for your business.

ESCAPE FROM THE TYRANNIES

Ever felt trapped by needing to know more, to work harder or to be better at what you do? Your energy and creativity might be oppressed by the tyrannies: the tyranny of the explicit, the tyranny of excellence, and the tyranny of effort. Find out how to bust out of these tyrannies.

DESIGNING IS NOT THE SAME AS PLANNING

Throw the plan away! There is no magic formula. We’ll explore approaches to designing events, paying attention to the arc and its flow, responding to what’s happening now (not what should be happening) and being true to the intention.

THE SECRET INGREDIENT IN COMMUNICATION

Challenging, difficult behaviour can be, well, difficult. How to respond? How to deal with our own anxieties? The answer is in status – our own and others. Understand the dynamics of status, how to shift your own status and recognise a status attack from others. Find simple ways to minimise status gaps and improve communication.

RADICAL CREATIVITY

Want to go beyond brainstorming? Bodystorming, developed by design thinkers, brings together observation, a research question or problem to be solved, analysis of the situations and prototyping – all done in a way that engages ideas, play and problem solving.

CROSSING THE FIRST THRESHHOLD

Using the wisdom of the Hero’s Journey to reflect, learn, share your story, inspire, communicate and change.

HOW DO YOU PLAY THE GAME?

What can games tell us about ourselves? What is the relationship between how we play games and how we act at work, in meetings, when things get tough or when we’re stuck? Using some easy, non-competitive games, we’ll explore these questions and others that give us insight into who we are and how we act.