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1 day workshop

November 1, 2017

Canberra, ACT

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MELBOURNE: October 26 & 27


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 It's not 'drawing'...

It's 
VISUAL

SENSEMAKING

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

Contact Lynne to arrange a workshop at your workplace 

 
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    Entries in improvisation (4)

    Wednesday
    Feb082017

    Planning is a waste. Spur of the moment is often good enough. 

    ‘The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.’ - Walt Disney

    There’s a message here from the Director of Your Life; don’t wait for the script to arrive. Get on with it.

    Everyday life is the biggest improvisation of all. No script. No rehearsal. Get straight out onto the stage of life and start performing! 

    Ray Bradbury, the science fiction, horror and fantasy writer, said, ‘First you jump off the cliff and you build your wings on the way down’. And although some believe the quote attributable to Kurt Vonnegut, another equally interesting and creative author, the message is the same: leap and the net will appear, you will adapt, you’ll work it out and you’ll be moving!

    Spur of the moment is often good enough 

    For many planners, strategists and forward thinking folks, planning is a part of their everyday life. They plan their morning; they plan their lunch; they plan their afternoon; and they plan family holidays, expeditions and adventures. But to deal with the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous life which is how the world is now operating, to plan can sometimes be too slow.

    Start before you're ready

    How about the idea of starting before you're ready and making things up as we go along?

    I joke with friends and family that there are some cities and towns in the world, that if I had the opportunity to visit them again, you could take me to the airport right now. With nothing more than my phone with a payment app + my passport in my back pocket, I would work it all out as I went. 

    That idea can freak some people out. But I really would be willing to do that.

    Starting before you're ready is a response based on a theory around improvisation. Step into a community or public theatre in almost any city around the world and you will be able to discover the talents and prowess of improvisers. They step onto stages, performing for paying public and they are able to create and deliver an incredible performance almost every time.

    At the end of an improvised show, many theatergoers ask, ‘can we come back tomorrow night and see this performance again?’ Some audiences don’t realise that the show they just saw was fully improvised. Perhaps, a suggestion was given from someone in the audience to start a scene for the performance. Perhaps, one of the performers has added their own ideas. In fact, this is what improvisation is. It’s cutting loose your censor and setting free the inhibitions in your mind to deliver creativity.

    When I first learned the skills of improvisation with Impro Melbourne and was encouraged to step onto the stage as a performer, I always felt that I needed to rehearse a bit more or prepare in my mind what I was going to do or take some notes. Just as improvisers step onto a stage without a script -- so must we in workplaces today. 

    The idea that we can start before we are ready, gives us permission to just have a go, to not have a plan, to not have a script, to not have a structure and to not have any clue where this might go!

    What?! This can be terrifying for those who like to plan, for those who like certainty, for those who like unambiguous situations and for those who like to keep it all under control, known, certain and sorted. Trying to keep it all steady and calm. This is a little different to the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity that are now in full swing in most industries across the globe.

    If you are 80% ready to go, then go.

    Start before you're ready says don't worry about planning... well, not fully anyway. Not down to the final point.

    If you are 80% ready to go, then go.

    If you are 40% ready to go, then go with something.

    If you are 20% ready to go, then go with that.

    If you continue to plan out every single step of your idea, of your business opportunity, of your entrepreneurial thoughts or of your team's actions, your capacity to respond to that uncertainty and those changes are minimized. By the time you've finished planning, the landscape has changed! To be able to start at anytime - particularly before you're ready - gives you the opportunity to respond, to adapt, to be agile and to be flexible.

    Over the longer term starting before you're ready helps reduce your inhibitions, your structures, your limitations and your beliefs about what can be possible, what you can create and what you can do.

    Get momentum and get something 'out there'

     

    And for the procrastinators among us (yes, me too), starting before you're ready is a very cool way to get some momentum, to get something 'out there' and get over your need for it to be finished, perfect or better before you put it out there.

    Have a crack. Try it out. Start before you're ready and then document what happens. You could be on to something truly life changing for you and those you impact with your thinking, creativity and work.

    Improvisation maestro and master, guru and god, Keith Johnstone suggests that spur of the moment thoughts and actions are as good -- or better -- than the ones we try too hard at.

    Stop trying so hard. 

    Friday
    Jan092015

    Be more encouraging with failure

    Hooray, I failed! Candy Crush or any other addictive game will celebrate with me about how I didn't make that level.

    It's celebrated with a big colourful banner, sound effects, cheery, joyous music, AND an exclamation point.

    "You've failed!"

    I can't wait to have another go at it to see if I can learn what I've been doing wrong and get somewhere closer to succeeding. After all, it's fun. I'm failing and I'm trying again.

    Playing a digital game we're encouraged to rejoice at our failure and enthused to try again.

    Plenty to read over recent years about failure in well authored books and leading magazines and how we need to accept it in the workplace. Ok, well and good... but I just don't think we're 'accepting' failure quite right.

    I failed at work? OK, where's the cheery music? Where's the banner and the sound effects? And where is the exclamation point !?!

    Building on the happy lessons of improvisers who say ‘yes and’ and who make their partners look good, experimenting and failing is also being willing to let go of your first idea. What else can you cook up?

    At one of the earliest improvisation workshops I went to where we were learning the tools, techniques and philosophies of improv, the phrase ‘again’ was shouted with joy when a scene was ‘stuffed up’ or failed. If the story didn't progress or a playing partner didn't pick up the line and run with it, we shouted 'go again', and we have another try and say or do something else. Anything else. Just do something!

    We simply started again and had another go at it. Hands up in the air, leaping up, shouting 'I stuffed up!' or 'Again!'

    Yes, THERE's the exclamation point! Go again!

    Be more encouraging with failure and going 'again' this year. If something doesn't work, try something else. Just go again. Because we failed! Hooray!

    Tuesday
    Mar042014

    Don't fight stupid - make more awesome  

    Ask any of the talented improvisers at Impro Melbourne and they'll tell you that 'yes' is an almost magic word. When they're on stage, making things up, for the entertainment of an audience, they live for hearing a 'yes' from their fellow performers.

    'Yes...' allows them to build on, add to and develop a story line, an idea, a thought.

    Whereas a 'no' hits them like a bat over the head! Thud! Momentum stopped.

    It's harder to be creative, innovative or do your best work if you keep bumping into 'no'.

    At the Agile India conference I attended and presented at this past week, keynote speaker Martin Fowler mentioned in his presentation on 'Software Design in the 21st Century' the sweet phrase of 'don't fight stupid; make more awesome'.

    Looking into the phrase more, I found that Jesse Robbins, from the same sort of technology field said this and uses it as somewhat of a philosophy. 

    Jesse said:
    “If you keep bumping into ‘no,’ and the organization makes it hard to get to ‘yes,’ you are going to have a long, slow, painful death. Get out of there!

    “Every time I tried to win over stupid, I regretted it. On the other hand, every time I’ve gotten people to swing around and build a movement, I remember all those moments and felt good every day, no matter how hard I worked.”


    If you're battling against some no's where you are at the moment:

    • Yield.
    • Shift.
    • Pivot.


    Head off over there, in that direction and make awesome things happen, using your expertise, your capabilities and your knowing that you are on to something brilliant. 

    Yes. Go for it. Make more awesome. We're waiting for it. 

    Tuesday
    Mar122013

    Collaborate + Improvise = Survival

    "In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed." - Charles Darwin
    Just loving what Darwin was saying here - we've got to be able to play well with others, and be able to handle what happens... make stuff up! 

    That's innovation, collaboration, creation, being responsive, adapting, reiterating, going again.
    Working with a client last week and the team needed to truly 'play well with each other' to create a new range of solutions. There were voices from clients and customers, users and stakeholders added into the mix. 
    Then it was 'on'. Let's go! Some improvisation games, some creative thinking, some visual thinking and a range of other techniques and tools helped bring the crew together and get the best out of them. 
    (Oh, and it had to be fun. They wanted fun. They said 'fun' as part of their working agreement for the day.)
    The team wants to take the approaches we used to other parts of the business to shake things up a bit and to get more out of their meetings, workshops and interactions.
    It involves getting up off your feet, moving around, talking to people, writing stuff, drawing stuff, playing with stuff and generally firing up your brain. 
    Mmmmmm - good stuff!