FlexThink – a workshop

I ran a workshop today via Peer Academy on How to Tackle Rigid Thinking. I’ve written on this topic previously on LinkedIn, but this was the first time I had run a workshop. The process of designing the workshop was incredibly useful in creating a framework for identifying, analysing and tackling rigid/inflexible thinking in the workplace, as well as thinking about how to communicate that to other people.

As it happens there were “only” two people at the workshop. I say “only” for two reasons. Firstly, I think it’s important at any event, from birthday drinks to a large conference, to focus on those that are in the room. Too often we worry about who didn’t turn up at the expense of engaging fully with those that were interested enough to make the effort. So though I had planned for 20/25, I was more than happy to work with the 2 that came and to adjust my plan accordingly. Secondly, I think the two people that came, who worked together, were able to get a really fulfilling session, as we could dive into their issues in much more depth than would have been possible with lots of different stories coming together.

We did a lot of work in the 2 hours or so. The feedback from the participants was hugely positive and they were keen to take the model away and use it in their work. The model was:

  • Identify and name the rigid behaviour
  • Identify reasons an individual might be displaying the behaviour
  • Based on those reasons, select appropriate strategies for tackling the behaviour
  • Formulate actions that follow those strategies.

The best bit about doing a workshop like this is the new insight you gain from the people in the room. My favourite outcome from today was a new way of thinking about early adopters within organisation. Rather than the usual innovation curve, one of the participants described it as being on a ladder, with some people early up the ladder trying to grab a balloon, some still on the ground, where they feel safe and others in the middle looking up or down and hopefully being moved upwards as a group.

This theme of rigid/inflexible thinking in organisations does seem to come up quite a bit, so I will be sharing findings using the #FlexThink hashtag and the FlexThink magazine on Flipboard. If you’re interested in a future workshop, or would like me to come and run a session with your organisation, then get in contact!

Published by Antonia

I'm a British citizen and European Union offical, who lives in Brussels again after 6 years in London and 8 in Melbourne. I went to the London School of Economics and University of Melbourne. In 2008 I took part in the Eisenhower Fellowship Multination Programme, the subject of 3 of my blogs. You can find me on Twitter as @antoniamochan or @antoniam

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