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    Entries in outcomes (9)

    Friday
    Jan302015

    A P.S. to the Standup

    Good news! The team I talked about in my recent post The best meeting : 10 minutes, no water bottles, no chairs, no tables, has now had four stand up meetings... FOUR.... and they're hooked!

    Yes there was uncertainty. There was doubt. There was disbelief.

    But there was also focus, clarity and progress.

    They laughed. They even applauded spontaneously at the end of the first meeting.

    And then off they went and started... doing! Hooray.

    I'm still standing by them as they stand up, mainly to guide the leader with some facilitation skills. Of course, that leader already has some great facilitation skills, but you know what it's like when you're working with PEOPLE! :-)

    We're all human and so the human leader just needs to deliver some more human to the humans in the stand up.

    So a little coaching, guidance and debriefing for the leader on the fine art of 'handling the sh*t that goes down in groups' is what we've be doing after each of the stand ups.

    I'll keep standing by their stand ups and look forward to seeing them getting on with great progress and celebrating - whether they stumble, fall, get up, fail, or go wildly beyond what they were expecting.

    Are you standing up yet?

    Tuesday
    Dec022014

    The Accelerated Meeting Framework

    'Everybody in the house put your hands up'... who would prefer that meetings went on l-o-n-g-e-r  than they already do?

    And keep your hands up if you'd like those meetings to achieve even less than they do now?

    Urgh - so many meetings are just a time, energy, mood and productivity waste that we can't even be bothered putting our hands up!

    But what to do? How to keep it short, sharp, focused and driving towards outcomes?

    Try my Accelerated Meeting Framework:


    1. Start with the background - no interruptions, just set the scene of why we're here, what we're gonna do and the facts and data that inform where we're at now. 

    2. Then open it up - stand back and let the talking and opinions fly. Let people have their say, put forward their viewpoint and get it off their chest. Be sure to make visual and visible note of the key things people are contributing. Keep it to the topic, share the contribution and 'air time' around. Beware, this is where things can go around in circles - summarise what the main views are. 

    3. Generate ideas and opportunities, possibilities and potential. List them and visually capture them so people can see. Narrow down the ones that are quick wins, easy to implement, partially done (see my blog on Stop Starting, Start Finishing) or will bring a great return on investment. 

    4. List the actions that are to be followed up and implemented. Put names and dates next to those. Make it visual and visible, so people can see what you've worked through and where you've got to. 

    Done. 

    The success of meetings, workshops and strategy sessions is judged on what is done, what is achieved and what progress is made.

    You're responsible for leading a team to great progress. 

    Use visuals with your meeting and you'll reduce meeting time by 25%.

    Use my Accelerated Meeting Framework and you'll get through more, quicker. 

     

    Wednesday
    Jun122013

    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. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Tuesday
    Apr162013

    4 Ways to Tell if You're a High Engagement Leader

    "So glad that's over... what a yawn-fest." No doubt you've enjoyed that type of meeting, workshop or conversation today?

    If you were the leader or convenor, of course not. It was somebody else, yes?

    High engagement leaders know that having a meeting or a conversation that's a 'yawn fest' is a no-go zone.

    High engagement leaders focus on establishing and maintaining high levels of engagement with the people they work with: team members, colleagues, stakeholders... whoever they work with... high engagement is a high priority. 

    (Sure, you can have a high engagement gathering on a Friday afternoon after work. Not many outcomes achieved, but gee, we had a g-r-e-a-t time!)

    A high engagement leader aims to create and build engagement and connection with others... and then, once they've got that engagement, they are able to make stuff happen. In other words, get to outcomes. 

    Engagement and outcomes. That's it. 

    I think there are four ways to tell if you're a high engagement leader. 

    In this model, you're aiming for the top right of the four quadrants - high on engagement, high on outcomes. 

    If you're creating a hostage situation : you're getting great outcomes, but dragging people along.... pssst, you're not high engagement. 

    If everyone's engaged, happy, singing sweet songs but you'll work on the outcomes next time... you're still not a truly effective leader. 

    And if you're not getting the engagement and not getting the outcomes, cue the 'yawn fest'. 

    Get the participants at your next workshop, meeting or conversation to answer this question:

    Was this meeting/workshop/session a:

     

    1. Hostage situation
    2. Yawn fest
    3. Party
    4. High on engagement and outcomes?

    Show them the model. Get them to tell you how well you went with engagement and outcomes.

    You may well be somewhere between these, but whatever you do, keep shifting away from the hostage situation, the yawn fest and the pure party. The people you work with are counting on you. 

     

    Wednesday
    Sep122012

    Mints, water, agenda. Where are the outcomes?


    There's coffee on arrival, mints in little bowls, jugs of fresh water and an agenda on the tables - a gathering of the team for a strategy or team session. Perhaps it's a day or two, or you're fortunate enough to escape off-site in an effort to get fresh perspective and avoid workplace distractions.

    The strategy or team session is a big investment of people, time, preparation, accommodation, travel, catering, audio visual support, time away from your role .... and on and on.

    But simply getting people in the one venue and heading into the agenda doesn't get the best out of the group or that investment.

    There are 7 problems I see with strategy and team sessions and they can all be avoided with pre-planning, creative input and the right resources. When I'm facilitating high-value strategy and team sessions for clients and providing input into agenda design before the event, there are key things I work to avoid. The difference in the feel and running of the session is certainly noticeable ... but the impact on outcomes achieved can be extreme.

    The problems are in my new whitepaper - The 7 Problems with Strategy and Teams Sessions... and what to do about them.

    Read it and act on it before you get the team together.