Conversation leads to flow & creativity

Posted by  admin —October 22, 2010
Filed in Creative Stuff, Vizual Thinking

Here is my latest addition to the world of online slideshows.

I had the opportunity on Wednesday night to chat with a mixture of people from the Melbourne KMLF network and the RSA (Australia/NZ) Fellowship. They gathered for a Knowledge Cafe with David Gurteen – who is on a whirlwind tour of South East Asia, Australia and NZ at the moment.

Now … I often take pot-shots at the ‘keynote-presenter’ model, but I must admit it was nice to leave to facilitation to David and have 15 minutes to talk about the world as I see it. I also learnt and thing or three watching his style of facilitating World Cafe. It was also terrific to be a participant again!

I have provided my slides for download over at slideshare, BUT, I must warn you, on their own (without the story) they will mean little. People who know me well will figure out the story as they click through. I hope they are a useful reminder for those who heard my little rant.

And here’s an offer … over at my delicious account here,  I tagged 30+ web resources that underpin the content of the slides and the story told.

My process of designing a presentation and the slides

More to follow soon on the slide-design and story process

RSA-KMLF Presentation for Gurteen Knowledge Cafe

View more presentations from Geoff Brown.
The Essence of the Story that goes with the slides …
The Set Up – [1-15]
[Slides 1-6] – My own story about a behaviour change project called Castlemaine 500 … many lessons, challenges and failures which lead to … [slides 7-8] me challenging my own assumptions and worldview about how change happens. My own ‘mental models‘ were laid bare and became clear to me [slide 8].
[slide 9] I looked back at my  understanding of the brain and social networks (as on Occupational Therapist) and rediscovered the holistic, ecological and emergent metaphors for change (and how the world works). These new mental models replaced the linear, mechanistic views that I had [slides 10-15].
The RSA [16-20]
[slides 16-17] The RSA’s Social Brain Project is teaching new thinking skills to people (eg. suffering drug addiction) including how the brain works, the environment and  behaviour. And the RSA’s new strapline, 21st Century Enlightenment, is brought to life by Matthew Taylor in this RSAnimate lecture [slides 19-20]. Again, Matthew details the importance of applying what we now know about the human condition and our environment – “to behave differently, we must think differently” and this means we have to examine our own mental models.
Other things we know about human behaviour … that we don’t seem to learn from and change our approach [21-31]
[slide 21-22] Research shows that humans fool themselves into doing things that supposedly bring happiness … only to find that they don’t make us happy – and ten we repeat our mistakes over and over (eg. retail therapy and materialism)
[slide 23] When we invest time and effort into a ‘plan’, we rarely change our plan … even in the face of compelling evidence that our plan won’t work – we do not seem capable of noticing what is emerging in the moment and instead remain fixated on finding evidence to support our plan! Bushfire CRC research.
[slide 24] Even when we imagine a worst case scenario, our cognitive capacity rarely means we put in place strategies to mitigate ‘worst-case’ risks.  Bushfire CRC research.
[slides 25-26] We are not independent thinking beings who make individual rational decisions … Mark Earls points out the Herd theory on change – and yet our project activities rarely reflect this way of thinking about change!
[slides 27-28] My favourite way of thinking about working in the complex space … Dave Snowden talks about moving from a ‘Fail-Safe’ mode to the ‘Safe-Fail’ mode.
[slide 30] One of my favourite group activities that allows people to experience the importance of ‘prototyping’ (in a safe fail way) when building a structure together – see Marshmallow Challenge.
[slide 31] The final bit of research presented is about where innovation, ideas and creativity comes from. We know that the ‘lone genius’ doesn’t exist and innovation emerges from networks of people and ideas over time … so why do we persist with images like this when we refer to great leaps of insight?!
Enter Steve Johnson and Keith Swayer – to expose the myth of the lone genius and shine a light on ‘Group Genius’ and innovation [32-39]

Improvisation is everywhere! And we need more Improvisation Teams in our organisations/community if we are to innovate and tackle the wicked problems of the 21st century.[40-50]
Conversation is the key! [51-55]
And in conversation … “who do we need to be?” – some lesson from the world of Improv that we can apply to life, leadership and every conversation we take part in. [56-62]
The Cafe Question I posed to the RSA/KMLF group. [63-72]

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