Using experimentalism in effective facilitation

One of the characteristics of complex organisations is that they rely on different forms of expertise to function. However, problems arise when the experts are siloed in their own teams or departments, perhaps exchanging a few friendly words with colleagues from other specialist fields at lunchtime. Experts from different disciplines speak different technical languages to […]

Curing functional fixedness (Part Two)

Karl Duncker’s experiment demonstrating Functional Fixedness, which I described last time, has a good deal of relevance for any company trying to develop a breakthrough product. Most of the time, a talented group of people fail to make headway not because of a lack of intelligence or imagination but because their talents are confined by […]

Curing functional fixedness (Part One)

Curing functional fixedness (or, how to turn a desk into a magic castle). Small children are extraordinary inventive in using everyday objects to augment their imaginative play. A large box becomes a space capsule; a table, a blanket and a couple of chairs become an enchanted castle. “Growing up” tends to bury this ability, making […]

‘Committed flirtation’: the path to developing your inner leader

Mark is a young executive, who has just landed a big promotion. He’s been told that leadership skills will be crucial for his future success. However, there’s a problem. He’s intelligent and hardworking, but, frankly, not especially empathic in his dealings with other people. He can be bruisingly blunt when giving feedback and sensitive listening […]

Work and Play

When we’re young we learn through play. We experiment, sometimes with unfortunate results, but through experiencing the thing that we are trying to learn we grow. And we each do this in our individual way. As we get older the way we are taught to learn changes us. In school we sit in classes with […]

How do I engage my team?

Ever find yourself asking this question? There are signs that you need to engage your team differently, which range from issues like high turnover of staff, frequent missing of deadlines or organisational apathy, low morale, conflict in the workplace or clock-watching. But what can you do about it? The first thing to appreciate is that […]