Individual and Group Mentoring Program 

Your path to greater commercial value

Starting September 23, 2019 for 12 weeks

RESET your Value for 2020


September 17, 2019

The Railway Club Hotel in Port Melbourne,

Melbourne Australia 

12 - 2pm


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The Problem with our Pursuit for Perfection and the Life-Changing Practice of Good Enough’


- my new book -





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 It's not 'drawing'...



with Lynne Cazaly
using The Visual Mojo Method
1 day practical workshop for your team
Build this powerful, influential skill to help make sense of change, communicate clearly and engage people in the most challenging situations

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    Enlarge the problem space

    I'm enjoying having a read through John Kuprenas' book 101 things I learned in Engineering School

    It's a lovely hardcover edition and has plenty of great explanations of concepts applicable to normal life beyond engineering.

    I'm no engineer, so I think there's something about how engineers, designers and architects think and problem solve that can be helpful to us, no matter the setting. 

    One of John's 'things' is to 'Enlarge the problem space'. He says that "almost every problem is larger than it initially appears. Explore and enlarge it at the outset - not to make more work, but because the scope of the problem almost certainly will creep - it will grow larger - on its own. It's easier to reduce the problem space later in the process than to enlarge it after starting down a path toward an inadequate solution".

    It's Bigger - template
    It's right in line with one of the creative and innovation tools I use in workshops which I call 'It's Bigger'.
    I use the A4 visual I've shared with you this week to firstly write the issue, and then add in thoughts about what the bigger issue is, then the b-i-g-g-e-r issue ... and then the BIGGER issue.

    From there you can come up with some totally new solutions.
    The page is designed as a worksheet, great for thinking alone, in a group or mapping out some possibilities.

    John Kuprenas say there is the problem, then the cause of the problem, then the cause of the cause of the problem and the cause of the cause of the cause... you get it! 

    It's a process that let's you look at creativity, innovation and problem solving by making it bigger before you get your hands dirty.  And this is a tool I'll be using with a large retailer this week as we workshop some of their new ideas and initiatives. See, you don't need to build bridges or roads or machines to be an engineer!


    Another way to handle all that talking

    If you've wandered around my website and found many of the resources and templates or read my blog ... you will have seen me 'go on' about my Facilitator 4 Step. 

    When you don't have a structure for a conversation, workshop or meeting, this model can really help you out. It can give the team focus and give you a place to go to guide you through the conversation. 

    Yesterday in a workshop with a team, they wanted to 'workshop' a topic. What do you do? Just open it up and let things go wherever they go? Or follow a structure?

    Well, I did a little of both. I outlined the structure - the Facilitator 4 Step, though I didn't call it that. I said "We'll talk about what we know, the facts... then hear your views and opinions... and then listen out for your ideas and suggestions."

    I created three flip charts with headings for the first of the three steps, facts, opinions, ideas - we weren't doing the 'actions' step at this stage. That would come later. 

    Then I opened up the discussion and just let it go on... and on. 

    As the team talked for the next 20 or 30 minutes or more, I listened and scribed or noted their key points. 

    If they said something that was fact based, I wrote it on the facts flip chart. 

    If they were talking about their views and opinions, that point went on the opinions flip chart. 

    And if they had a suggestion or idea for a solution, I wrote that on the ideas chart. 

    I simply let the conversation go on and on, capturing and sorting as they talked. 

    Yes, I was dancing and jumping from one chart to the next and back again - each time someone talked. This showed so clearly how our thinking and talking jumps from fact, to opinion to idea or solution - in just one sentence!

    It's no wonder teams or groups in conversation can find it difficult to get to actions and commitments when all of this mixed content is happening. 

    The flip charts and my sorting helped them see what they were talking about. It was a very efficient use of time. I didn't interrupt, I just let it go. 

    The end result: they have a categorised capture of their evidence and facts; their opinions and views; their ideas and opportunities. 

    Now they can go and prioritise and commit to action. 

    This is just another way to use a model or structure. You can make the group follow it or you can listen and sort as you go. 

    Try it out at your next meeting, workshop, strategy or planning session. 


    Are we ready to move on?

    It's been fun, challenging, interesting to work with some different groups this week - at some point each group needed to make a decision and move on. 

    Yes, you can vote, bring out coloured sticky dots or... whatever decision making process you like. But one approach that worked a charm this week was this:

    1. Open up the topic for discussion

    2. Visually capture key points about the views in the room (on a flip chart or white board) - people can SEE what others are thinking

    3. Identify the options or choices

    4 Check for agreement. That means 'asking' the question.

    I saw several groups this week spinning around content for such a long time. It's great to talk and put everyone's views out there, but once we're looping back around to some of the same points, some clarity is needed. 

    Summarising or recapping the main views is powerful and I rarely see anyone use this technique in group discussions. Too busy trying to get their own point across!

    Summarise, and then ask - 'any other views...any different views?'

    Once you've teased them all out, it's time to check if you're in agreement to proceed. 

    Again, I rarely see groups ask the question to get agreement. It's as if a few people are so frustrated that they say 'I think we're all in agreement, let's move on'. That ain't a question!

    Closed questions are great. 'Is there agreement?' 'Who disagrees?' 'Who still has views to put forward?' 'Are we ready to move on?' 

    Just because YOU think everyone agrees doesn't make it so. 

    Somtimes I'm in the role of listener (graphic recorder, visual capture) with teams and groups and not leading or faciliating. This is how I get to see what's really going on in teams and groups. If you had someone just listening to your next meeting, workshop or session - and not participating - what would they say? How would they rate your team's ability to get to consensus and move on?




    If you scare people you won't get started

    Last week I presented at the Agile Australia conference and also attended some brilliant sessions with people like Mary PoppendickDave Snowden of Cognitive Edge, and Bjarte Bogsnes author of 'Implementing Beyond Budgeting'.

    Bjarte's session, thinking and message was around helping organisations perform to their highest potential. My visualisation of his presentation is here as well as below.

    Bjarte Bogsnes - Beyond Budgeting

    Bjarte delivered some clear messages:

    • measurement alone changes nothing
    • businesses cut costs because they're not addressing culture and
    • if you scare people, you won't get started!

    I enjoyed his metaphors of traffic lights vs roundabouts. He asked 'Which is most efficient?,  'Who is in control?' and 'Where are values most important?'

    He doesn't want you to get rid of budgets; rather we need to change our mindsets around cost, KPIs and processes. Traditional leadership and management isn't working and the environments we work in are too complex. 

    There's a similiar style of presentation from Bjarte here from 2012 if you'd like to see more. 


    Six minutes in 80


    A strategic team day and an agenda that's full of tasks, activities, discussions and outcomes. But not enough time for breaks?

    Six minutes in 80 - that's a guide for an optimal break vs activity ratio.

    Why are so many leaders pushing for overflowing agendas? Is it that breaks are seen as time wasting or time off from the 'real' work at hand?

    Maybe leaders think they have to get their money's worth from their people, the venue they've hired and all the audio visual equipment that's whirring away in the room.

    Or they're concerned they just won't get to where they need to get to in this 'one magical silver bullet make it all happen' day... if they don't push on, rush and make 'em keep working.

    Let go of control and allow breaks, schedule breaks and be generous with break time. Productivity is boosted, fatigue is reduced, alertness is improved. You can achieve so much during a break.

    This infographic, about the value of taking breaks is a great reminder of the 'why' you need to pause occasionally and it's right there, the 6 minutes in 80 ratio suggestion.

    Even two minutes to stand and stretch is better than pushing on through.

    Next meeting, workshop, team session : schedule breaks. You'll get more out of the day, the team, the outcomes.