Tag Archive for: cultural change

Concepta…what? You’ve probably never heard of a conceptathon. This brand new future format of New Learning comes directly from the TCJG forge and is full of teamwork, collaboration and visible end results.

This workshop design has its roots in the agile world and follows the approach: learning by doing. Within three days, concepts for pre-defined cases are developed in small groups – intensively and innovatively. Alternating between short inputs, units, and workflows according to the sprint logic and pitches of the interim results. Everyone can play to their strengths and push themselves out of their comfort zone. Everything for the grand finale, the final pitch and the opportunity to learn how to deliver quality conception work quickly.

We were able to prove in our pilot that this does not only mean spinning heads and hard work, but is also really fun!

10 people worked for three days on three different concept challenges and the results were overwhelming: multi-media, complex, agile and with a lot of heart and soul.

We’ll take you on a little Conceptathon journey and sum up at the end.

And if you want to learn more about the future format beforehand: You can find our blog here.

At the Conceptathon, we didn’t hesitate for long. We took enough time to arrive, meet the group and define our expectations and goals (TCJG top tip here: Expectations and goals are perfect as a task in the run-up; the group already deals with the topic of conception and the anticipation of the workshop rises), but we also quickly got to the part that everyone was looking forward to: the presentation of the cases and thus the kick-off of the Conceptathon.

In the case groups, they first familiarised themselves with their own task, did research (also with the clients as interview partners), then, after inspiring input on the topic of goal definition, formulated it (a step that many have always liked to skip in the past) and bundled and expanded the collected findings in a rough concept.

Aha results guaranteed

This is where the first aha experiences took place: The change of perspective presented the first challenge to one or the other. To empathise with the client(s), to ask the right questions and to explore the case without immediately finding a solution was a task that our participants sometimes had to work hard at. Their heads were already bubbling over with creativity and ideas – then taking a step back and looking at the requirements can be frustrating, but it is necessary.

The results then spoke for themselves: our groups were able to get to the heart of their cases and prepare their rough concepts in such a way that creativity could be given free rein on day 2 – without having to deal with legacy issues from the previous conceptual step.

And there was something else we learned: The templates and small aids we prepared for our participants served us well during the event. They provide orientation and give the group the chance to concentrate on the essentials: Conception.

Even after the event, the team spirit continued to be fuelled: over pizza and vino, we laughed, exchanged ideas and recharged our batteries for the next day!

Day 2 – Conceptathon – the creative minds are activated

The group started day 2 highly motivated, and things got off to a dynamic start, because we wanted to fill our concepts with life.

But first the theory: together we worked out which methods, formats and media we could best use at which point in our learning structure. What achieves the greatest effects? What helps us reach our goals best? What out-of-the-box possibilities have we not yet considered?

This got the creative heads activated and prepared them well for the rest of the day. It was precisely these results that could be used for the further development of the cases. The participants were able to be creative in their fine structure, use funky formats and work out architectures with great attention to detail.

Intensive work units with clear objectives, feedback sessions and slack time alternated again and again. We were amazed at how many ideas we could spin together in such a short time and, thanks to the previously prepared structure, steer them in a productive direction.

In the evening, the creative work continued: even the rain couldn’t stop us from having a BBQ. So the grill master got a roof over his head and the group set up the buffet indoors. With homemade salads from the team and conversations about things that are currently on our minds, it tasted even better.

Day 3 – Conceptathon – The Grand Finale

The grand finale – but by no means was the air out!

On the last day of the Conceptathon, our participants really stepped on the gas, put the finishing touches on their concept and produced material.

The final pitches and presentations of the concept consequently had it all: from 360° videos to trainer guides for workshops and passionate explanations, everything was there, and our participants set off a real concept firework!

Of course, it was difficult to decide on the best concept, which is why we quickly declared everyone a winning team and celebrated our new team spirit together with a visit to the wine bar!

Our event was rounded off with an intensive reflection on the last few days. What did the participants take away? What will they do differently now? Were they able to achieve their goals from the beginning of the event?

One sentence in particular stuck in our minds: “Now I finally know what should really matter in my job!”, one of our participants openly shared with us, thus giving us high praise.

We said goodbye as a team, as conceptathonists and with a lot of motivation for our next concept work!

Our conclusion: A future format that makes fun!

Our conclusion for the Conceptathon is entirely positive: It really is a future format that is fun!

With a lot of creativity, collaboration and dynamism, it helps teams to set a focus and get down to work in a short time. A conceptathon is suitable for a wide range of topics, strengthens individual competences and produces immediately visible results: finished concepts.

Our Conceptathon already had kids. See here the Main-Donau-Isar Projekt.

 

Would a Conceptathon be something for you and your team? You want to see visible results quickly and take your conceptual work to the next level? Then get in touch with us and we’ll realise your New Work Booster together!

 

Written by: Victoria Durner

Sie gestalten Zukunft.
Mit uns geht das gut!

 

27.08.2020

 

Whenever transformation is involved, it is stated that a mindset refraim has a key role to play. Many initiatives threaten to fail because people remain in their old “patterns” instead of opening up to the new. Even the best chains of argumentation are of no use. And even horror scenarios or idealized visions of the future miss their target alone. Time to reflect on a very old format and its power – the effectiveness of the circle.

The failure of transformation

Each and everyone is currently engaged in primarily digital transformation. However, many are apparently not making much progress in this area, and it can be often heard  that they are “lagging behind”. Transformation initiatives often drag on for years and seem to be stagnating.

According to the study Shifthappens 2020, two out of every three initiatives fail. If one follows the many analyses and studies that examine this, the disruptive factors are usually the classics of change management: lack of vision or future prospects, too many activities at once and the resulting sand dune effect, incorrect planning, lack of support from promoters.

And above all a culture shock. Whereas in the past, classic silos, services according  to instructions mentality and cascade goals were required, collaboration, self-organization and iterations are now suddenly on the agenda. A 360-degree turn, so to speak, with a clear panoramic view. A bit much at once, for one or the other.

The importance of communication

Communication is one of the central success factors for successful change, which is a transformation. Even if the holistic version of the Change. Lack of communication leads to resistance. And this makes the entire transformation process slack. Helpful communication, in turn, takes the players on the road, involves them, and ensures integration. So far so good. Has been understood.

But what kind of communication should inspire the transformation? Nicely designed slides with many good arguments. The arguments that are plausible to the creator of the slides. Optimized to the point that they convince every member of the steering committee and beyond.

It obviously does not work. This kind of communication does not seem to bring people into effectiveness and action. Rather, it seems to make them persevere. Otherwise, many transformations would not be where they are.

A question of the mindset

It is really not about communication. It is only a means to an end. It wants to move. To bring people into thinking. Change perspectives. Broaden perspectives. Create desires. Arouse interest in co-design.

It’s more a matter of stimulating the mindset to change. To expand it, to move it out of its rigid corset and comfort zone and to go on a journey of discovery.

And this is certainly not possible with a plausible set of slides. But maybe with good stories. Not with one but with many. Maybe with analogies and personal experiences. And with individual wishes and desires. And with the medium of emotion instead of reason.

The effectiveness of the Circle

And this is where the Circle comes into play. A circle is a conversation circle, which allows to reach deeper levels of communication. In literature several names are used for this circle, e.g. Communication Circle or Talking Circle.

The Circle is a “learning format” that is still actively used by many indigenous people today. For the development of their children or to make decisions for example. It has been used as a method of organizational development and facilitation in recent years for organizations and companies and can work true miracles.

For a circle, a group of people (approx. 6-30+) comes together, whose connection consists in answering a common question. These groups sit together in a closed circle.
This can take place around a table or in an open circle of chairs.
The question for a circle is published for all to see.
A talking stick is used, which moves from group member to group member. It can either be passed on directly when a group member has spoken, or it can first be moved back to the center and then picked up by the next member who wants to contribute.

The effectiveness of the circle can be traced back to the setting, but above all to its principles.
Each member speaks in turn and has the right to speak as long as he or she sees it as appropriate and holds the speaking stick in his or her hands.
There is no external dialogue in the sense of questions or debates, but rather contribution after contribution. Sometimes with reference to previous speakers, sometimes without.
Once the circle is complete, it begins all over again.

An accompanying facilitator can at this point set a short summary of the preliminary round or a focus e.g. with reference to the initial question.
In this way, up to four rounds (depending on the size of the group) can take place. Then the facilitator closes the circle.

The Magic of the Circle

The principles of this format allow the minds of all participants to come to rest and listen to each other more and more intensively. Since an answer cannot/should not be given immediately, the attention remains with what has been said. From different perspectives and aspects, a new and extended  view of things crystallizes in small steps. In mini-steps your own mindset changes. By themselves. On the basis of a diverse view, but with your own thoughts and feelings. This is sustainable and works. This is how action is planned.

Interesting is the effectiveness of the Circle. It works through itself. Change happens. Just like that. Without chains of argumentation. Without logic. From within itself. How magical.

To everyone’s satisfaction, by the way. It is astonishing. Everything important comes up. Represented by all. Thus a wonderful example of self-organization and collaboration is created. And thus changing culture. In every circle.

Circles also have success factors

Two factors are crucial to the effectiveness of the Circle.

First is this: the question. It needs to be carefully chosen and well formulated to reach everyone and to raise the potential inherent in the community. Ideally, it should be formulated in several iterations together with representatives of the Circle and the facilitator.

Then the attitude of the facilitator. No, a facilitator is not a moderator. Rather, it is a person who unintentionally shapes the room and “holds” it, i.e. ensures that the Circle process runs smoothly and in accordance with the principles. This is a very special art that needs to be learned.

 

You use the effectiveness of the Circle to make Mindset Refraim.
With us it goes well.