Tag Archive for: New learning

15.06.2022

Ever heard of a conceptathon? Nope? No wonder. It’s actually a brand new format of New Work and New Learning that combines teamwork, collaboration and learning with immediately usable work results in the field of conception. And it does so with a lot of fun and a high level of energy. That’s what the Conceptathon is – a New Work Booster.

Conceptathon reminds of Hackathon

To be honest, the basic idea of the Conceptathon is not all that new. It has its roots in hackathons known since the turn of the millennium in hardware and software development.

These are IT developers meetings limited in time, first in the presence and later also in the virtual environment. They pursue the goal of collaboratively developing products or finding solutions to specific challenges during the meeting. From classic hackathons, the public is familiar with large quantities of pizza boxes and all kinds of technology that the developer needs to creatively design the tasks set. You could say they have made a reputation for themselves as mega pizza parties, where a lot of creative competition packed into agile sprints ensures a lot of fun and output.

Conceptathon has agile roots

And that’s where the Conceptathon comes in. This format also relies on collaborative design and a good team spirit to achieve high-quality work results in a short time. The Conceptathon also focuses on fun and creativity and the basic design is in sprints. So it is in no way inferior to the Hackathon and appreciates its qualities and experience. Especially since the Hackathon, as a prototype of agile working, practised the principles of New Work in its purest form early on.

Learning by doing in Conceptathon

And yet the Conceptathon is very different from its relative. That starts with the general conditions. It is true that the Conceptathon also offers suitable catering, but with a different focus: fresh fruit and snacks with food for the brain. Conceptathons are also planned for several days. The nights, however, are for regeneration and the breaks and evenings are for relaxing, often with the team. While at hackathons everything is preferably darkened, conceptathons deliberately open doors and windows and let the light in or move straight outside into nature.

The real difference, however, lies in the format itself. The Conceptathon – a New Work Booster – supplements collaborative learning and working with small teaching nuggets at the beginning and end of a sprint. I.e. during the meeting, the product development is supplemented with suitable learning impulses that then inspire the joint concept work. In this way, not only is something co-created, but at the same time a targeted individual competence development takes place.

As the name suggests, learning and working at Conceptathon revolves around the theme of “conception”. In many ways, a participant in a Conceptathon can increase his/her ability to create concepts while at the same time designing concepts.

This process is supported by these attitudes or methods:

  • The idea of the “Wisdom of the crowd”, i.e. many people working together have a more holistic perspective and more options for finding solutions than just one person
  • The New Work principles of “collaboration” and “co-creation“, the understanding and methods of how to effectively implement collaborative working
  • The New Learning understanding that learning is best done by doing and on demand
  • The approach that learning facilitators as guides, as we say at TCJG, give impulses that promote empowerment instead of imparting knowledge
  • The framework of Design Thinking, which can be used not only for excellent product development but also for the development of concepts

Conceptathon – a New Work Booster

A conceptathon can be held over 2 days, but it is preferable to run it over 3 days. A longer duration is not recommended, as experience has shown that the concentration decreases.
Design of a camp that works with a team of 5-7 people and a guide is recommended. The number of participants is scalable with a simultaneous increase in the number of learning guides. This camp can also be significantly larger at any time if the framework conditions allow.

These conditions should be met:

  • Sufficiently large room with individual working areas for each participant, but also collaboration areas and chill-out areas
  • Provision of technical equipment (e.g. computers) and creative material
  • Space or format that allows all participants to meet together from time to time during the course of the workshop
  • Availability of healthy catering
  • Offer socialising and team-building sessions

Conceptathons can be organised in fixed working teams or in Mix-Max groups. They are suitable for the “real world”, for example as presence camps and are recommended by us, but they also function just as well in the virtual world as remote sessions.

In order to test the ability to create concepts, suitable topics should be available. Either the participants themselves bring topics or the organiser provides appropriate topics and, if necessary, resources.

The design of a conceptathon can be varied. A pure open space is just as suitable as a theme-based format, such as the joint development of workshops or learning nuggets, or the creation of decision-making templates for new ideas of one department.
Either way, the Conceptathon is a New Work Booster. And a learning booster at that.

Many good reasons for a Conceptathon

The added value list of Conceptathons is as long as its possible applications.
Here are just a few selected reasons why Conceptathon – is a New Work Booster.

  • Participants build up individual competences in the field of systematics and structure as well as expertise in concept work and agile working
  • Collaborators experience community work and train collaboration with a view to output
  • Participants experience teaching and learning at eye level and understand the importance of sharing and caring in the context of New Work
  • Participants learn a variety of methods, e.g. design thinking or Scrum techniques as well as creative work and argumentation
  • The investment in learning has an immediate effect: directly usable concepts for the utilisation of the learning process

The Conceptathon is an open source Zeitgeist L&OD format by The Company Journey Guides.

You shape the future.
This is something we´re good at.

This article was written by Eva-Maria Danzer.

26.11.2021

The current time requires constantly to deal with challenges and to deal with change. There are many forms of facing these topics. Most of these formats are very rational. With 3D mapping, a completely different approach is practiced: in a creative and intuitive way, approaches to solutions are found and developed. Creating the future with the help of 3D Mapping.

And what exactly is 3D mapping?

An organizational development method created by the Presencing Institute and used primarily by teams dealing with change and challenges. 3D Mapping provides the ability to visually map a system or issue or idea and look at how it might evolve from multiple dimensions and perspectives.

The strength of this method lies in the fact that participants think out of their heads, work with their hands and create a model together. One does not think about the current situation and its possible development.

In a creative and intuitive development process the image of “reality” is created. If the knowledge of one’s own hands is trusted, one does not fall back into habitual ways of thinking about the present and imagine the future as a continuation of the existing, but it is very likely that new ways will be discovered. And that is exactly what creating the future with the help of 3D mapping is.

Creative techniques are used and different creative materials are employed. At first glance, it looks a bit like a DIY session, but it is an innovative method that has long since gained recognition in the business world. At the latest after Design Thinking has conquered the stage.

3D Mapping in 3 steps

Before ideally 4-7 participants start creating the model of their system or their issue, it is made clear what the intention is and what the focus of the mapping is.

The first step is then to create a mapping that represents the current state of a system. Each object in the model represents a different element, quality or stakeholder of the system.

In the second step, team participants reflect on the model from four different perspectives and with different questions. This gives the participants the opportunity to each develop a different view of the existing system from a different archetypal perspective.

In the third step, the participants design the future based on the insights gained. To do this, they change the model in such a way that it better represents the new future they want to bring into the world.

Afterwards, the overall process is reflected upon and measures can be derived to solve or redesign the problem. As a rule, these measures are characterized by the fact that they get to the point and prioritize themselves immediately. In addition, there is no need to call in a committee of implementers. This has already been done in the process.
That’s probably why this method is so powerful. It is sustainable.

An example: 3D mapping in a nursing facility

A few weeks ago, we implemented this process of 3D mapping with the care management team of a nursing facility. It was incredible to see the emotions that immediately come into play when this format is used. We experienced emotionally heavy moments, but also very touching ones.

The members of the team got into a good flow very quickly when creating the model and, without consulting each other, created the current situation in an intuitive and creative way.

For us as process facilitators it was nice to observe how the people in this team trusted each other, worked together and protected and supported each other. Thus, there was a necessary stability to create what emerged.

The process starts with an AS IS picture

When the work began, the energy in the room changed noticeably, it became visibly heavy and oppressive. This energy was also reflected in the model: Although the good unity of the team members was evident here as well, heaviness and chaos dominated in many places. Many walls, demarcations, no cooperation. On the contrary, in many areas there was a recognizable counteraction and watching each other.

When the team members reflected on the model, everyone was quickly aware that a change had to be made promptly. One statement was “if you look at the model longer, you would like to run away”. This statement sums up the image and energy in the room well. However, there were also statements of encouragement. In reference to the leadership team, the terms “love” and “our unity” fell; in reference to the nursing facility, the potential and spirit of the home was emphasized.

After creating the current situation and reflecting on the model, the leadership team was mentally and physically exhausted. This was a completely normal process, as they had been very intensively involved in this process. We paused here in the process and did not design the future model until two more weeks had passed. This allowed the team members to reflect on the process again in peace, to gain some distance and to shape the future with fresh energy.

3D Mapping process

The second step is about future

At the beginning of the second session, experiences and insights from the first session were reflected upon once again. Afterwards, the team members set about designing the future with great enthusiasm.

Very quickly they were back in the flow. And without any consultation, one change after the other was made to the model. What a difference it was from the last time!

A lot of lightness unfolded in the room. A very light energy and love were noticeable, the true spirit of the house spread. There was nothing of the leaden heaviness of the last time, which also affected the team members. The team energized and motivated. And for all to see the weight that had fallen from the shoulders of the team members and how a breath of fresh air could take place. That was constructive and effective future design with 3D mapping.

The presented future shows a picture of understanding and togetherness. Looking at the model, the team members were able to quickly develop initial ideas on how to achieve this future. They are very optimistic and motivated to create this ideal image together – with the nursing staff – and to make the house a unique place for the residents and relatives.

3D Mapping process

3D Mapping process

For us, it was a fulfilling task to be able to support the nursing management team in finding a way to shape the future and we are also pleased to be able to accompany them for a while.

 

Want to know more about 3D mapping process?

Please contact us.

This case was written by Julia Winkler.

Last week, I was able to accompany a presentation event as part of a Leadership Journey. Following C & Co and the current hybrid trend, the group had been on a virtual learning journey for quite some time. Now a “real day” was on the agenda. And it made one thing, actually only one thing, clear: the importance of physical encounters for one’s own emotional balance and hygiene, which is so significant. The power of emotions.

Remote, yes but …

The touchpoints of the Remote Learning Session so far were great after all. They were interactive in design and of course offered break out sessions for a more in-depth exchange. Energizers and lots of exercises addressed attention and provided experiential learning experiences. The addition of pre- and follow-up tasks to the workshops and the reflection of results in peer groups rounded off the New Learning approach in an ideal way. The topics were not lacking in appeal: “Leadership Personality”, “Leading Self” and “Leading People”. Obviously, everything was offered that is considered useful for successful learning in the virtual space today. Actually. What was obviously underestimated was the power of emotions.

Presence is more than virtual

As it turned out last week, despite all the didactics and diversity, something essential was missing: the emotional experience that only presence makes possible.

This became immediately clear. Even the first meeting was different than in the virtual space. More cordial, more open and more alive. All participants were there and only concerned with the here and now.
The exercises also had a noticeably different quality. Dialogue and exchange emerged instead of the naming of individual points of view. Some things that had already been discussed remotely appeared in a different space of meaning in a very short time.

The power of emotions became especially clear when one participant had gathered enough strength in the afternoon. She/he opened up with her/his Pains and Needs and all the emotions accumulated during the Lock Down. The connection and closeness experienced in the group on this “real day” allowed her/him to show what really moves her/him.

This was an incredible relief for her/him and a special gift for the team. Within a very short time, the culture in this group was enriched by the possibility of being able to bring in emotions. This led to a shift in connectedness. And gave a special example of what makes a leader today.

Emotions light in two-dimensional space

What exactly was different than in virtual space?
It almost seems as if the real space enables 3-D emotions. I.e. emotions can be perceived or experienced more intensively and thus make an excellent contribution to finding a solution.

In virtual space, on the other hand, we are dealing with a kind of 2-D emotions. Here we can influence well from the outside and e.g. inspire or talk about possible emotions. Perhaps also experience joy or frustration. But it remains on a “flat” level, it remains with individual parts.

The physical space could be described as “the whole is more than the sum of the parts”. An ideal place to let the power of emotions take effect.

Presence is irreplaceable

As much as I, we at TCJG now appreciate hybrid formats and intensively focus on corresponding Learning Journeys, this experience made it clear to me: presence is a magical space we cannot do without when we talk about sustainable Learning & Development.

Virtual sessions also have special possibilities that we should not miss.

It is the mix that makes the whole thing work. That was obvious. But now we will certainly consciously sprinkle a pinch of more presence into our Journeys again. And use it even more actively: the power of emotions.

This case was written by:
Eva-Maria Danzer

31.10.2020

 

One learning format is currently enjoying increasing popularity. It is a short term learning design that can be easily integrated into the daily routine of every person. By leaning on a time slot that is set anyway. The lunch break. With a sandwich or salad, some content and sharing. The Lunch & Learn is ready. And Lunch & Learns, they rock.

Micro Learning is on the move

The days when learning in business was primarily done in a group in the seminar room or alone in front of the computer are gone. Where you had to “cut out” days or hours to learn new things, to get inspiration or to optimize your own behavior. Today learning is different. For example in small bites, so-called Learning Nuggets. Small learning units for in between. They can be “nibbled on” in the process. They are assigned to microlearning, one of the current trends in qualification. Just like the Lunch & Learns, which rock.

Sharing turns out to be the new learning

Another trend that is just beginning to take off is learning through sharing. The sharing of knowledge and experience among people. In your own company or/and beyond your own organization, e.g. in topic communities. The advantage of this “learning format” is that knowledge shared by people who belong to an identical context is usually practical and immediately applicable. In addition, sharing one’s own experiences with interested parties is usually experienced as an appreciation. And this form of learning has yet another advantage: it is free of charge and available in a variety of ways. That rocks. Like Lunch & Learns, by the way, they rock, too.

Not to forget, the Social Workspace Learning

According to the 70:20:10 model, learning today and tomorrow takes place primarily at the workplace and in collaboration. In the ideal case as Social Workspace Learning, i.e. with a focus on social learning, i.e. learning in exchange with others. And that in a timely manner, when learning needs arise. Companies would do well to consider this demand for learning of their employees. And to offer suitable formats. Like Lunch & Learns, for example, which then rock.

Lunch & Learns offer everything in one format

What exactly is this dream format that rocks like that? Well, it’s basically a joint lunch with a guided exchange on a topic. Salmon roll meets super food salad, so to speak. And there is something to that. After all, food is an essential part of this setting. And so is showing what’s on your plate at the moment. Usually this is one of the openers for a Lunch & Learn, especially when it is done virtually. In this format treffen (meet), from three to X are people who belong to an organization or feel connected to a certain topic. around lunchtime, usually for 1-2 hours. Rather shorter than longer. And during this time they exchange ideas on a specific topic or question that is important to everyone. A teaser and/or (several) impulse “lecture” can introduce the topic and a facilitator should set the framework and accompany the group. It is then crucial that those present enter into dialogue with each other and share their voices and views, contribute their experience and hear other perspectives. This is where the design is needed and the “good” questions from the facilitator. Ideally, the exchange takes place in small groups of 3-4 people. This ensures that everyone can make a contribution and thus be heard. The best way is to invite people to the peer work in live format and virtually. At the end there should be a “harvesting“. What was in it for the individual(s)? What can be taken away? What should be tried out?

Lunch & Learns that rock

And here are a few tips from the treasure chest of the facilitator for the Lunch & Learns that rock

  • Short and crisp
  • Opener, where everybody has a say or shows an activity
  • Attractive teaser (video, mini-key note, message from an expert, provocation, etc.)
  • 2-3 sharingrounds with different conversation partners
  • Questions that stimulate a deeper exchange
  • 1-2 energizers
  • Space for harvesting and transfer

Lunch & Learns have an addictive potential. I promise. We at TCJG are happy to share our experience with this format.