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Seb Anthony

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Session Shaker


I have used an exercise that centres around Big Ben for a long time. Delegates are given a scenario of a Scaffolder who has been contracted to remove the hands of Big Ben. It details costs and timings then asks if they would undertake the task. 99% of delegates always answer no as the don't think it is cost effective. But when you look at the bigger picture - Big Ben Clock Tower has 4 clock faces therefore there are 8 hands to replace it is a profitable exercise. The whole point is for delegates to look at the bigger picture.

As I've used this exercise for along time, I was wondering if anybody had any other ideas on this topic.
Chellie Stevenson

3 Responses

  1. Big and small picture
    Hi Chellie,
    One of my favourite exercises for demonstrating both the need to look at the big picture and the need to look at specifics –

    I use a picture of a tiny part of an everyday domestic appliance (an absolutely essential part of it) and have it blown up to a massive scale.

    I ask the delegates firstly what it is and why this is useful – usually lots of guesses and rarely a right answer because the particular object I use (one of the internal components of a washing machine) looks more like an eclipse in the way I’ve had it shot and blown up.

    Thus we get the need for the big picture, and the small picture in one excercise.

    Without the big picture understanding does not truly exist, without the small picture you might not remember to refit the component when the machine is fixed.

    Hope this helps,


  2. perception
    Hi Chellie,

    I agree with Megans suggestions as we’ve used something similar in the past to good effect.

    We’ve also used pictures that are designed to challenge your perception (for example, the young woman, old hag picture).

    Get in touch and I’ll be happy to email some to you.

    I’d be interested in receiving some more details about your Big Ben exercise – I’ve not come across that one before!

    Colin Hamilton

  3. Big Ben
    Your big ben exercise sounds great, could I have a copy of it? I don’t have a similar one but I would be happy to share any other exercises that I do.


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