Changes; some quotes and a song

Recently I conducted a workshop for a company who wanted to discuss the change process. We had a really interesting day talking about a whole host of things connected to change. One of the things I did when setting up the workshop was to put some quotes around the room – it’s always good to have something to chat about, start discussions or just have a nosey at during the coffee break. Or perhaps something to read in case of any drifting off and staring at the walls (hopefully not in my workshops!).

One of the quotes I liked the most was from Maya Angelou who sadly died yesterday. In her most eloquent way she said:

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty” Maya Angelou

Other quotes that I thought relevant to the day were:

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance”

Alan Watts

“Change is the only constant”

Heraclitus

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world”

Mahatma Gandhi

“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.”

Stephen Hawking

“We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.”

Carl Jung

And just in case there is a danger of us taking ourselves too seriously (and because my daughter has just discovered Star Wars):

“But you can’t stop the change, no more than you can stop the suns from setting.”

Shmi Skywalker, to her son Anakin Skywalker

Finally, I couldn’t help but include some Bob Dylan, perhaps to get my participants humming to themselves and triggering moments of inspiration!

“Come gather ’round, people, wherever you roam

And admit that the waters around you have grown

And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone

If your time to you is worth savin’

Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone

For the times they are a-changin’”

Bob Dylan

Training and new toys

Last week I went on a Technologies of Participation (ToP) training course in Manchester with theInstitute of Cultural Affairs. I have been on quite a bit of facilitation training over the years, but I do love to be able to get new ideas and meet new people, and being a participant for a change is always quite refreshing!

The course trainer was really engaging and had lots of interesting ideas and anecdotes. He took us through the Art of Focused Conversation and the Consensus Method and we got lots of opportunities to practise them both. The only downside I suppose is that there were only 4 participants, which was a shame, but didn’t make it difficult to learn the techniques. In fact it was in a way a good way to think about how to deal with small groups. I often find dealing with very small groups much harder than dealing with very big ones as the energy can get really low if you don’t have the right mix of people.

I already have ideas on how I am going to integrate both the methods we learnt into some up coming workshops and am quite excited about doing so! For me the trick to adding new methods to my repertoire is to try to use them as quickly as possible after learning them, otherwise I find I like the techniques but they never come to life and don’t get used. It’s always easy to fall back on tried and tested methods, which of course are so important. But I really like the challenge of integrating the new stuff into my plans even when it doesn’t come as naturally at first.

Of course, part of the fun of facilitation (aside from learning the actual methods), is getting new equipment. I now have a Stickywall which I am very keen to start using. I have used these before but never actually got round to buying one myself. But when faced with the opportunity to get one, I decided it would be rude not to. So, I am now the proud owner of a 3metre purple (I do love purple!) Stickywall which is awaiting its first spraymount coat. I’ll be using it in a couple of weeks so will let you know how I get on.