We had a well attended event on Friday 19 October 2012 at Roots & Shoots in south London. David Sharman and I enjoyed presenting our ideas about influencing change using metaphors and stories.

Participants were introduced to Walt Disney's Creative Strategy and challenged to parallel process the three roles: the dreamer; the realist and the critic (or wise observer as Lyn suggested we use).

So, with those creative roles in the backs of our minds, Dave led us through the concept of wicked problems and how using metaphors can help to reframe and reassess how we think about such complex, messy problems. In groups of three, he had people describe their problem and have others offer similes that came to mind - "that problem sounds like.....". Most reported that this was a powerful exercise offering unique and different ways to think about and possibly begin to create some ways forward with their wicked problems.

Turning then to stories, I offered up a simple framework (sorry Alison!) that would help add drama to stories - drama being something that connects with people on a more emotional level, rather than staying in the logical, rational, analytical frame we might usually be in professional situations. I used props and images to tell a short dramatic story of my own by way of example - people may wonder about the connection between fishermen, Clint Eastwood and Harley Davidsons. Participants were invited to create their own stories - Visual Explorer images were available to use as props and story aids. After working on their stories for 15 minutes or so, people shared them in their groups.

Feedback on the spot was that everyone got something from the afternoon and that it was a most enjoyable and useful event. Good for us, hey Dave?

Enjoy the pictures. 

All Rights Reserved. Copyright Chris Grieve.

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Comment by Alison Donaldson on October 29, 2012 at 14:36

It was lovely,.as always, to see old friends. And I thought Chris and Dave did a great job, thank you. Alison

Comment by Irene MacWilliam on October 29, 2012 at 12:30

Great photos!  I found it an illuminating workshop, especially exploring metaphor to look at a problem in different ways, also creating story using the 3 stage model.  I borrowed the metaphor exercise for a workshop last week to enable participants to look at a complex change issue in 'simile threes' and they all found it very helpful.  We then looked at different organisational models as metaphors - the machine, organism, brain, culture, political system, psyche, complexity metaphors and how these influence work as change agents.  Some of it taken from Gareth Morgan's 'Images of Organization'.  Thanks again Chris and Dave, and workshop members.  Best wishes all, Irene

Comment by Bob MacKenzie on October 24, 2012 at 8:58

Great images, Chris.  Thank to you and Dave for an outstanding experience.  Best wishes.  Bob

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