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    Entries in co-design (3)

    Monday
    Mar182013

    It's a co-brainer

    No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you - Althea Gibson

    Lengthy meetings can be boring and people are busy-busy yet we still need to engage, consult and 'play well with others' in the day-to-day of life, at work and in our communities.

    There's plenty you can do alone but working with others during your day, role or career is a certainty; it's gonna happen. It's a 'co-brainer'. You'll need to be doing something with someone, sometime.  

    I'm shocked, disappointed, at how little planning some people do to make any type of 'co' activity creative, engaging or dare I say ... enjoyable!

    Over recent weeks I've heard about b-o-r-i-n-g teleconferences, 'all talk' workshops and supposedly consultative sessions that were really a presentation of what had already been decided. That's not 'co'. It's unproductive and oh-so disengaging.

    To step up the productivity, inject some creativity and get the outcomes you need, working together with others is a 'co-brainer' when you know how. 

    Henry Ford is often quoted for his insight and progressive thinking; I've always liked this one: Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.

    What are you doing this week to truly get people working together? What do they think of what you're doing? What do they think you should be doing? That's co.

    Wednesday
    Mar132013

    Please don't throw lollies

    Please don't throw lollies. I can walk over and pick them up out of the plastic packet all by myself. Look, watch me, I can.

    *Cringe*  I was in a training session last week – or perhaps that should read, ‘boring presentation’ by a presenter who introduced the topic by saying ‘Now I hope you all don’t ‘fall asleep’ during this!’

    So there we were, looking forward to a boring presentation and the opportunity of falling asleep. Before the presenter spoke, she held up a large bargain bulk bag of lollies and sang in Mary Poppins style “I have lolllliiiieeeeeesssss!”

    “I’ve got bribes!’ she further explained! “This will keep you awake!”

    As if a bag of lollies is going to make my interest levels peak through 32 mind-numbing PowerPoint slides in a darkened room. What did peak was my blood sugar level, just by looking at the pink and yellow shapes inside the bag.

    Why isn’t she trying to make that presentation more interesting, engaging and helpful? Why isn’t it more palatable than the cheap lollies?

    She delivered the presentation. She never needed the lollies. It cheapened the presentation; it lowered the professionalism and it made us feel like we needed to listen or we’d be very naughty. We are adults you know. So are you, presenter.

    Some people I have consulted and worked with argue that you need damn good coffee and pastries to get people to some presentations. But surely you don’t need to throw lolllies at us when we look bored!

    ‘Oh but it’s FUN!’ shouted Amy from the Learning and Design team. ‘Lighten up! It’s fun! You’re too serious!’

    It wasn’t fun for Gavin from Accounts who sat in the accident and emergency department waiting room with his eye bleeding out of its socket. No, Gavin wasn’t laughing when a bullet hard lemon barley sugar with kiddy wrap went flying through his left eye. The visual, yes that’s a laugh. The Safety Team said ‘No more throwing lollies. You may hand them around.’

    If you want your session, meeting, presentation or training to be fun you don’t need to throw lollies at me or anyone else. What you do need to do is design the session with engaging activities, designed for the purpose, designed for the people in the room. They’re called an audience. Even better when you call them ‘participants’.

    What are you doing to make your meetings, conversations, workshops and learning experiences creative, collaborative, engaging and transformative?

     

    *Gavin isn’t his real name. And he didn’t need to go to Accident and Emergency either. He’s ok. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Tuesday
    Feb262013

    A little more conversation - a lot more action  

    A logistics client of mine is having their senior leaders forum next week - they do this around every 90 days. I facilitate the gathering of 80 leaders to ensure they can all participate, that we stay on track and that there are some serious outcomes after some wonderful collaboration.

    So when you have a team gathering scheduled on the calendar and you're busy finding a meeting room, remember this above all other arrangements :

    Ask    ________________________________    Tell

     

    You see, it can't be all talk. That isn't a forum. That wouldn't be a team thing.  That would be a presentation.

    Any time you bring people together, stop with all the talking and telling will you!

    Wander along to the other end of the continuum and be sure to engage, question, ask and have a co-nversation.

    Co = together. Bring people together so they can collaborate, communicate, co-create and co-design the changes and activities that will achieve your business or project strategy.
    It's quicker and will get you more buy-in than you simply telling them. Seriously it will.

    There are still a lot of 'all talk' bad habits out there. It can be a whole new way of looking at things and that can seem challenging at times.

    • How do we get their input and ideas? 
    • How do we wind people up once they start?
    • What if it gets out of hand?
    • How will we wrap up the day?
    • What if....what if... what if...

    I think every gathering, workshop or strategy session needs The 9 Elements of Collaboration. I make sure they are brought to the teams and clients I work with, every time they get the team together.

    Let me know about your next gathering of the team - what do you want to have happen?  Let's work on designing an agenda, an event and processes that are engaging, creative and collaborative and most of all... designed to make things happen.

    Otherwise you're all talk!